Marco Captures Dealer of the Year1 Jun, 2012 imageSource
At the recent ITEX Expo & Conference held in Las Vegas, imageSource magazine presented Marco with the coveted 2012 Perfect Image Award for Dealer of the Year. A prized, merit–based award from a panel of industry peers and members of the imageSource/ITEX Advisory Council, Marco captured the top dealer award along with the categorical award for “Outstanding Managed Services Program.”
When Marco first started offering Managed Services in 2005, the company was breaking new ground. Few organizations were familiar with the term “managed services” and it would require technology companies to completely transform the way they provide their services.
This changed Marco’s strategy, and already was leading to the development of new customized software at Marco, not to mention new roles, new teams, and new terminology. Now Director of Managed Services, Trevor Akervik left his successful sales position to take the lead on Managed Services for Marco – a risky move at the time. But he also saw the opportunity to give to customers an unprecedented amount of services, including powerful metrics that would allow them to make better decisions about their
“For the first time with the use of our software, we could show customers’ utilization by device and the exact cost of printing,” Akervik said. “It was powerful and it did not take long to take off.”
In less than seven years, under Akervik’s leadership, Marco has grown its Managed Services to a projected $13 million. The program serves customers with as few as one device and as large as 1,000 devices, and touches almost every industry. In many cases, Marco’s Managed Services team has become an extension of its customers’ IT department, responsible for managing, monitoring, and optimizing their information technology systems.
Looking Around Corners
A commitment to looking around corners and thinking like customers has propelled Marco’s growth over the past decade – and through the recession. Since 2003, Marco’s revenue, profits and employees more than doubled. “We now are in the top five companies in the nation for what we do,” Marco CEO, Jeff Gau, said. Marco will move this summer into a new 81,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in St. Cloud.
Marco helps organizations manage their information by applying network expertise to voice, data, video, and print solutions.
Last year, Marco continued to break new ground for customers with its launch of Telepresence video conferencing and Hybrid Cloud solutions.
“Change almost has become our middle name,” said Steve Knutson, Chief Information Officer at Marco, who also serves as a virtual CIO for Marco customers. “It’s our job to continue to anticipate and assess new technology – and then adapt so we can provide the tools and services our customers need to be efficient and grow.”
Almost 40 years ago, Marco could never have imagined a world without typewriters. They served as the company’s economic engine. But shifts in technology provided new opportunities and today the 100 percent employee-owned company is one of the fastest growing technology solution providers.
Acquisitions are helping drive growth and providing new opportunities to bring a full overlay of technology solutions to new markets. Marco has acquired nine companies in the past five years, including its largest
“With each acquisition, we focus on expanding the business technology offerings in those markets to give our customers even more products and solutions to help them achieve their goals,” said Akervik, Director of Managed Services. “That means a customer that once relied on the company for a copier now also may receive a series of overlay solutions, including voice, data and video services as well.”
Going Beyond Products
For Marco, good business extends beyond raising the bar on products and services. It’s also about doing good. Giving back to the community has been a hallmark of Marco since 1973.
Marco consistently donates about five percent of its profits to a broad group of organizations in the communities it serves. The company goes beyond writing checks by allowing employees the flexibility to volunteer their time during the work day.
“Our commitment to doing good has been instrumental in helping us attract and retain some of the best employees in the industry, grow our client base and increase sales,” Gau said. “People want to be a part of good.”
Great Place to Work
What sets Marco apart is its leadership culture, where employees enjoy coming to work and are empowered to not only think like owners, but also “think like a customer.”
Marco’s culture is apparent the moment you walk into the door of the St. Cloud, Minnesota, headquarters and the broader community recognizes Marco as a great place to work. Filling positions has never been challenging – no matter what they are. People regularly walk in and ask if they can apply – for any job.
The company has been recognized in its community and the nation as a place people want to work, including landing on the list of the Top 25 Best Small Companies to Work for in America by the Great Place to Work Institute®.
In Marco’s experience, happy employees make happy customers. “Our company strives to create a corporate culture and series of processes that promote customer satisfaction, and we regularly assess how we’re doing,” said Barry Opatz, vice president of marketing at Marco.
For 2 decades, Marco has asked employees to share input on topics ranging from compensation and benefits to management and training through a confidential survey. Each year, the leadership
team reviews the results and identifies action steps to further improve the workplace.
“We care about our culture and validate it every year through an employee survey,” Gau said. “Last year, 93 percent of our employees described Marco as a fun and friendly place to work.”
To learn more visit marconet.com
1930: “The Typewriter Shop” starts.
1973: Marco officially formed.
1975: Adds copiers as a product line.
1985: Begins to provide voice and data networking.
1997: Earns ISO 9002 Certification and developed an ongoing quality initiative to help ensure operational effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
2001: Becomes 100% employee owned; ranks as one of VARBusiness’ largest solution providers.
2002: Expands to offer audio and video systems, document management, workflow and video surveillance solutions.
2005: Leads industry with launch of Managed Services.
2011: Launches new Hybrid Cloud and Telepresence video conferencing solutions.
2012: Moves to new 81,000-square-foot corporate headquarters; surpasses $100-million revenue mark.
Great Place to Work
Here’s what Marco employees are saying, according to the 2011 Employee Survey:
93% describe Marco as a fun and friendly place to work.
99% say they like what they do at Marco.
93% describe Marco as a good corporate citizen.
92% believe their supervisor cares about them as a person.
99% believe their supervisor treats them with respect.
Marco At A Glance
Founded: 1973 as a typewriter shop
CEO: Jeff Gau
Ownership: 100 Percent Employee Owned (ESOP)
Headquarters: St. Cloud, Minnesota
Locations: Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa
What They Do: Marco helps organizations manage their information by applying network expertise to voice, data, video, and print applications.
Specialties: Managed Services, Audio/Video Systems, Data Networking, Document Management, Print Solutions, Video Surveillance, Voice Communications
What Sets Marco Apart:
A Leadership Culture where employees enjoy coming to work and are empowered to not only think like owners, but also ‘think like customers.’ Learn more at aleadershipculture.com.
Workplace Awards: Named Best Place to Work in Minnesota by Star Tribune and the Minneapolis-St. Paul; among the Top 25 Best Companies to Work for in America by the Great Place to Work Institute; received the Minnesota
Work-Life Champions Award.