Technology Diamond in the Cornfield: Perry ProTECH4 May, 2014 By: Editorial Staff
PERRY proTECH was originally founded by Rex Perry in May of 1965 and focused on selling copiers and supplies out of Lima, Ohio. Rex insisted that we never lose sight of the fact that nothing happens without the client and that we keep our customers’ needs front and center of all we do. Over the years, the company expanded with additional locations and acquisitions and became known as the leading provider of document solutions in the region. In 1986, Rex sold the company to the employees and established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that is now 100% employee-owned. “We made a conscious decision early on to diversify the company, not only geographically with additional locations, but also through new technologies that are adjacent to our core business” states Barry Clark, CEO. “We branched into content solutions and adapted our services with print management. And as copiers became MFP’s and intrinsically tied to networks, we analyzed our options and decided to purchase a well-established core infrastructure company in our area. This level of technology has required strategic thinking that understands the unpredictability of complex systems that are often resistant to predictive models.“
Selling in a Single Source of an all You Need Environment
One of the unintended consequences of this complex but necessary model has been the challenges of selling the products and services. Imaging contacts and sales cycles are not the same as infrastructure or content management. It was overwhelming to existing sales teams to feel that they had to know it all and deliver it all to our clients. Going on customer calls with multiple sales representatives became confusing to us and to our clients. Jeff Boate, President, has spearheaded a learning experience for the entire sales organization and managers. “We chose Achieve Global and their Professional Selling Skills program to help our team thrive in this complex climate. We have defined our sales process with a healthy and consistent set of guidelines and are utilizing a learning experience that prepares the team for excelling in a rapidly changing world with systematically measurable results.”
The organization is uniquely position as it sits between large major metro areas but covers many tertiary and often very rural markets. The core technology team partners have often referred to the company as the “Diamond in the Cornfield” and they are amazed that the company can provide business technology solutions at a level above or equal to anyone in the nation. As we strive to become the single source of business solutions for our clients, research on where the market place is going has brought us to security that wraps around documents, processes and the network. Our managed services offering has grown from both the core IT side and the document side to give our customers adaptable options that allow them to change and grow their businesses with cutting edge technologies that are managed by highly trained and certified people. We’ve also added a physical security solution program that supports the protection of our clients’ employees, tangible and intangible assets from potential threats. This secure technology blends law enforcement forensic requirements and technology infrastructure in a methodology that allows for compliance to government regulations, management of mission-critical network platforms and a holistic approach to securing an organization from both physical and network attacks internally or externally.
“We began actively exploring 3D printing a few years ago and are watching the progression of how it is being used in the market and the evolution of avenues provided by our existing manufacturers. In our analysis, we are confident that when we are ready to join the burgeoning market, we will have the sophisticated supply and service organization required to succeed,” reports Barry Clark.
As we focus more on managed services that provide reoccurring revenue for the company, we are looking outside of the box at solutions such as WiFi as a service, disaster recovery and business continuity as a service with offsite backup and eLAN solutions and a greater understanding of the Internet of Things and their virtual representation in an Internet-like structure. This includes close to the device solution tools and applications that enhance our core products and their capabilities by increasing the functionality of the products.
Innovation Happens at the Periphery
As the company merged business models, more of the strategy planning and implementation has been moved to committees. One of the first committees established was the Employee Owners Communications Committee and their focus has been to help employees understand the ownership benefits and responsibilities. That in turn has helped create a culture of ownership and core values that have been defined and adopted by all employees. “I’ve seen a definite change in our company since this team has started this initiative. Our principles and beliefs are shared by all and truly make us the organization we are today,” according to Becky Taylor, Vice President Accounting and co-chair of the EOCC. “Our team represents everyone in the organization and has a strong focus on shaping our unique form of ownership culture.”
Two years ago six additional teams were created and comprise over 30 managers representing all locations and business models. These teams are internal and external Education, Innovation and Integration. This has created great momentum for change and engaged teams with a vested interest at a very granular level. In this short time, we’ve implemented a number of amazing programs that includes PERRY proUNIVERSITY for training built by employees for employees that covers our technology solutions, how to use internal technologies and even what it means to be an employee-owner. Another committee rolled out a volunteer time off program and a new customer welcome program. The Integration teams have worked on combining our databases and shared information internally. “The committees exemplify our core values of embracing change, growth and learning and challenging ourselves to be the leaders in our industry and our communities,” Barry Clark explains.
The Client Experience
Innovation that keeps our clients front and center has lead us to the creation of a new Experience Center that will be mirrored across all of our locations. “We’re focused on a high-touch experience for our customers” says David Zimerle, Executive Vice President. “We want our customers to know everything about us in 45 minutes or less. Each company that visits one of our experience centers will have a unique vertical focused presentation that encompasses our entire offerings. We want them to leave saying ‘this company can handle all of our needs’ and to be confident in our abilities and offerings.”
We’re very proud to have been named “Dealer of the Year” in 2014. “We want to thank imageSource Magazine for this great opportunity and recognition,” says Barry Clark. “And, I personally want to thank each and every one of our employee-owners for their contribution to our success. Your efforts will bring us to our desire of being a single source, go to partner, for all of our clients. We are committed to the future, and to change and adapt as needed and we do this on behalf of our clients and the future of each and every employee-owner of PERRY proTECH.”
For more information on PERRY proTECH, visit their website at www.perryprotech.com.