North Canton, Ohio - With a business deeply rooted in family, it would only seem natural to hand over the keys to a second generation, especially when they are actively involved in the day-to-day operations.
But Visual Edge Technology has a different plan for its latest acquisition—one of the largest business technology dealers in Maine, A-COPI Imaging Systems—keep everyone in place and brace for growth.
The present-day dealership was formed from a series of acquisitions itself: Apgar Imaging Systems, Kinney Office Systems, and Excel Office Systems.
Today, A-COPI is one of the largest providers of Toshiba, HP, KIP, and Lexmark office products in northern New England, with three locations across Maine inBangor, Gardiner, and Portland. In addition, they offer a full array of managed print and managed IT services.
As part of the deal, A-COPI will remain an independent operating company with advisory support from Visual Edge-owned Axion Business Technologies. A-COPI’s 26 employees, including the company’s president and chief executive officer, Robin Spencer, his two sons, the sales manager Ben Spencer, the administration and contracts manager, Evan Spencer, and the chief financial officer, Matthew Bennett, will all remain.
“Visual Edge likes buying family businesses, and we like to keep the family members in it; we encourage that,” says Robert Ferland, president of Axion Business Technologies. “Post close, family not only stays with the business, but they also have much larger growth opportunities for the future.”
With A-COPI founder, Robin Spencer, staying on, the company will continue to build its long relationship with Toshiba, with hopes of expanding existing hardware and software service offerings.
“We are very excited about this acquisition. A-COPI has excellent customer service and response times. They have an extremely loyal customer base and significant presence within the educational, municipal, and commercial markets. It’s a perfect addition to our aggressive growth strategy in Northern New England,” added Ferland.
This week, Visual Edge also welcomes two Michigan-based dealerships —A.B. Dick Document Solutions of West Michigan, located in Grand Rapids, and H.C. Berger Company, in Lansing —to the family as Visual Edge’s 26th office equipment acquisition.
“We’re as close to your traditional ‘old school’ dealerships as they come, with long-time customers and loyal employees. It was very important for me to join a company who shares the values I have as an owner and will uphold the commitment I have made to my customers and employees,” says Charlie Hiotas.
“Visual Edge has a terrific reputation for letting businesses run the way they have always been run,” added Hiotas, who will continue leadership of both companies as president. “A.B. Dick is a small, twenty-five-year-old company, and H.C. Berger has been around forever. I have employees who have been with me for all of it.”
With Hiotas at the helm, both A.B. Dick and H.C. Berger will continue to operate at their current locations with their current names. Both dealerships will serve to expand Visual Edge’s existing presence in Michigan, with Brady’s Business Systems of Grand Blanc, acquired earlier this year, and Premier Business Products of Troy, acquired in October 2016.