You will often hear about the importance of being a trusted advisor to customers instead of just another copier salesperson. But it is one thing to talk about it, and another to see it in action during one of the most critical times in history. By building trust and aligning themselves with a manufacturer that has the goods, Digital Office Systems (DOS) was able to save the day for American Chemical Systems (ACS).
ACS manufactures cleaning supplies like detergents, soaps, sanitizers, and disinfectants. When we are not in the middle of a pandemic, these are important products that we all rely on. During a pandemic, they’re absolutely vital. ACS manufactures, fills, and labels all their bottles on site before sending them out to customers across eight states in the Midwest, so when their label printer broke down, it wasn’t just important to the folks at ACS to find a solution — it was vital to all ACS’s customers that they get back full speed and shipping product. Luckily, they had a trusted business advisor in DOS Senior Accounts Manager Bryan Staats.
The existing label printer at ACS, from another manufacturer, had started giving them quality problems after only four years of use. ACS owned the machine, and this was the only label printer they had. With the quality concerns, a replacement solution was needed, and ACS turned to DOS and Bryan Staas for a recommendation.
Staats worked closely with Muratec and Konica Minolta to find a replacement that would satisfy ACS’s speed and volume requirements, with label construction that was validated to the ACS label use. However, ACS was not quite ready to pull the trigger. That’s sales. But that’s also not the end of the story.
Fast forward to April, when disaster struck. Just as the COVID-19 crisis was kicking into full gear, ACS’s old label printer suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure. The manufacturer of that printer could only perform a repair at their location, meaning ACS would need to pack up their only printer and ship it back to the manufacturer to be repaired. “That is a core piece of their business, they couldn’t afford to take this printer offline,” said Staats. “They were dead in the water.” But this is where being a trusted advisor comes in handy.
Staats, you see, had stayed in touch with the team at ACS, and based on that and their previous experience with him, ACS contacted Staats right away when their need for a new label printer turned from “maybe” to “necessity.”
“They trusted us, and that trust convinced them that the solution we were recommending was going to work,” said Staats. He sprung into action, getting on the phone to locate the original device he had proposed. While there was concern that the prospect of ordering, shipping, and installing a label printer in the middle of a pandemic would be logistical nightmare, Staats let ACS know that an order by noon Thursday could ship Friday, arrive Monday, and be installed at ACS by Tuesday — meaning the new solution would be in place in less than a week. ACS placed the order, and the unit was delivered by Monday morning.
The delivery wasn’t the end of the story, though. DOS technicians had a short time to get up to speed on the new machine, but they got the job done with a little help from Konica Minolta and Muratec. “At first, we thought we were going to do a 100% virtual installation,” said David Clearman of Muratec. But thanks to a KM technician nearby, they were able to get someone with a more intimate understanding in front of the machine, get the ACS team up to speed in a short time and get the production back on track – getting some very critical product shipped when it mattered the most.
If ACS didn’t view DOS as a trusted business advisor, would they have called Staats in the first place? Or what if DOS didn’t have a technology partner like Konica Minolta/Muratec — would DOS have been able to provide ACS with a solution that they’d trust? By building on his trusted advisor relationship with ACS even when he didn’t make the initial sale, Staats proved that DOS wasn’t just another organization trying to sell them something. He showed that they’re an organization invested in their customers’ businesses because their customers’ success is their own success.
At a time when trust and collaboration is more important than ever, the folks at DOS, Konica Minolta and Muratec were able to pull off a COVID installation miracle.