Barry Vale, managing director of Leeds-based Ridings Reprographics Ltd, discusses the company’s successful growth over 32 years.
How was Ridings Reprographics Ltd established?
Ridings was set up in 1983 operating from its first premises on Woodsley Road off Burley Road. These were quickly outgrown and we moved to our current offices in 1986, a large converted chapel on Meanwood Road, initially selling the first range of affordable plain paper copiers from 3M.
The business has gone from strength to strength and currently employs a team of 17, the vast majority of whom have been with the business for between 15 to 32 years. All our technicians are fully manufacturer trained to ensure optimum performance for the equipment, and we have a diverse and growing customer base.
How has the company grown in 30 years?
The business has stuck to its core values throughout, which has been to remain truly independent, professional, ethical and family run. We have had and still enjoy virtually zero staff turnover, which I take to be an indication that we are doing something right!
We embraced the introduction of ‘digital office colour’ some 15 years ago which saw a growth in revenues, while at the same time investing in our IT offering, which has enabled the company to diversify and also provide servers, networks, some software, PCs, laptops and repairs alongside our core copy, print, scan and fax products.
We are a Ricoh Gold Certified Service Partner which was achieved through a year-long accreditation process with Ricoh, where spot checking of stocks (we use 100 per cent genuine Ricoh consumables and spares), service back office procedures and customer feedback were monitored before we were awarded our Gold status.
What makes Ridings a unique and successful business?
We stick to good old fashioned values, put the customer first, nothing is too much trouble, and being local and 100 per cent independent – we can always offer a flexible solution where required.
We do not have automated phone systems; we do have ‘people’ who actually listen to our clients’ needs. We do not have the management layers of the multinationals, so if you have a problem, it is dealt with immediately. I personally oversee all aspects of customer care to ensure every install leaves the client 100 per cent satisfied.
What has been your greatest challenge over the years?
The business was set up in the midst of the miner’s strike – not an easy time – but we have continued to grow through two recessions leaving the company as the longest established independent copier supplier in the Leeds area.
When most businesses were struggling through (or not) the recession which started in 2008, we diversified once again, and made a large investment in our workshops by equipping ourselves to provide fully refurbished products at a fraction of the cost of new. This has been key to our success because when companies needed the latest technology but did not always have the funds, we were able to provide the solution with the same guarantees and back up as we provide on brand new equipment.
At this difficult time, we also self funded finance for companies when the banks were either unwilling or unable to provide leasing, which again stood us apart from our competitors.
How important is Leeds as a commercial location for you?
We focus on Leeds and the surrounding area as it is such a strong economic region, but with engineers located around Yorkshire, we cover an area up to an hour’s drive from Leeds, but our reach is also extended through our partnership with Ricoh service. This partnership with Ricoh, the world’s largest office technology provider, means we are able to offer nationwide service to our clients, as we have call on up to 500 engineers nationally over and above our own service technicians.
What’s next for Ridings?
Having spent 32 years building a flawless reputation, our plan is to remain at the top of our game.
We continue to provide excellent equipment at great prices, purchase, lease or rental, all backed up by full service guarantees. Whether your requirement is for a small desk top refurbished copier or a larger office multifunctional, we will have a product at a price point to suit any budget.
For more information, call Barry Vale on 0113 262 0353, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Ridings.co.uk.
Ridings and Ricoh Partnership
Based in Leeds, Ridings Reprographics is one of the UK’s leading suppliers in office equipment. For over 30 years, Ridings have been supplying businesses across the country with innovative solutions in printing, scanning and communications, and have been a long term partner of Ricoh. As a worldwide trusted technology leader, Ricoh are extremely proud to have accredited Ridings Reprographics with the Ricoh Gold accreditation for customer service. This has been a result of their commitment to its employees, customers, and partners, and Ricoh look forward to seeing the much valued relationship with Ridings continue to flourish.