Grand Rapids, MI
Year Founded: 1987
President/Owner: John Lowery
Number of Employees: 247
Primary Vendors: Ricoh, Canon, Océ, Samsung
Primary Solutions Offerings: OnBase, Microsoft, Square 9
Primary Leasing Partners: GreatAmerica
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $58 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Applied Imaging’s Business: PrintSmart, its MPS group; DocSmart, its electronic document management group; and NetSmart, Applied’s Managed Network Support group.
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Solidifying its culture. The company has been working to put into words what it means to be a part of Applied Imaging, leading to the development of Applied Chemistry and the 12 Elements of Success. In addition, Applied creates a Culture Book every year as a keepsake for all employees with quotes from every employee about what Applied Imaging means to them as well as photos from events throughout the year.
Why We Consider Applied Imaging Elite:
- Its geographic expansion, especially in the more populated eastern part of Michigan, including the opening of an Ann Arbor branch earlier this year as well as the acquisition of Hi-Tech in Petoskey in the northern part of Michigan. This also has been a boon for attracting large clients with branches statewide.
- Its marketing philosophy of frequency, consistency, and living up to and delivering on its positioning theme: Fast. Friendly. Amazing. Applied has been aggressive in communicating its brand and differentiating the dealership from competitors.
- As part of its brand, Applied labels everything it does, which helps position the Applied brand as unique and apart from any competition. In addition to labeling all its solutions groups, Applied labeled its off-site service center the Customer Loyalty Center and its training center, Get Smart University, playing off its solutions groups’ names.
- Applied Imaging added the 2015 Ricoh Service Excellence Certified Dealer award and continued its string of being named one of the best companies to work for in both western Michigan and Detroit Metro by the National Association of Business Resources.
- Its Applied Chemistry culture. Applied Chemistry focuses employees on making decisions that benefit the customer and understanding their role in the bigger picture. Within Applied Chemistry there are 12 Elements of Success, including BTU (Build Team Unity), HTN (Hit the Number), Fun, Community, Creativity, Knowledge, Dream, Family, Humility, Integrity, SBS (Success by Selection), and Service.
Year Founded: 1995
President/Owner: Paul Hanna
Number of Employees: 150-200
Primary Vendors: Konica Minolta, Lexmark, HP, KIP
Primary Solutions Offerings: AnyDoc, Bluebeam, eCopy, Equitrac, FileBound, OnBase by Hyland, iManage, BlueDocX by Intellinetics, Objectif Lune PlanetPress and Print Shop Mail, PageScope Net Care, Print Audit, Printgroove, Prism DocRecord, Software Shelf Print Manager Plus
Primary Supplies Vendors: Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Hyland Software, HP
Primary Leasing Partners: DLL, U.S. Bank, GE Capital, CIT Financial
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $50 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Blue Technologies’ Business: Professional Services, including MPS, IT Solutions, and Productivity solutions.
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Continuing to evolve its IT business to run smoothly and profitably, following the integration of wholly-owned subsidiary Smart Solutions Inc. Acquired in September 1, 2013 to add additional IT and document management capabilities – and renamed Blue Technologies Smart Solutions (BTSS) – the dealership worked hard last year to merge cultures, update internal processes, leadership, and department structures.
Why We Consider Blue Technologies Elite:
- Its commitment to excellence. Blue implements a five-point pledge that protects each customer after an acquisition is complete, guaranteeing quality product performance, product service, supplies, easy acquisition, and complete customer satisfaction.
- The enhancement of Blue’s IT solutions and productivity solutions business, which include Managed Services, comprehensive IT infrastructure consulting, document management solutions, and optimization by the successful integration of an acquisition into Blue Technologies Smart Solutions (BTSS), which is a fully-owned subsidiary. BTSS is now a premier IT and productivity solutions provider to clients with experts in the education, legal, professional services, government, and corporate sectors.
- Its Customer Care Program, which includes a quarterly company e-newsletter; weekly industry-specific e-mail campaigns; and a secure online customer portal, BlueNET, a self-service customer portal, that allows customers to connect with Blue to request service, send in meter reads, order supplies, and much more directly from the portal link on Blue’s website.
- The redesign and refocusing of its Insight articles with Smart Business magazine to provide industry expertise on a variety of topics – without pushing a specific brand or product. Whether the reader has a Konica Minolta, Canon, Ricoh, Xerox, or Toshiba, they are able to get useful, cutting-edge information from the articles on technology or office management to better their business.
- Its annual media calendar that ties together Blue’s social media, blog, e-mail, Insights, and advertisement marketing strategies. Each month focuses on a specific topic that is featured in Blue’s Smart Business Insights article – such as accounting, IT, or education. All other content efforts then center on this same theme, to unify Blue’s marketing outreach and tie its various efforts together cohesively.
Year Founded: 2005
President/Owner: Frank Gaspari
Number of Employees: 150
Primary Vendors: Hewlett-Packard Advanced Print Certified Partner, Brother Authorized Partner, Dell Authorized Partner, Lexmark Authorized Partner, OKI Authorized Partner, Ricoh Family (Lanier, Ricoh, Savin, Gestetner) Authorized Partner, Sharp Authorized Partner, Xerox XPPS Partner
Primary Solutions Offerings: Nuance NSI AutoStore, eCopy, eCopy PDF Pro; PaperCut MF; Print Manager Plus; ROI Print Manager; nQueue Billback; HP Web Jetadmin; HP Access Control; Device Manager NX; FollowMe Printing; Card Authentication Package (CAP); KwikTag; DocRecord; Intellinetics; Planet Press Suite; PrinterLogic
Primary Supplies Vendors: West Point Products, Katun, LMI, Supplies Network
Primary Leasing Partners: U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, GreatAmerica, GE Capital
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $50-$75 million
Fastest Growing Segments of FlexPrint’s Business: Its National Account portfolio
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Securing some large customers, which has helped expand its national footprint. FlexPrint’s business model, employees, and business partners enable it to support national Fortune 1000 companies with multiple locations with consistent service.
Why We Consider FlexPrint Elite:
- Its unique business model for providing national managed print solutions, which allows FlexPrint to bring complete visibility to document technology at an enterprise level. Consistent service, consistent processes, and consistent reporting/business reviews provide stability that its customers love.
- It has initiated a number of 1-to-1 marketing programs focused on niche verticals. This is a perpetual program with many touches that include e-mail, purl campaigns, custom mailings, etc. When FlexPrint account executives attempt to make contact, brand recognition has been heightened, easing the cold call into a warm call.
- It offers employees unique, peer-based employee incentives that get everyone involved and recognize going above and beyond.
- Its team of enthusiastic employees provides service with a smile and a positive customer experience at every touch point, making FlexPrint the partner of choice for customers.
- It’s a great place to work and has been recognized nine times as a Best Place to Work and the Best & Brightest in Chicago.
- Its Annual Charity Golf Tournament that supports a local non-profit in the community each year along with sponsorship of many non-profit activities with which its customers are involved.
Year Founded: 1986
President/Owner: Jim Loffler
Number of Employees: 395
Primary Vendors: Canon, Konica Minolta, Toshiba, Océ, HP, Lexmark, NEC, ShoreTel
Primary Solutions Offerings: MPS, IT Solutions, Software & Workflow Technologies, VoIP Phones & Voice Solutions, On-Site Managed People-Based Services
Primary Supplies Vendors: West Point, Ingram, Tech Data, Supplies Network, Anchor Paper
Primary Leasing Partners: U.S. Bank, GreatAmerica
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $80 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Loffler’s Business: MPS: 2012-2014 (123% growth), Loffler Management Solutions 2012-2014 (30% growth), Phone & Voice Systems 2012-2014 (30% growth)
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Completing its largest acquisition ever, a $15 million/year Twin Cities marketplace competitor, purchasing all of their assets as well as hiring 75% of their workforce.
Why We Consider Loffler Elite:
- It builds and maintains the Loffler brand from all possible angles, including its website, sales collaterals, radio ads, signage on its building and service vehicles, to the strong recognition it receives for its contribution to the community. The Loffler brand is also visible on the scoreboards at multiple Twin Cities area sporting events, including the Minnesota Timberwolves, Vikings, and Wild.
- It has stepped up its efforts working with its partners and suppliers running multi-phase marketing campaigns involving e-mail, webinars, and sales calls. It has seen these e-mails have the best response rates of any campaigns in the past.
- It hires, reviews, and evaluates employees as well as conducts all of its business according to its Core Values. Loffler maintains that when it has people in “the right seats on the bus” who believe in and live its values, its workplace is positive, professional, trustworthy, and always driving for success.
- It has been named a Star Tribune Top Workplace for five years in a row, and one of the “100 Best Places to Work in Minnesota” by Minnesota Business magazine for four consecutive years.
- When co-workers experience tragic circumstances such as illness, death in the family, or considerable financial burdens, the Loffler team rallies with donations, silent auctions, bake sales, cards, and whatever is appropriate to support and show their community spirit. This has also included care packages for deployed military employees.
Year Founded: 1965
CEO: Barry Clark
Number of Employees: 232
Primary Vendors: Konica Minolta, Muratec, RISO, KIP, Lexmark, Samsung, Sharp, Cisco, HP, VMware, EMC, Citrix, Microsoft, Emerson, Time Warner, Lifesize, Fortinet, Aerohive, ShoreTel
Primary Solutions Offerings: Contentverse, OpenText, Alchemy, NSI AutoStore, Mi-Co, Artsyl, DocAlpha, VirtualWorks
Primary Supplies Vendors: Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Synnex
Primary Leasing Partners: GreatAmerica
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $60-$65 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Perry proTECH’s Business: Security (223.1%) Managed IT Services, (200.2%), MPS (142.6%)
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: The leadership team is focusing on the unique value of the dealership’s employee ownership and working on leaving the company better than when they originally took over. The first step was mapping out potential leaders and developing a succession plan. According to Jeff Boate, President, “As we work towards future-scaping PERRY, the strategy team has already identified eight people in their early 30s with potential for grooming towards the 30-year strategy. A survey will be going out shortly to every employee to ask, ‘What does leadership mean to our organization’s development?’” The second step in this program will be a 360 degree review to ask hard questions such as what are Perry’s managers good at, what areas need improvement, how does Perry take its bench strength and position the company for future growth, and how does it align its corporate values with results values and remember that innovation happens at the periphery?
Why We Consider Perry proTECH Elite:
- The enhancement of its lead process to an automated nurturing program with a greater understanding of the importance of continued touch no matter the buying cycle. The program combines direct mail, e-mail, and calls to remind customers and prospects alike of the depth of the services offered.
- Its Welcome Package program. Management team members have delivered nearly 200 packages in person to net new clients this year. This face-to-face meeting gives the client a chance to speak openly to a manager as they follow up on the first implementation.
- The success of its physical security division, Digital C.O.P.S. This division brings a holistic solution that starts with documents and data, moves through the network, and is closed through the protection of life and property.
- Industry recognition. In 2015, PERRY has been awarded CRN MSP Elite 150 dealer, MSP Mentor, Pro-Tech Dealer service, and BEI National Leader Platinum award.
- Its Paid-Time-Off program encourages and allows employees to participate with area 501.c.3 non-profits.
Systel Business Equipment Co., Inc.
Year Founded: 1981
CEO: Keith Allison
Number of Employees: 257
Primary Vendors: Konica Minolta, Ricoh, HP, Lexmark
Primary Solutions Offerings: DocRecord, PaperCut, Nuance AutoStore and Equitrac
Primary Supplies Vendors: Konica Minolta, Ricoh, HP, Lexmark
Primary Leasing Partners: DLL, U.S. Bank
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $51 million
Fastest Growing Segments of Systel’s Business: Local and federal government accounts. Being the only NC State Contract vendor that provides onsite service to all 100 NC counties has been a large reason for this growth.
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Successfully launching a new sales compensation plan that has been in the development and testing phase for over two years.
Why We Consider Systel Elite:
- Its aforementioned new sales compensation plan. The plan is simple, but complex to the point of incentivizing reps for new business, picking up printer service, selling stocked primary manufacturer equipment, and more, with quarterly and annual bonuses for obtaining quota numbers. The new plan allows the regional vice presidents to recruit better talent and retain producing sales reps. After tracking the plan for more than a year, sales have increased, turnover has decreased, and the company was able to purchase inventory based on what items reps are finding most profitable to sell.
- It has invested in various tools and technology such as GPS tracking as well as updated phone systems for monitoring and tracking wait times to ensure customer support and service staff upholds its published metrics of service and customer satisfaction.
- For the last five years, Systel has continued to earn a spot on the list of North Carolina’s Top 100 Private companies. Systel also recently earned a spot on the Inc. 500 | 5000 list for fast growing companies in the US. Besides earning the top service achievements from its manufacturer partners every year, Systel was recently named HP’s “Best in Class” for being an HP Managed Print Service Partner. Only 10 companies in the country received this award, Systel being the only company not specializing in only MPS.
- It continues to focus on improving employee benefits each year. One of the most anticipated benefits is Systel’s annual holiday event, which after overnight accommodations, dining, and prizes, equates to about a $350-$400 bonus/incentive for each attending employee and their guest.
- It’s a solid corporate citizen and continues to provide scholarship endowments to local colleges and universities for underprivileged students. It also has very discounted CPC programs and ongoing promotions in place for local non-profit companies.
TGI Office Automation
Year Founded: 1964
CEO: Frank Grasso
Number of Employees: 400
Primary Vendors: Toshiba, Lanier/Ricoh, Lexmark, KIP, Kyocera, RISO, HP, Franco Postalia, Pitney Bowes
Primary Solutions Offerings: DocuWare, Square 9 (TGI Docs Pro), Drivve Print (TGI Mobile Print), Drivve/ eCopy ShareScan Elements (TGI Scan), PPDM/Re-Rite (TGI Convert), ecoprintQ, PaperCut MF (TGI Control), EcoprintQ, PaperCut NG (TGI Track), FM Audit (TGI Monitor); Security Solutions – Device, Access, Document and End-of-Life; Green Solutions; Contango – Managed IT Services; Managed Backup and Disaster Recovery; FabSoft; LinkWare; GoFormz
Primary Supplies Vendors: Supplies Network, LMI, Arlington, Image Star, Diversified Computer Supplies
Primary Leasing Partners: DLL, CIT, GE, EverBank, Wells Fargo
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $80 million
Fastest Growing Segments of TGI’s Business: Major accounts. TGI has become the exclusive office equipment and solutions provider to many large organizations with locations nationwide. It has developed a customized VIP Account Program aimed at serving its regional and national client base. This program attracts large corporate and governmental organizations by offering customized solutions.
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: By adding three locations in the past year, TGI has grown to 10 locations, allowing it to serve a larger area in the Northeast.
Why We Consider TGI Elite:
- The way it brands the third-party solutions it sells as a TGI offering.
- Its ability to successfully grow through acquisitions. The addition this past year of Tri-State Business Solutions and Century Business Solutions gave TGI the expanded ability to service customers throughout New York City and the surrounding areas. TGI currently has 10 locations in Brooklyn, NY; New York, NY; Melville, NY; West Caldwell, NJ; Woodbridge, NJ; Red Bank, NJ; Pennsauken, NJ; Shelton, CT; Boca Raton, FL; and Pompano Beach, FL.
- It has installed Toshiba’s Virtuoso Digital Signage in its Brooklyn, NY, and West Caldwell, NJ, locations. This tool is an impactful solution designed to inform, educate, entertain, and influence by leveraging new content and existing media.
- Its use of Click Dimensions, an e-mail marketing tool that ties in with TGI’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM so it can learn more about its prospects by seeing what interests them on its website and e-mails as well as easily capture valuable information through web forms, surveys, and more.
- TGI’s leadership recognizes a large part of its success is due to the contributions of its employees who function as a team. The dealership also celebrates the contributions of its employees during Family Fun Days and other events throughout the year.
United Business Technologies (UBT)
Year Founded: 1977
Owner/CEO: Armen Manoogian
Number of Employees: 102
Primary Vendors: Canon, Océ, Toshiba, HP
Primary Solutions Offerings: Uniflow, PaperCut, Equitrac, eCopy, Re-Rite, Drivve
Primary Supplies Vendors: Supplies Network
Primary Leasing Partners: CIT, CFS
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $60 million
Fastest Growing Segments of UBT’s Business: Solutions sales. In 2013, UBT was the top Uniflow dealer in the nation and currently has one of the largest Uniflow customer bases of independent dealers. In addition, its Managed Services Division, the AR Group, has grown exponentially over the past three years.
Biggest Accomplishment of the Past Year: Earning the business of one of the top ten law firms in Washington, DC, as a national account and implementing Uniflow software as a cost recovery solution, which is rare in such a large firm.
Why We Consider UBT Elite:
- Its unique to the industry, 12-month unconditional money back or exchange guarantee. This is recognized by UBT’s leasing partners as well as UBT customers. It allows any customer, whether they lease or purchase, to return their equipment for any reason up to $1 million, to be released from a lease if applicable, and also to be refunded any lease payments they’ve made or the full purchase price.
- Its young, vibrant work culture. There is a family feel to the company.
- It has done a terrific job of maximizing its market share within key vertical markets and now has 30 percent of the top 100 law firms in Washington, DC, as clients.
- Its marketing strategy is focused on landing a large account within a specific vertical and then using that account as a reference and case study to add similar clients.
- It hires only inexperienced sales reps and only promotes from within so UBT has a young sales staff as well as young sales management. This fosters an atmosphere of success when reps know that UBT won’t hire anyone from the outside and advancement is theirs for the taking as long as they prove themselves.