We were most impressed by the culture inside this high flying dealership.
In our most recent dealer tour, we traveled to Applied Imaging in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Novatech in Nashville, Tennessee. To do justice with the amount of information they have provided we decided to write a brief piece for www.thecannatareport.com that highlights our visits and then follow that up with in-depth pieces for each visit in our October and November print editions.
The tour begins
We begin with our trip to Applied Imaging. We met with President John Lowery and his two sons Casey, director of sales, and Kyle, director, production print. We have something in common in that both John and I are going through a transition in leadership of our respective companies. It seems as if CJ our new CEO and Casey Lowery scheduled to become COO of Applied Imaging in 2020 are building the same kind of relationship I have enjoyed with John.
The strength of this organization is its unique culture. This culture represents the essence of John Lowery’s beliefs on how to build, operate, and sustain a successful dealer operation.
Lowery began his journey in 1976 when he was employed by Hovinga and sold Canon product. He moved to a multiline dealership that sold Ricoh in 1984. On April 1, 1987, Lowery made the leap and bought out the dealership.
“We were totally underfunded, could not make payroll, and I realized we had to focus on growing the business,” recalled Lowery.
In 1997 the company reached $10 million in revenue and the vision became opening multiple offices that would eventually lead to a dealership with $100 million in revenues. Acquisitions were an integral part of the plan and provided a great deal of energy and increased enthusiasm for the company.
12 Elements of Success
Lowery created a periodic table which comprised 12 elements of success. This periodic table is prominently displayed in the corporate headquarters and each one of the elements represents what we would define as building blocks, but also reflect the company’s culture. It starts with building team unity, family, knowledge, creativity, dream, success by selection, hit the number, humility, fun, service, integrity, and community.
“These elements turn work into play, dreams into action, and coworkers into family,” maintained Lowery.
That is at the core of Applied Imaging. We witnessed it first-hand as we sat in on their monthly meeting which was one the most radically different and stimulating company gatherings we have ever attended.
During the meeting letters from customers were read extoling the virtues of a technician who was servicing their equipment. After reading the letter the tech had a chance to spin a wheel that had several different prizes. The prizes included gift cards and a unique gift that said, “Big Applause.” Sure enough, the wheel stopped on that sign and the entire audience stood up and applauded as loudly as they could along with chants of encouragement to keep it up.
The company has exceeded its goal of $100 million and clearly are looking to grow to $200 million and above. In our follow up in our October print issue we will detail Applied Imaging’s many accomplishments and the unique way the leadership of this company has fostered a harmonious team spirit.
Access Related Content