A Passion for People, Service and Technology Keeps Les Olson Company Moving Onward and Upward inventing ourselves to stay competitive in today’s business landscape.
Les Olson Co.’s shareholders; the company is now in its third generation of family ownership
We have a philosophy that the world is going to change with or without you, so you might as well change with it and be one of the leaders. Recently, Doug Albregts and Mike Marusic from Sharp presented the concept of their new Smart Office technology. We can’t wait for the products and solutions that are going to come, because we want to take advantage of them. This love for technology comes from the top down at Les Olson Company.
INTELLOS security robots. We’re interested in seeing where they go with that technology. We continue to watch what all manufacturers are doing, even though we’re very loyal to Sharp. We’re excited about the Foxconn/Sharp relationship and we believe it’s going to add a lot of growth opportunities for us as an independent dealer. I serve on their dealer advisory council and it’s been a really good forum for us to have open dialog with the execs of Sharp.
What are some of your newer areas of business? Is it going the way you hoped? JAMES: With managed IT, we have been adapting to the landscape of the marketplace as things have changed in the IT space. We’re a company that is able to be nimble, and as we’re looking at that marketplace, we’ve made changes based on the feedback that we’re getting from the field. We’re finding out what the customer needs and we’re adapting to those needs to bring the best solution to compete. TROY: It took about two years to make a profit in managed IT. We’ve learned a lot in three years. We partnered with a company called Growth Achievement Partners, who did fantastic job consulting and helping us grow that business.
One of the measures your dealership relies upon is feedback from review sites. Can you provide insight into your growth of positive feedback, especially through Google? JAMES: In today’s marketplace, when choosing a vendor most of us like to see what others have to say. We look at what others feel about a particular company and how customers describe their experiences with that company. With our Google reviews, our branches are rated independently. Our customers speak volumes for what you can expect from Les Olson Company. TROY: These reviews on Google provide valuable insight into our business to our clients and to us. Our growth of positive feedback is thanks to great employees who faithfully serve our client base. Chris Weenig, our chief sales and marketing officer, is a visionary who is very progressive with our marketing & sales strategy. He is constantly looking over the horizon to ensure that we are re-
Is there a product or solution that you are looking to add in the near future? TROY: Currently, we’re looking at Sharp technologies such as their 28
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Your company has gained notoriety for its TV and radio advertising jingle, which has resonated with customers. Tell us about its development and strength as a point of differentiation. TROY: Larry, my father, felt that we needed a jingle because a lot of companies have memorable jingles. We have relationships with a lot of local TV and radio stations, and our CBS affiliate brought in a local recording artist. She learned a little bit about our history and wrote the jingle. When she sang it for the first time in front of the board, they looked at each other and said, ‘That’s it! No changes.’ They loved it. We’ve updated the jingle over the years to keep it current. Many people recognize us for our jingle. We’ve had jingle singing contests with clients where we’ve given prizes to the individuals who could sing it the best, word for word. One time at an event, a competitor came up to me and said we needed to get rid of the jingle. Apparently, he heard his daughter humming a song, and when he asked her what it was, she started to sing our jingle. He told her not to sing it. We had a good laugh about it. What do you look for in your employees? How do you recruit and retain good ones? JAMES: That first interaction you have with a candidate during the interview sets the tone. What their resume looks like matters, but we want to know about them as individuals. We’re hiring people to represent our company and they must have a customer service mindset. Whether they’re customerfacing or internal, they need good people skills. We recruit people in a number of ways—recruiters, local job listings, universities and community colleges. As far as retention, we have a profit sharing program. We match their 401Ks and provide a good, safe environment for people to work. We have people who’ve been employed here for more than 40 years, which is incredible. We support our people whenever they go through a
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