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The Week in Imaging’s 2012 Elite Dealers

The Week in Imaging’s 2012 Elite Dealers

Location: Knoxville, TN

Year Founded: 1999

No. of Employees: 36

Approximate Yearly Revenues: $5-$10-million

This Year’s Significant Accomplishment: The evolution and development of a world-class, next-generation sales team.

Primary Hardware Vendors and Solutions & Services Offerings: Konica Minolta, Sharp, Muratec, Xerox, MPS, Commercial Print and Copy Retail Services

For all the years we’ve been presenting the Elite Dealer awards and all our travels to various manufacturer dealer meetings, it still amazes us that we are still discovering dealerships that haven’t been on our radar previously. Case in point is Image Matters a Knoxville, TN-based office technology dealership that also has a nice little commercial print and copy retail services business as well.

There are a few things that impress us about Image Matters, and we love their name by the way, but topping the list is the way Imagelink, their branded managed print services program, has grown at a rate of 648 percent per year during the past three years. In this day and age a dealer has got to be in the MPS game and with numbers like that this is a dealership that seems to be winning more than their fair share of business.

Customers choose Image Matters because they’re a young, energetic, tech savvy organization that still understands the strength in personal service and relationships. “We use the technology to help us, not to replace the local personal service that our clients have become accustomed to,” says JD Sullivan, one of the company’s owners.

Driving through Knoxville on any given day you’re bound to hear the company’s name on drive time radio, especially sports radio where Image Matters has become synonymous. “In Knoxville, TN, sports radio is above all else,” says Sullivan who has found this advertising a great way to build the Image Matters brand. Add to that 10 company tech vehicles with rolling billboards that keep the Image Matters name front and center as they travel through the community each and every day.

Despite the economy downturn the dealership’s biggest challenge has been managing the explosive growth of managed print, especially the expense of the technology to support it, the manpower and training to service it effectively, and the proper plan to motivate the entire Image Matters organization to sell Imagelink, every call, every time. Whatever Sullivan and co-owner Bob Lovelace are doing they’re doing well when one considers the aforementioned MPS growth within their customer base.

This year’s big wins include three 100+ unit Imagelink MPS accounts along with more than 1,000 new devices under Imagelink MPS agreements.

We also applaud Image Matters for the way they support their community. Donations raised for casual Friday are used to provide Christmas for entire families, who must spend the holiday in the hospital. And co-owner Lovelace is an active board member for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation while Sullivan is an active board member of The Compassion Coalition. In addition there’s a heavy focus throughout the dealership on community and school growth and support.

Since their founding in 1999, the dealership has maintained a keen eye on the future. “Our long- term keys to success are to focus on what we do best, and not be concerned by what competitors and market trends are focusing on,” notes Sullivan. “Image Matters is not a ‘me-too’ organization, we know how to do what we do well.  As opposed to emulating others, we will continue to target our greatest strengths and expand our offerings as our clients ask us to do so.”

We weren’t familiar with Image Matters before we received their Elite Dealer nomination, but now that we are, we are honored to acknowledge them as a 2012 Elite Dealer and will be keeping a close eye on them in the future.

Read the full article at This Week In Imaging.