Office Technology Rising Star: EDGE Business Systems30 May, 2014
At the ITEX Expo in March, imageSource awarded a handful of selected dealers and solution providers the annual Perfect Image Award, indicating each was outstanding in its unique category. As a new business venture under three years in operation, EDGE Business Systems walked away with top honors as the 2014 Office Technology Rising Star, a company to watch. Rich Simons, Partner, Edge Business Systems, accepted the award.
EDGE was founded in March 2012. According to Simons, “One of the key areas we focused on in establishing our core business model was to leverage personal and professional relationships to quickly develop a loyal customer base.”
The three founders of the business collectively have over 50 years of experience in the office industry, and have served as trusted advisers to hundreds of clients in the past. Overcoming the challenge of being 'new' to earn business was less difficult initially as EDGE worked with individuals “where we had strong, existing relationships that allowed us to provide excellent customer service resulting in referrals and recommendations to other like companies.”
With the constant turnover of sales reps in the industry and account executives typically given 'geographical' assignments, EDGE’s core principle of offering solutions to and servicing their clients’ 'relationship' versus the 'territory' mentality has and will continue to accelerate the growth of EDGE Business Systems.
Even with personal relationships helping to accelerate new business, finding 'net new' business was very challenging during the first 18 months as EDGE was restricted by a non-compete agreement not allowing them to sell to previous customers of the founders. Implementing a Channel Partner Program that has forged business relationships with other office technology providers: telecom, information technology and software, has proven to not only enable EDGE to work with their partners’ customers but has given the EDGE customer the ability to increase efficiency and productivity in other areas of technology not relating to the core offerings EDGE provides. This program has allowed the EDGE customer to enhance their experience with EDGE in receiving a 'solution' offering versus the 'transaction.' The portfolio of solutions EDGE and its partners offer creates lifelong clients, friends and strong references to other organizations in like industries.
“We are excited about the growth we have experienced through our manufacturers, strong partnerships and dedicated employees. Building a culture focused on developing strong customer relationships is the core focus to our future growth initiatives,” said Simons.
In providing a solution offering to their clients either directly through their offerings or in conjunction with their partners’ offerings, EDGE has maintained strong profits as it identifies areas of inefficiency and enhanced the technology environment for the customer. “This is critical as the majority of our competitors do not have an equivalent portfolio of solutions. For the ones that might, our experience is that they likely do not have tenured sales specialists with strong technical knowledge to compete,” remarked Simons.
In addition, “EDGE is very excited to be recognized by imageSource magazine as one of the Industry’s premier new dealers in the U.S. We will continue to build on our success by partnering with Top-Tier Equipment and Software Manufacturers, and by providing excellent customer service to our clients,” said Rick Duerr, Partner, EDGE Business Systems.
Combining the Partner Program for technology offerings and relationship model for sales, the company grew 367% in the first year. EDGE looks to maintain this vigorous growth by actively recruiting and interviewing top sales and technical talent to position the organization to be one of the top three independent dealers in the Atlanta market.