In a rapidly changing world of business ethics when cost is often the only ruling factor, the north of Scotland is one place where the concept of a locally established company with local investors will still find backing from the business community.
If that company is one which is also providing an excellent locally based after-sales service, as well as offering the most competitive of prices, then clients and customers have absolutely no reason to go outwith the Highlands and Moray for their products.
Recently established Highland Copiers is just such a company. Already, the business base in the north is noticing Highland Copiers’ reliability, its highly skilled work team, excellent delivery times and the friendly, knowledgeable management.
In just a few months, Highland Copiers has taken a leading role in providing print, fax, scan and copying solutions for the north of Scotland from its bases in Inverness and Elgin.
“One of our biggest selling points is that we are local,” explained Mike Rae, managing director at Highland Copiers. “We employ our own highly skilled and experienced on-site service engineers.”
Impressive starting figures coupled with a sleek and professional service experience means that although less than nine months old Highland Copiers is making its mark. It recently won the Develop by Konica Minolta, New Dealer of the Year award, given its phenomenal growth rate.
The company carried off the award against strong national competition, as Develop by Konica Minolta is one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the UK and Europe. Konica Minolta’s Develop, which is identical to Konica Minolta’s Bizhub range, produces printers and multi-function photocopiers to cover the needs of any busy office for mono or full-colour documents.
Highland Copiers’ phenomenal growth rate is due to the welcome that the company has received from Highland and Moray businesses and individuals, Mike stressed. And in turn, the company is passionate about the service it provides to those businesses.
Mike, who has built up his skills following 12 successful years in the industry and within the local area, has transferred all his expertise to Highland Copiers.
“There was a gap in the market following my previous employer’s acquisition by a national group. This meant there was no longer any locally- owned photocopier supplier with its own service team in the Highlands.
“That was always the strongest unique selling point I believed in and I didn’t want to lose this
- so we decided to create a new company with the values we were familiar with and so Highland Copiers was born.
“The business community in the north has been amazingly supportive of our new operation,” he said. “It seems they have been delighted with the ethics and values they are finding with us.
“It is imperative we continue our fast, high- service standards because this is how our company will be and continues to be measured.”
In Inverness, Highland Copiers plan to be moving into purpose-built premises within the existing site of AJG Parcels large operation, in Harbour Road, and plans are already drawn up for the new offices and showroom. Operating so closely with AJG Parcels ensures customers receive guaranteed free next-day delivery of all toner and consumables.
Part of the service team at the expanding Highland Copiers now includes the highly respected Iain Sutherland, who has in excess of 38 years’ experience within the industry in the north. Along with Mr Sutherland, Highland Copiers was delighted to have attracted IT and service engineer Chris Rae.
Mike has brought his own high values and excellent reputation in the industry to Highland Copiers. He believes that business people like to deal locally, to keep their business local to support the north’s economy.
He was delighted when AJG Parcels’ directors Adrian Gray and Fraser MacLean offered to become directors of the new Highland Copiers where they would offer their backing, support and business mentoring.
Providing the very best of service is important to everyone at Highland Copiers, not just the directors. Customers benefit from one account manager, who will be their contact throughout the whole process, from point of sale to training and after-care. Highland Copiers ensures agreements are transparent and easy to understand.
“Our prices are so competitive that it may be possible to reduce overall costs despite businesses already having a contract in place for these services,” Mike revealed.
“Even if people believe they are tied to existing agreements, we’d encourage them to get in touch to see if we can provide an alternative.”
Adaptability is another of Highland Copiers’ strengths.
“We can tailor our service to customers needs and provide bespoke packages,” Mike said. “We don’t tie our clients into minimum billing or block billing. We believe it is important that people are not locked into fixed-term service/warranty periods where they have to pay penalty clauses on their service if they decide to cancel.
“Unlike many national companies we have no hidden charges and with our service, people can walk away without penalty.
“We are very proud of our transparency, we believe at this moment in time we are unique in what we offer this area. We would strongly suggest anyone looking to procure a new photocopier should read the service contract small print terms and conditions from all quoting parties before signing up.”
One of the contracts Highland Copiers is most proud of is placing eight machines with a local government backed department.
“Being a locally owned company ourselves, we were extremely passionate about giving the best and most personal service in the area and we were delighted to go through the full detailed procurement process and win the contract on merit,” Mike added.
“Since we’ve been in business, we’ve proved that there is a market for us given our huge growth rate – one that we are absolutely delighted with.
“Our philosophy is to try to keep overheads low, allowing us to be competitive, but also allowing us to pass on cheaper prices whilst ensuring better service to our customers.”