We reached another milestone in Marco’s history last week as we completed our most significant acquisition since our first one in 2005. Marco bought a company much like our own in terms of culture—East Coast leader Phillips Office Solutions. I have known Phillips’ leadership team for over 20 years and have always respected the way they conduct business.
This transaction made me reflect on how far we’ve come since our first acquisition in 2005 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Phillips is about the same size Marco was when we completed that first acquisition. At that time, we had 160 employees. Today, Marco has nearly 1,400 employees in 61 locations serving more than 35,000 customers nationally.
The Phillips family had a lot of options. It made me feel good about what we have built when Phillips’ leadership agreed that Marco was the best fit to carry forward their 78-year-legacy and serve their employees, clients and communities. They’re committed to all three, just like us.
What made this one different?
- It’s way bigger.
Acquisitions have been a strategic part of our growth for well over a decade. Some have been small with just a handful of employees while others have included multiple locations. None compare to Phillips Office Solutions with over 140 employees. It’s not just a little larger; it’s at least twice as large as any of our 41 other acquisitions.
- It establishes a new regional hub.
This acquisition not only marks our entry into the East Coast, but it also establishes a Marco hub there. On day one, we gained 10 locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland, including a presence in larger cities like Washington DC. These are highly populated areas in our country and position Marco for ongoing growth in larger markets. This acquisition is a catalyst for more expansion along the East Coast.
- It led to new leadership structure.
The size and scale of this acquisition led us to step back, review our organizational chart and establish new leadership structure to run a larger organization—with multiple regions. It has always been important to Marco to have an executive leadership presence in each of our major hubs. Our East Coast will be no different with Bill Shuey, former Phillips president, serving as Regional President. The establishment of “regional presidents” is new to Marco, but important to our ongoing growth.
- We’re going to grow organically, too.
Phillips has built a strong document management services business on the East Coast with 4,000 clients. This naturally provides opportunities for Marco to offer its complimentary Managed IT, Cloud and national Managed Print services. Together with Phillips’ strong sales competency, we’re positioned for significant organic growth. The result is that clients get value-added services and employees get new career opportunities.
- We’re learning, too.
What I like about this acquisition is that Phillips does a lot of things right. We actually are running the two companies independently at the moment to give us more time to understand their company and processes. They’re doing some things better than we are, and we don’t want to wreck a good thing. We look forward to learning from their operational efficiencies and becoming better together.
I talk a lot about “team fit” and few organizations fit us as well as Phillips Office Solutions. Phillips is known for its workplace culture, commitment to community and strong sales competency. We share many of the same core values, making the integration not only easier, but also more fun.
Welcome to the team, Phillips. We’re looking forward to what we can do together.