Below is an article written by Drew and shared on the GWBJ Insights page.
This November marks 35 years of Copiers Plus being in operation and serving clients with their office technology needs. It all started on November 3rd, 1985 in Fayetteville, North Carolina when Bob Smith decided to embark on a new journey in the industry he had been in for over 25 years. While many said he was crazy to start a business at the age of 50, he knew there was a need for good customer service and that his model of local support for customers could be effective.
During the first year, Jackie Smith, Bob’s wife joined to help with administrative duties. After a year in business, Copiers Plus began to grow, adding another generation of Smiths in the form of Tim Smith, Bob’s son, to join the sales team. Additionally, Bob’s daughter, Leslie Smith, came on board in 1988 to help with billing. As the family affair began to bloom, technology in the office equipment landscape evolved at a rapid pace. With the rise in sales and deliveries, Copiers Plus upgraded their old station wagon in for a delivery van in 1987.
The incremental but steady growth continued for the company as they began to take more and more of the office building they were in. In 1991 they added the middle office in the building and by 1995 had taken over the whole building. By early 2000, plans had been made to expand once again, with a brand new building. In order to satisfy a growing need for warehouse and office space from growing sales, the brand new 8,000 sqft building on the old Jaycee fairgrounds site near downtown Fayetteville was completed in December of 2000. The move provided the much needed resources to retain talent and house necessary supplies and equipment to better serve the needs of clients in a territory that was beginning to expand.
In 2001, the staff had increased to 15 people and in the next year the company made another big growth initiative by increasing their offerings into Raleigh. With a new office and the emerging color copier offering, Copiers Plus was readying to compete on a much larger scale. By evolving with new technology, the company was able to act as consultants for businesses by instructing them on what was coming next and how they could plan accordingly. This was definitely the case when copiers went digital. Being able to offer a solution to a customer that they could use to not only save money but also become more productive was a win-win. By marketing scanning and color printing, Copiers Plus was able to grow their workforce by 40 percent from their 2001 levels in 2006. This growth would continue that year with an additional office being instituted in the city of Wilmington.
In 2008, many businesses around the country fell victim to the recession, though Copiers Plus was able to continue their success by not only adding employees but adding an additional branch in Greensboro in March of 2008. By 2011, the company began looking into new initiatives that would be fixtures in the industry and what they found was Managed Print Services. This program emphasized the management and systemization of everything that prints within an organization, not just copiers. By helping customers eliminate costly ink-jet devices with toner based commercial options, Copiers Plus was able to bring cost savings to clients still recovering from the lean economic years.
In February of 2013, Copiers Plus became an organization with representation from the mountains to the coast, with their addition of an office in Asheville. The following year would bring about exciting changes as well, as I (Drew Smith), Bob’s grandson, joined the sales team and brought the company to three active generations. That same month, Taylor Fuqua came on board to spearhead the Managed Print Services division and help it reach the next level of outreach and innovation it enjoys today. With 2015 came two more family members joining the team, Roger Miller, the husband of Bob’s granddaughter Stephanie, and Bob’s son, David Smith. Roger joined the team in Fayetteville to help with sales while David came on board as Vice President of Administration.
With the emerging field of document solutions in the mid 2010’s, Copiers Plus began to take on another arena of offerings. By examining how their customers were handling their documents instead of just how they wanted to print, Copiers Plus was now able to increase productivity for clients and their workflows. This increased productivity allowed for higher security levels, alternatives to fax lines, and increased personalization and collaboration measures for employees through integration with the cloud. With the increased importance on the digital arena and simplified communication, Copiers Plus decided to rebrand with a new logo and website in 2017 with a rollout at a company kickoff in February 2018. With their new look and increased capabilities for their website, Copiers Plus once again was able to position themselves to fiercely compete in the office technology landscape.
To date, Copiers Plus has 51 full time employees and has been able to keep everyone fully employed throughout the pandemic currently plaguing the nation. The delivery fleet that once was just a station wagon is now up to four Sprinter vans and a box truck. The company has been awarded by Kyocera Document Solutions the Premier Dealer award 14 times and the ENX Magazine Elite Dealer award the past two years. In 2020, Business North Carolina Magazine recognized Copiers Plus as a Best Employer in NC. It has been an incredible storyline over the past 35 years for Copiers Plus, and the fun is just beginning as is the technology and hopefully, future generations.