Copiers and printers have changed dramatically in the years since they became fixtures in offices around the world, so it makes sense that a company that sell copiers and printers would change along with them.
Complete Document Solutions is one business that has evolved along with the industry. CDS still sells and leases copiers — everything from desktop devices to half-million-dollar digital presses — as it has done for 20 years. But the company has also branched out into managed services, offering clients the option to have their printers, or even their entire IT operations, managed by CDS staff.
Brent West, pictured at right, is the managing partner of the CDS office in Lawrence. He says his company is looking to provide clients with not only the hardware they need, but also the ability to use the hardware most effectively and efficiently.
Complete Document Solutions was founded in New York in 1996 as a sales agency selling exclusively Xerox equipment. It has since expanded to offer other brands as well as other services. West joined in 2003 as a sales representative and has worked his way up the corporate ladder. Today he and a partner, Joshua Martinez, run the Lawrence office and its staff of 16.
Being in the business so long has allowed them to see printers and copiers develop into the sophisticated multipurpose machines they are today. Today’s copiers are computers unto themselves, West said, communicating directly with other computers on a network to print, scan, duplicate, fax, email and more.
West said clients tend to be reactive when it comes to maintenance of their copiers and printers, waiting until something breaks or runs out to address it. In offering to manage services for customers, CDS looks to address potential issues before they ever come to pass.
They monitor error and alert messages and track distribution of workload among different print units, among other things. CDS staff can analyze a company’s copier and printer usage patterns to help that company save money on toner and other consumables.
Imagine, West said, a scenario in which a company has three offices and 30 printers. They know they spend a certain amount every year on toner, but don’t really know what their return on that investment was.
“We have the ability to help them optimize the fleet. We’re helping them gain visibility and control over something they don’t have that with right now,” West said. “Quarterly, we can provide data in a simple-to-understand report: you printed this many pages at this cost per page. When they have those numbers, they can manage those costs.”
As integrated as printers are in a modern computer network, it was never a stretch for CDS to offer to manage IT services for its small and midsized clients. They can handle help desk tasks, take care of routine system maintenance and provide long-term strategic guidance, so their clients’ staff can focus on their core responsibilities.
“A lot of our customers that we’ve been working with almost 20 years have come to trust us in a consultative capacity,” West said. “Extending our offer only made sense to us.”
Today’s printers have apps, like phones, to extend the services they offer. For example, with the appropriate app, Xerox printers can be used to translate documents immediately and securely. Users can scan documents, then go to their desks to await an email that will contain a translation. “People outsource services like those for $3,000,” West said. “The Xerox can pay for itself in a week through the translation app. These apps are changing the conversation when it comes to printers.”
West lives in Pennington with his wife, Emily, a senior vice president for public relations firm Ketchum. They have two sons.
West’s father, Don, was a lifelong Xerox corporate employee. Don and his wife, Lynn, live in Pennsylvania today, as do West’s older brothers, Todd and Scott.
Don West had retired, but son Brent has coaxed him back into the workforce to do some sales for CDS. West says that while a lot has changed in the years since his dad first retired, his dad quickly settled into his new role. “He’s amazed by what’s changed in 10 years, but he’s still able to understand it and go sell the advantages of it to customers out there,” West said. “That speaks to Xerox’s technology and the vision they have for being current and also flexible for the future.”
Complete Document Solutions, 9 Princess Road, Suite F, Lawrence. 877-237-0100. www.cdsxrx.com.