Our company was founded November 1, 1970 by Frank Stone, a Senior Service Technician for more than 10 years at Royal Typewriter Company, before starting his own company; you might say we’ve been a service company since the start. Securing some large accounts quickly boosted our company to become one of the largest independently owned typewriter service organizations in central Virginia. We’ve been locally owned and operated since the beginning.
In 1978, we began adding product lines to compliment our service. In looking for manufacturers to represent, we looked beyond the name and focused on different aspects including; innovation, ease of operation, and products with good service history. Our service staff continued to grow as we added products and we were factory trained by three manufacturers.
Facsimiles were added next to our product line. This relatively new "gadget" was sweeping the market and we knew this would compliment our current line of office automation. At the same time, we began cross training our technicians to service typewriters and faxes. This would serve two purposes; it allowed our employees to advance technologically and increased our service response time to our customers. By the mid-1980's, we had our name on nearly a thousand pieces of equipment.
But, times were changing and we had to make a monumental decision. Typewriters were our main product, but fewer were being sold and after much deliberation we added copiers to our product offering. This new endeavor felt like starting over again. Thanks to our customers, we were able to start placing copiers in almost all of our existing service accounts; this is a great tribute to our “>Service First” philosophy and the great service personnel at Stone's Office Equipment!
Someone great coined the phrase, “Change is the only constant” and it’s true. Since 1970, many of our competitors have exited the industry for various reasons. One of the largest decisions we faced during the 1990’s was whether to sell our business to one of the conglomerates looking to buy copier dealers. We chose to stay! Looking back, it was a very good decision for us because we’ve seen the aftermath these “buyouts” have on customers.
We’re not as big as some of our competitors, but we take great pride in offering personal service. Personal service means your call is answered by a person, not a recording; a person who knows your account and the type of equipment you have. Personal service means a trained service representative who not only knows your equipment but has the aptitude to fix it. Personal service means a trained sales associate who knows how to identify productivity losses and recommend a fix. This is all part of Stone’s Office Equipment’s employee training where we teach “Service First”.
Over the years we’ve been honored with awards from our manufacturers and industry experts. We’ve been named by Panasonic, IBM, Lexmark, Sharp and Office Dealer Magazine as an “Elite Dealer”. These are all very flattering and we appreciate the recognition, but at the end of the day they don’t mean a thing without our customers and our great employees!
CHANGE…”I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” - we can say we've seen change over the past years. We can also say we’ve not only seen change, but embraced it. I would like to say thank you for allowing us the challenge to increase your offices' productivity, in the past and the future.