Executive Corner With Rick Bastinelli

The Imaging Channel sat down with Rick Bastinelli, President, Centric Business Systems. Read on for his thoughts on the industry and where it's headed.

Excitement over the success of Centric, and I would also say optimism regarding the direction of our industry.

What is the greatest challenge you face today?
The greatest challenge I face managing Centric is managing the growth of the organization without changing the culture of the organization. We’ve expanded quite a bit, and we’ve been really focused on size and scale, but staying close to the customer and staying close to the employees is something we always find to be a challenge.  

What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
For Centric, the biggest opportunity is for us to make some synergistic acquisitions in the market to supplement our growth strategy.

What qualities do you look for when making key hires?
Hiring is a critical component to establishing a successful company culture, so we look for employees who care about what they’re doing, who are focused on doing the right thing day in and day out, and who are also doing the right thing to the best of their ability.

What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Personally, my greatest achievement is raising three terrific kids who are all very successful in their careers. Professionally, I would have to say building Centric over the past 22 years from a virtual startup situation was my greatest achievement.   

If your customers were to describe your company in three words, what would they be?
Professional, reliable and trustworthy.

Print management, document management or managed services?
All three. They are all important, and they all integrate into a comprehensive suite you can offer to clients.
 
Where are you investing the most within your company this year?
Our investments are going toward technology so that we are able to do more with less and provide better service to our customers. I would say that our second biggest investment is toward staffing and continuing to add new people to the organization.

What is your greatest concern for this industry?
My greatest concern for the industry is margin erosion. I think it’s important that we don’t become as dumb as our dumbest competitor and continue to drive down pricing in our industry.  

Why do you hold your current business position today?
I am doing exactly what I want to do, and I’m doing it where I want to do it. Success in our industry provides a lot of options, but I am passionate about building a bigger and better Centric.

Do trends exist in this industry?
I don’t think trends exist in our industry. I think our industry is subject to a lot of change and transformation, so I believe that we evolve in our industry versus react to trends.

Who is your next hire?
We built a terrific customer call center that is staffed with customer service representatives and help desk technicians. Our next hire will be adding an additional help desk technician to our call center.

How would your employees and co-workers describe you?
In my opinion, I think they would describe me as being very demanding but fair. I would hope they would describe me as very demanding and fair. They’ve been here a long time, so I think whatever is happening is working pretty well.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Probably one – that I’ve used already in this interview – is terrific. Another one would be awesome, and probably another one that is quite overused is unbelievable.

Who are your favorite writers?
My favorite writers from a professional perspective are people who have taught me a lot, and names that come to mind are Jim Collins and Stephen Covey. On a personal basis, when I’m not trying to develop business strategies, I’m a big fan of John Grisham and John Feinstein. They are two of my favorite authors.

What is your favorite quote?
 “Best companies create a vision, articulate that vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welsh

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of The Imaging Channel.

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