The Cannata Report visits a successful long-time subscriber.
Above: Fraser Advanced Information Systems’ support staff are remotely connected to customers and Fraser service personnel.
I rarely have an opportunity to visit a dealer I called on when I was a DSM for Saxon Industries in 1973, but I was able to do just that on Thursday, September 22, when CJ, Carol, and I were invited to the Fraser Advanced Information Systems customer appreciation dinner in Boland, Pennsylvania. The venue was the Fish Pond, a hunt and gun club where Bill Fraser, the dealership’s president, is a member. Before dinner, we visited Bill and his team at the dealership’s headquarters in West Reading, Pennsylvania. Bill wanted to give us a tour of his newly renovated dealership, and it was quite a treat.
The redesigned office space at Fraser headquarters.
Fraser Advanced Information Systems is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To know a dealer like Bill for such a long time is something special. Before partnering with his current hardware suppliers, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America and Canon U.S.A, we watched Bill’s business go through many phases and iterations. These two manufacturers have helped him shape his business, and Bill’s dealership has served them well. “We have the best manufacturer for a dealer in Sharp and a strong production print line from Canon,” said Bill. “For us, it is the perfect marriage.”
We also met with Melissa Confalone, vice president of sales, who has been with Fraser Advanced Information Systems for nearly 27 years; Juleen Bixler, senior director of operations, who has been with the dealership for 12 years; and Josh Kennet, vice president of finance, who joined the dealership less than a year ago.
Confalone said she works for one of the best, referring to Bill. The wonderful thing about this relationship is that Bill appreciates how much his employees and executive team have contributed to his company’s success.
How’s Fraser Advanced Information Systems doing? Just look at its Net Promoter Score.
Fraser’s growth has been aided by acquisitions that have strengthened and broadened its presence in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The headquarters is 63 miles from Philadelphia and 60 miles from the state capital of Harrisburg.
Fraser’s redesigned demo room.
With five decades of experience and commitment, this dealership is on track to reach its growth objectives if it continues its current acquisition plan. Like many dealerships, much of Fraser’s plans depend on the local economy where the business is located. Many dealers have faced huge challenges during the past few years, and Fraser is no exception. Yet, Bill and his team did not allow the pandemic to disrupt their plans for renovating the company’s headquarters building which, as you can see in the photos accompanying this article, is quite impressive.
Bill has always shown his appreciation for The Cannata Report and is a charter subscriber. For those who follow Fridays with Frank, Bill loves to send us questions, and we recently devoted several episodes to Bill’s questions.
After the dealership tour, we left for the customer appreciation dinner for a lobster feast sponsored by Sharp. Many of Sharp’s executives attended the celebration, including Jeff Ashida, president & CEO of Sharp Electronics Corporation; Steve Oda, senior vice president, Sharp Electronics Corporation; Mike Marusic, president and CEO of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA); John Sheehan, senior vice president of B2B Channel Sales, SIICA; and Bob Madaio, vice president of marketing, SIICA. They came to show appreciation for Bill, his team, and Fraser Advanced Information Systems’ customers.
Over the decades, one of the many things we have learned from dealers is that they appreciate vendor visits and when these vendors show their appreciation. When a vendor’s executives attend events like this, it shows the dealership’s employees that they are a valuable part of the distribution channel. That has a motivating effect on the entire dealership,
Thanks to dealers like Bill, we have grown our own business sustainably, and we are grateful for their support and friendship. Most importantly, we are grateful for what we have learned from them.
Visiting Bill and his team was a potent reminder of how much we love this business. I am thrilled that we hitched our wagon to the copier dealer channel all those years ago. It has been an amazing ride, with much credit for our success because of dealers like Bill Fraser.