MPS — Firmin’s Best Decision Yet!
Firmin’s Office City is proof that being an old, well-established business doesn’t mean you’re not future-focused and tech-driven. Firmin’s is registered as a Historical Business and has received the Texas Treasure Business Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of Texas businesses that have provided employment opportunities and support to the state’s economy for at least 50 years. It is the oldest office products dealer in East Texas, founded in 1918 by Harry Firmin and his three sons, Treher, Jack and Charles.
In the 1940s, Charles returned from World War II and began working for Firmin’s in Texarkana, Jack opened a Firmin’s store in Mt. Pleasant and Treher opened his own company in Waco. Charles Firmin, Jr. began working for his dad in the 1950s and took over the company in the early ’70s.
In 1997, Charles “Chuck” Firmin, III became president of Firmin’s Office City, which currently operates out of Texarkana, Longview and Terrell locations, servicing East Texas, Southwest Arkansas, Southeast Oklahoma and Northwest Louisiana.
In the early 2000s, Chuck added the Office Machine Division and Firmin’s became the local Authorized Dealer for Kyocera and Konica Minolta. Three years later, he started their Managed Print Services (MPS) program and says this has been the best decision of his career so far.
The MPS team conducts an analysis of a customer’s fleet of copiers and printers and presents a thorough report of usage, equipment and cost per page. The goal is to help the customer control the equipment and manage it to an affordable cost of under two cents per printed page. For that two cents per page, Firmin’s covers parts, labor, travel time, toner and drum–everything but the paper.
“The exciting part for us is we have taken a lot of HP printers and put them under service. We are using Elite Image toners and generic drums/PM kits, and since doing this, we have been averaging 64% GP on HP printers. That is exciting to us,” explains Chuck, “and the program has also helped create machine sales!”
In these days of commoditized products and the apparent race to rock-bottom pricing, Chuck has created a niche in which Firmin’s can thrive by offering real value and cost savings to its customers.