North Canton, Ohio – Visual Edge Technology is giving Office Systems of Vermont the “best of both worlds” with its latest acquisition: financial support from a national company, but with the ability to maintain their roots in New England and grow the business together with Axion Business Technologies.
As part of the deal, Office Systems will remain an independent operating company with advisory support from Visual Edge-owned Axion Business Technologies and its president, Robert Ferland.
“This really completes our overall strategy to have a footprint in all of the New England states. The potential for growth here is huge,” says Ferland. “We also get the added bonus of Office Systems’ market share in New Hampshire. One of the benefits for Office Systems’ customers is that we will bring new services to market that they would not have otherwise had access to, such as production print, managed print, and managed IT services.”
Office Systems’ president, Richard Lowrey, says that the decision to join Visual Edge was easy, as Office Systems marks the second dealership that he has sold, both while being under the age of 52. “Being locally owned isn’t as important as it used to be. In a world where people can buy just about anything online, people are technology driven to get the best products with the best deal but still be taken care of,” says Lowrey.
As one of the last independents in Vermont, Lowrey’s “secret sauce” is simple: people, products, and process. “We run our business on the 3 Ps – you have to have really good people, really good products, and really good processes internally. If you don’t do any of those three things, well, you aren’t going to be great.”
Being great is important to Lowrey, as he filters most of his business decisions through his customers, constantly surveying their loyalty to the Office Systems brand with the Net Promoter Score methodology. “A lot of people in this industry focus on service metrics—how fast can you be there, how fast can you fix it. We don’t. We believe that the measure of our success is whether or not a customer is going to refer us to someone else,” says Lowrey.
According to Lowrey, Office Systems scores around 75, which is pretty admirable for an independent dealership in the small state of Vermont (Apple has 72).
Lowrey admits he did a lot of research on Visual Edge before taking the leap. “What I really like about Visual Edge is that they let you run your own business and nothing really changes except that you get better products, better pricing, and better support,” says Lowrey. “I’ve looked for three years to buy an IT company because I get calls constantly about customers wanting IT support from us. I think this is going to be a huge growth area for us.”
Office Systems, which has had deep roots in Vermont since first opening in 1945, has been owned and operated by Lowrey since 2011. Prior to that, the dealership was the product of a merger between two competitors as the market consolidated in 2000.
About Office Systems
Office Systems is one of the leading independent office equipment providers of Toshiba and HP multifunctional products, and Canon and KIP wide-format products. The dealership has 20 employees across its two locations in Barre, Vermont, and Concord, New Hampshire, and over 100 years combined industry experience. Office Systems is committed to delivering outstanding customer service and monitors its customers’ loyalty using the Net Promoter Score methodology.
About Axion Business Technologies
Axion Business Technolgies, a Visual Edge Technology Company, was founded in 2004 by Robert Ferland, a 35-year veteran in the office products industry. Currently, Axion is the product of 12 acquisitions over the past decade. This rapid growth has enabled Axion to be a driving presence in the industry, proudly representing the Greater Boston, Greater Worcester, Rhode Island, and Southern Massachusetts marketplaces, along with Cape Cod and the Islands. Axion’s product lines include Konica Minolta, Toshiba, Okidata and HP multifunctional products.