The Week in Imaging’s Elite Dealer Awards. This award honors the best and the brightest in the dealer community. The dealers being honored each week starting today and throughout the month of October aren’t necessarily the biggest dealers in the business although some are and many are doing well from a financial perspective. However, may are still enjoying growth, offer innovative marketing and sales programs, are deeply involved within their community, have a strong work culture, treat their employees well and have shown a willingness to do what it takes to remain relevant in an ever-changing market by adapting new technologies, services, and solutions. Indeed, it’s not any one thing that makes an Elite Dealer, it’s a combination. And now let’s meet the Elite Dealer Class of 2012.
Cell Business Equipment (CBE)
Year Founded: 1993
Number of Employees: 81
Approximate Yearly Revenues: $20+ million
Most significant accomplishment this year: Achieving double-digit machine population growth.
Primary Hardware & Solutions Vendors & Services: Sharp, Ricoh, Canon, Francotype-Postalia, Nuance, Prism Software, Digitech Systems, Lantronix, EFI, EM C2, Microsoft, Print Audit
Tarek Hafiz, president of CBE
Meet a dealership that is enjoying a serious growth spurt. It was only back in 2010 that they became a Canon dealer, today, Canon hardware makes up more than 50 percent of their total hardware sales. Meanwhile, software sales, including installation, implementation, training, and ongoing support revenue have continued to more than double each of the past three years. Good things come in threes and that’s illustrated by the way demand for non-OEM supplies for retail sales and CBE’s MPS program has more than tripled. They’re also enjoying growth in document management and cost recovery (10-15%) as well as security and cloud services, which has seen 50 percent growth year-over-year for the past three years.
We’re also big fans of CBE’s President, Tarek Hafiz, and the way he operates his business. Hafiz contends that people still buy from people they like and trust. “Much of CBE’s success is created by providing state-of-the-art products and services in an old fashioned way,” he says. “We still do cold calls, ask for and receive referrals. Our staff is stable and is very involved in the community.”
Hafiz also takes pride in the way that CBE has successfully cross-trained five generations of workers (Silent, Boomers, Gen X, Y and Z) to create a positive workflow of emerging technologies.
“We focus on camaraderie that extends through our employees to our clients and reaches out into the community,” he says. “The strength, longevity and success of CBE are in direct ratio to our staff’s commitment to our clients and community. We have found if you genuinely care about, and take care of your employees and clients they will take care of your business.”
As an authorized dealer for Sharp, Ricoh and Canon, CBE is fully certified in three major lines of products, which allows CBE to offer the right solution for each client. “This variety of unique offerings sets us apart from any other dealerships in the area,” explains Hafiz.
A long-term customer base of more than 3,500 businesses provides a strong foundation for growth from CBE’s newest offerings. “Having the ability to offer MPS, document management, SoS, security, recovery and cloud based services as well as hardware and mailing equipment allows for one stop shopping for our clients,” states Hafiz. “By offering a wide range of hardware and software we can quickly and economically put together an appropriate solution consisting of hardware, software, training and service to fulfill our client’s needs.”
Referrals are commonplace in the business world and that certainly has been helpful to CBE. CBE receives referrals from satisfied clients. “We had a former employee from our client, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, change employment; moving to the 5-star Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach,” recalls Hafiz. “When the time came for some needed software upgrades to the Montage’s imaging equipment, the former Ritz Carlton employee immediately contacted CBE. The software implementation, training and upkeep went well. A new working relationship was formed.”
The Montage management quickly realized the professionalism and value CBE provided to their back office needs. Within a year, the Montage completed a 40-machine deal with CBE. A satisfied customer referral, software implementation, 40 machine deal with full service and supplies; The Week in Imaging may call this a big win. CBE likes to consider it standard operating procedure.