(Above: Mark Hart, ACDI, Chelsey Bode, Pearson-Kelly Technology, and Kim Louden and Tawnya Stone, GreatAmerica Financial Services at Battle Axes.)
ACDI held its third Solutions Summit in Lexington, Kentucky, October 22-24 and for the first time, welcomed partners not only from throughout the United States but Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Themed “Lucky in Kentucky,” the attendance topped out at 125, nearly double that of the company’s previous summit.
Above: Dealers took part in Lightning Round sessions to share best practices and insights.
Day one of the event included presentations, demonstrations, and networking opportunities. Lightning discussions (think speed networking with a large group of accomplished and successful players) allowed dealers to interact in small groups to share best practices and intelligence on issues they’re facing in the marketplace. The agenda also included a dealer panel discussion with several members of ACDI’s dealer advisory board. The first day was topped off by an excursion to Lexington’s Distillery District for a night of ax-throwing, great food, and music. Day 2 was all about the things that make Kentucky great: bourbon and horses, with tours of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and Keeneland, the internationally renowned racecourse and the thoroughbred auction house.
Jeff McWilliams, director of sales, kicked off day one, sharing statistics about ACDI’s record growth. He was followed by Mark Hart, director of business development, national accounts, who elaborated on the Solutions Summit’s origins and how it has grown exponentially, from an initial 12 dealers to more than 40 this year, including Centric Business Solutions, Frasier Advanced Information Systems, Gordon Flesch Co., ImageNet Consulting, Novatech, SumnerOne, and UBEO, to name just a few. Hart also gave an overview of the sponsor partners in attendance and provided interesting intel on ACDI’s involvement with each of them, including how an email stating to “never do business with ACDI” from Konica Minolta to its dealers provoked what is now a thriving partnership. Hart’s most interesting comment about a participating partner vendor referenced Bluemega and its KPAX fleet management product. He compared its association with the French company to when ACDI first started with PaperCut. Other partner vendors participating in the showcase included Elatec, RFIDeas, GreatAmerica Financial Services, Lexmark, PaperCut, and SafeTrust.
Above: Matt Bennett, ACDI, and Phil Boatman, Lexmark, take a break during the vendor sponsor showcase.
Matt Bennett, executive vice president, put into perspective the power that the group of dealers in attendance has in the channel. He provided a rundown of eye-opening stats, but most impressive was the $48 million worth of software and solutions quotes the dealers in attendance were responsible for as well as the nearly 15,000 year-to-date embedded licenses.
Above: Joe Contreras of EPSON takes the stage on day one of the Solutions Summit.
Several sponsors made center stage presentations at the event to discuss new initiatives and offerings, including Phil Boatman, director of business development alliances, Lexmark; Joe Contreras, CMS, VP, marketing, and Scott Marsic, senior product manager, Epson; Tawnya Stone, VP, enterprise strategic technology, GreatAmerica Financial Services; and Bruce Goldstein, BIS Solutions program manager, Konica Minolta. Synonymous with ACDI is PaperCut, and Dave Farrell, Americas regional director, provided insight into what is in the pipeline for 2020, including the introduction of a managed print cloud solution.
ACDI’s dealer panel was the centerpiece of day one. Participants included Chelsey Bode, Pearson-Kelly Technology; Eric Knight, Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office; John Lopez, Milner; Dan Rickert, EO Johnson; and Damon Webb, Pacific Office Automation. Hart challenged the panel with a wide array of questions submitted by the attendees that touched on such topics as managed IT services, vertical market offerings, print and fleet management, the involvement of subject matter experts in the sales process, and billing models.
Above: In his remarks, Josh Lane challenged everyone in the room to work together to create “sustainability for all” in the industry.
Josh Lane, president, ACDI, was candid in his remarks, stating that key to ACDI’s success is making sure there is sustainability in everything the company does and sharing that the company’s goal is to have its dealers see ACDI first and foremost as an innovator. He referenced new areas of focus for the company, including secure print solutions, and identification and authentication access solutions, as well as cybersecurity offerings to underscore ACDI’s dedication to creating an “undeniable utility” for their customers. Lane challenged dealers to “think about where we are today and where we want to be, and work together as one to lift the industry and create sustainability for all.”
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