Sharp’s direct organization sees big opportunities in dealerships with an established MNS operation.
File this under “Things independent dealers should know”: Sharp Business Systems is buying dealers.
In late February we heard that Sharp Business Systems acquired Preferred Business Solutions, in Kent, WA, a Canon and Ricoh dealer with strong document management and Managed IT offerings.
In early March we spoke with Anthony Sci, senior vice president, direct sales, Sharp Business Systems, the company’s direct operations, to learn more about this acquisition and the company’s acquisition strategy.
“We always look for strategic acquisitions,” stated Sci. “Of course, our primary goal is to not disrupt our best-in-class channel integrity while doing so. What I liked about [Preferred Business Solutions] was that it had a good MNS presence, and it will strengthen our MNS line along with adding competitive MIF. That’s what we’re looking to do, strengthen our relationship with a current branch and add an element like MNS, which is a strong component of our offering and something we’ve been very successful with.”
Sharp already has a small operation in the Kent market and a larger operation in Bellevue. The acquisition of Preferred Business Solutions solidifies the Kent operation, according to Sci.
Whenever possible Sci prefers to keep the team running the acquired dealership in place albeit now under the Sharp Business Systems logo.
“I like the entrepreneurial spirit of owners, and when they [become part of] a $150 billion corporation, the reality is that entrepreneurial spirit stays,” observed Sci.
Sci preferred not to offer specifics on when this acquisition closed or details about acquisitions prior to this, noting that Sharp doesn’t typically issue press releases about acquisitions. He did reveal that Sharp Business Systems has made an acquisition every month or every other month for a while now.
“In this competitive market environment we can’t sit and watch dealers get bought up by mega dealers or competitors without being somewhat assertive ourselves,” says Sci.
The reason for the low profile?
“It’s part of our strategy, it doesn’t need the fanfare,” stated Sci.
He expects to see more acquisitions of companies with a MNS or Managed IT component going forward.
“To me, IT is our future,” said Sci. “We were named a Continuum partner of the year. I know people have had a lot of heartache integrating IT into copier dealerships or manufacturers, but we have found it hasn’t been that difficult. It has been a real blessing for us with high margins and it solidifies our offerings to our customers.”
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