Quality DOS Dealership owners share ‘new-building’ experience by: Brent Hoskins, Office Technology Magazine
hey met in 1989 when Joe McMonagle was serving as a district manager for Monroe Systems for Business, the company he had worked for since 1970. Gordon Stapleton was later hired by the company and went to work for McMonagle. That was the start of a 29-year friendship that later solidified the convergence of their career paths. In 1992, McMonagle left Monroe when he was hired by a dealership to develop and manage its Lancaster, Pennsylvania, location — Quality Copy Products of Lancaster — with the agreement that after five years he would have the option to acquire the location. Not long after his arrival at Quality, McMonagle asked Stapleton to come work for him. Stapleton says he replied: “‘Well, I don’t want to come work for you, but I will come to work with you. Let’s buy this company.’” McMonagle looks back with fondness to the beginning of their partnership, which led to their acquisition in 1998 of what is today Quality Digital Office Solutions (Quality DOS). “Gordon and I have the same mindset of ‘the customer comes first,’” he says. “We grew the company one customer at a time, making sure each was happy. We still have some of the same customers from 1992.” While the dealership’s first location was leased, in 2007, McMonagle and Stapleton purchased a building that became the second home for their dealership until 2015, when they were met with an unexpected, but welcome, opportunity. They shared their building with a tenant that was interested in occupying the entire building. “I said, ‘We need a 10-year lease and that is non-negotiable’; the tenant didn’t bat an eye,” Stapleton says. “Long story short, we moved our operations to a separate facility that we leased and immediately started looking for a building to renovate, or land on which to build.” Building a new home for the dealership emerged as the option of choice. Stapleton had toured the newly constructed building of fellow dealer Ray Derstine, president of Altek Business Systems in Telford, Pennsylvania. “I realized very quickly how important the layout and presentation of a building could be for the future,” he says. “That drove my decision to push Joe. I said, ‘Let’s build a new building; maybe not as big as Ray’s, but very similar, because I think that would help us in the future to expand our business and attract new talent.’” Soon after, they purchased land in nearby Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, and the process was underway. In June of this year, Quality moved into its newly constructed home. “Ours is almost an exact duplicate of Ray’s building, only smaller,”
Above: Though finishing touches were still incomplete at the time, such as landscaping and the installation of outdoor signage displaying the company name, the 20 employees of Quality Digital Office Solutions moved into the new building, located in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, in June of this year. Right: Vice President and CFO Gordon Stapleton (left) and President Joe McMonagle during the groundbreaking in September 2017. Stapleton says. “A couple of changes were made here and there, but we matched the overall look of the building and, for example, Ray’s idea of having the control room [where, at Quality, screens display the locations of all service technicians and the monitoring of devices via KYOCERA Fleet Services] visible from the demo room. We even used the same builder.” Looking back at the process, Stapleton shares details of the experience that may be insightful to others considering the construction of a new building. For example, he says, expect that the permit approval process will likely be costly and take longer than the construction itself. “We broke ground at the end of September and moved in the beginning of June; the construction didn’t take long,” Stapleton says. “It’s the other stuff you have to go through that, for us, was ridiculous. We ended up spending months and close to a six-figure number just getting approvals before we ever put a shovel in the ground. We were surprised by the multiple approvals necessary from our township, borough and county, each charging us various fees.”
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This is the September 2018 issue of Office Technology, the monthly magazine of the Business Technology Association.