John Eckstrom, President and OwnerEvaluating the printing solutions space is enormously complex, as manufacturers bring out new models and feature innovations on a quarterly basis. Comprehensive evaluation of functionality and operating costs across so many options simply isn’t possible without neglecting more urgent organizational priorities. “Most of the time, the CIOs don’t want to know where the printrs are and what they’re doing. They have bigger fish to fry,” says John Eckstrom, President and CEO, Carolina Business Equipment (CBE). While this is certainly true, the cumulative result is a tangle of inefficiency. Organizations gradually come to rely on dozens of different models, with unique supply requirements, maintenance costs, and suitability for their daily tasks. What seemed like a trivial element—putting printed material on a page—becomes a source of daily waste and frustration.
CBE’s managed print services standardize equipment, supply, and maintenance through intelligent workflow analysis and strategic manufacturer partnerships. “It’s our job,” Eckstrom says, “to understand what options are out there and how they fit into a customer’s particular marketplace.” CBE performs a full review of their client’s equipment, develops a streamlined and robust managed print solution to meet their needs, and provides maintenance, often at a fraction of existing costs.
Hawthorne Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy with five locations, cut their printing and copying costs by 2/3 by partnering with CBE. “Two representatives from CBE came in and assessed our entire fleet of copiers and printers,” says Kristie Cassidy, Hawthorne’s office manager. Hawthorne was using 20 different models of printers, each with its own supply requirements, and had maintenance contracts with three different companies. CBE standardized Hawthorne’s print fleet with modern equipment, simplified their supply chain, and extended full maintenance coverage. If anything goes wrong, CBE repairs or replaces the unit immediately. “All of this was done for essentially the same amount of money we were spending on our equipment supply cost and maintenance for a third of our fleet prior to their involvement,” adds Cassidy.
CBE’s operations extend far beyond Hawthorne’s usage case, however. As the business world evolved over the last 20 years, Eckstrom expanded CBE’s capabilities to match.
We dedicate ourselves to providing solutions for the way business is going to be conducted
Managed print solutions grew into document management, then network design and management, IT solutions, and cloud services. They were one of the first managed print providers to take data security seriously, offering certifications that used equipment had been completely purged of sensitive information. The two vertical markets that seem to be most concerned with absolute security are the financial and health care. While manufacturers have done a great job to incorporate hard disc security measures on MFP’s there are other areas where information can be compromised. W hen the different industries do figure out the right questions to ask concerning security, we will be The company that has been answering those questions for the past 10 years. Over the course of 6 months we put together a program that certifies to the owner that there will be no breach of confidential information and one day industries concerned with internal controls will make that an issue. For right now businesses, in certain verticals, seem fine with the hard disc erase but that will change and the requirements will become more stringent. When that time comes we will be the ones with a proven track record in it.
“We dedicate ourselves to providing solutions for the way business is going to be conducted. That takes getting on the edge and looking to see what’s around the corner out there,” Eckstrom says. This manifests as an ongoing commitment to internal business process optimization, talent development, and technological refinement. “There are a lot of providers out there who appear to be quite comfortable just to follow,” he adds. “We don’t happen to be one of them.”
Eckstrom’s dedication to continuing evolution and optimization helped fuel CBE’s expansion from a single-office copy shop to a national, award-winning presence in the industry. “That gives us something we feel we need to earn, every day,” he says. “Being on top means if we ever take our eye off the ball, we could lose that distinction. We’ve dedicated ourselves to making sure that doesn’t happen.”