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Leading Businesses in the US

September 18, 2017

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Leading Businesses in the US

Thermocopy is recognized as one of the premier quality companies in East Tennessee, with awards and recognition for its products, services, environmental initiatives, and community involvement. J. Mark DeNicola discusses the firm’s mission and what it does that makes it so successful..

Thermocopy’s focus is providing its clients with the infrastructure, whether hardware or software, to manage all the information flow in their business. Included in this focus is assessing the customer’s operational requirements, providing the infrastructure they need based on the assessment, assisting with the implementation and training required to fully utilize the solutions provided, and then providing outstanding service for the solutions.

This focus has evolved over the years due to evolving technology and has required strategy changes to continue to be a successful, profitable business. The company is in its sixth decade of life. The clients range anywhere in size and type from commercial businesses - to large health care operations concerned with HIPAA/PHI compliance - to ultra-secure government labs and nuclear weapons facilities. Mr DeNicola discusses how the firm approaches a new project and what steps the firm takes in ensuring its clients receive the best possible outcome, before detailing what steps the company plans to take to achieve its overall mission.

“A clear, concise statement of work (SOW) and its understanding by the client and our project team is the foundation for the best possible outcome for the client. Constant communication of the project’s progress, problems, and solutions during implementation is also very important.

“The company’s overall mission is to provide innovative, creative, and proven business solutions to our clients and to maintain mutually beneficial long-term business partnerships.

“We constantly measure our mission statement achievement by the use of many performance metrics and have the processes in place to help improve the metrics if needed. For instance, one measurement of whether or not we are maintaining mutually beneficial long-term business partnerships would be the use of the client satisfaction metric, Net Promoter Score. We review overall and individual client Net Promoter Scores in departmental and company meetings on a weekly and monthly basis, and we publish the overall Net Promoter Score on our website. Discussions continually occur on how we can make sure clients actively endorse us to their peers.”

In the technology industry, it is important for companies to mark themselves out as the best possible option for clients. Management do not strive to be the biggest technology company in East Tennessee, however, they want to be the best, fulfilling the dream of the founder, as Mr DeNicola notes below.

“Even before the term “Raving Fans” was coined and became part of the popular lexicon, we were creating raving fans. Randall Sumner, the founder of the company, did not set out to be the largest technology company in East Tennessee, but he always wanted to be the best. Our management team strives to carry on that legacy. We are committed to being the best company possible to serve our clients, employees, and community. Today there are more tools available to measure that “Raving Fans” component, including the Net Promoter Score, which for us is hovering at 96 year-to-date. I am proud of that and the efforts the Thermocopy team have put into making that score what it is. It is this legacy that makes us the best possible option for our clients.”

Mr DeNicola gives us a brief overview of the industry in the region currently, listing the specific challenges and outside influences that may affect the industry and the company. The firm have already identified the additional services that are required to adapt to upcoming developments, highlighting the forward-thinking nature of the firm.

“A significant percentage of our revenue is from the sales and service of office equipment. The multi-functional device will continue to be a requirement in the office setting for the foreseeable future. However, the prints/copies made on that device will dwindle as the “Baby Boomer” generation leaves the workforce. The Millennials, and to some extent the GenXer’s are accustomed to almost no paper use. Almost all their collaboration tools are digital, and the mere fact that they collaborate in the cloud precludes paper usage, as it is not up-to-the-second information. A large part of revenue and profits in our industry depend on the annuities provided by charging a cost per print/copy for documents produced on the multi-functional devices.

Thus, lower or no prints/copies translate into lower revenues/ profits from this segment of our business. While Thermocopy is not currently experiencing this downward trend, it is not a matter of if, but when, we will see a reduction in billable copies/ prints. We have already identified the additional products/services required to replace these revenue streams and profits, developed the business plans to take these products/services to market and are in the process of implementing the business plans.”

Following on from this, Mr. DeNicola predicts some of the developments within the industry as well as commenting on how the firm will adapts to these.

“We stay abreast of emerging developments in our industry by maintaining active membership in organizations like the CDA, whose membership includes 60 – 70 of the best independent companies in our industry and representing $1,000,000,000 of annual revenues. They provide industry trends via quarterly education meetings for member company C-Level executives. Also, our management team is charged with monitoring industry trends through their professional association memberships.

“Print volumes, equipment sales, and the resulting revenue annuities will decrease. There are several ways we are going to make up for these decreases. I will speak to three of them. The first, and the least profitable will be to take a larger piece of the pie for ourselves by increasing our equipment market share. We are doing this by hiring additional sales staff and investing in the marketing to help them make the sale. The second is to make the pie larger by selling more IT solutions and options into the current market. And the third is to develop new revenue streams (for Thermocopy) to sell into the market, such as managed IT services and taking advantage of the increasingly strict regulatory environment regarding IT security and the privacy of personal information.”

Integral to running a successful business is excellent customer service. Therefore, staff must be armed with the necessary information in order to provide the best service to clients. Mr. DeNicola discusses the internal culture within the firm and how this contributes to the success of the company.

“As stated before, we have always had a culture of creating raving fans. I believe that Thermocopy embodies the spirit of what an excellent company should be. Not only do we deliver excellent products/service, but we also make sure our company culture is one of excellence. Our mission statement/core values are instilled in our employees. The first item a new employee is introduced to is the Thermocopy Mission Statement. The Mission Statement includes the following commitments;

To Our Customers, We Commit:

• To provide an experienced, tenured team of professionals

• To nurture our business relationships

• To outperform all competition

To Our Employees, We Commit:

• To provide a professional work environment, offering team-based leadership and performance-based compensation

• To provide professional and personal development through continuing education • To provide a vision of growth and stability

To Our Community, We Commit:

• To invest money and workforce to achieve civic goals

• To be an environmentally responsible business partner

“We do our best to live up to each one of those commitments on a daily basis, and it just does not get any better than that.”

To ensure there is a good working environment, it is important to hire the right staff. Mr. DeNicola mentions the firm’s approach to hiring staff and discusses how management are able to attract the very best talent to the company.

“We typically recruit utilizing our centers of influence. We are looking for candidates that exhibit the behavioral energy to do the job. Our hiring process includes an initial screening interview, followed by a behavioral energy assessment which determines the candidates “can do” and last, a long interview (2–3 hours in length) in which the hiring manager determines the candidates “will do.” We retain good people by making sure they have the right attitude, skills, and knowledge to do the job and this provides the team member a good foundation with which to succeed in our organization.

Also, we make sure we live up to our mission statement commitments to our employees:

• To provide a professional work environment, offering team-based leadership and performance-based compensation

• To provide professional and personal development through continuing education

• To provide a vision of growth and stability.”

Looking ahead, Mr DeNicola discusses the future of the firm, listing future plans and projects for the firm.

“We are in the process of implementing a business plan that will increase our market share in the office equipment space from 18% to 23%. The business plan required a sales department reorganization with plans to increase the sales force by 25% and implementing ways to make sales more efficiently. Also, we will be building additional revenue streams with managed services and taking advantage of the increasingly strict regulatory environment regarding IT security and the privacy of personal information.”


Company: Thermocopy of Tennessee, Inc.

Name: J. Mark DeNicola

Email: [email protected]

Web Address: www.thermocopy.com

Address: 3505 Sutherland Avenue, Knoxville Tennessee 37919

Telephone: 865-524-1124

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