Meet the Margolis staff: Richard Shaw, Sales Director & Joint Owner

Richard Shaw, Margolis Sales Director and Joint Owner


In this, the second of a series of regular articles where we introduce you to some of the key Margolis staff members, we meet Richard Shaw, Sales Director and joint owner.  We ask him what his role involves and he talks about plans for the company.

When and why did you set up Margolis?

I had worked for Margolis since 1994. My career started as a trainee new business salesman; I was the annoying guy who would knock on company doors all day begging for compliment slips with names of decision makers!  I worked my way up to management and then in 2008 I jumped at the opportunity to take part in a management buyout with my business partner Colin Lashmar. To have started as a trainee and now be company owner is an amazing opportunity, and I’m grateful for the chance.

What is your role in the company?

As Sales Director my role is to ensure that our two separate divisions, hardware and software, are working in harmony with each other to bring a unique offering to our customers. I work very closely with the managers of these two divisions to help them build and develop their separate propositions, along with developing careers for budding, enthusiastic sales guys!

I also have some very long term customers that I have looked after over the years and I am still very active in face-to-face selling and ensuring that all our customers are getting maximum benefit from their copy/print and document management solutions.

What did you do before Margolis?

I decided that I wanted a career in sales quite early on in life and after spending several years living and traveling in Midwest America I returned to the UK to establish what it was that I wanted to sell. Photocopiers – as they were back then – weren’t my first choice, I must admit! However the energy and dynamism that Margolis had was a perfect fit for me, and it’s that culture that I continue to nurture.

Describe a typical day.

I’m not sure if any of my days are typical! However, Mondays are the most ‘normal’!  For me, this is the most important day. I will start the day by meeting with Paul and Jamie who run the hardware and software divisions. We run through our prospects, review the previous week and plan the week ahead. We are expanding our sales and marketing teams at the moment so these meetings are important. We all need to keep one eye on the personnel and expansion programme, whilst also ensuring that business on a daily basis is still being done. So careful planning is required here and we rely on each other heavily as a team.

I then report my numbers to Colin who is my partner and Finance Director. We discuss future marketing campaigns and general business items. I will spend the rest of my day contacting customers and helping the sales guys where I can.

How is the company organised?

As I mentioned, we have two sales divisions: hardware and software. The hardware division focuses on the production of hard copies through a range of multi-functional devices and single function printers; and the software division focuses on the distribution and storage of soft copies. They are two very distinct divisions that complement each other.

A separate marketing team backs up the sales divisions with lead generation, and we also hire the services of an external marketing consultant who provides strategic input as well as hands-on delivery of aspects such as copywriting, PR, social media marketing and website management to ensure that our unique products and services are being shared with customers who we feel could really benefit from them.

Our service division comprises field-based technicians who are controlled and organised by our service control team at head office. The customer care team works hand in hand with service to ensure that all our customers are getting the maximum benefit from the Margolis proposition. The accounts team, headed by my partner Colin Lashmar, keeps service and finance running in harmony and ensures that all our technicians are accredited to the highest possible standard.

Where is the office equipment and document management market heading in 2012?

In the 18 years that I have been in the copy/print business I can honestly say that there has never been a more challenging or interesting time to be in this market sector. We have found that our customers are focusing more and more on reducing print costs. And quite right too. It’s becoming a well-known fact that organisations can spend as much as 5% of their annual turnover on copy and print and they have no idea just how much that equates to in real money terms.

If anything, the last few years have given us a chance to help companies gain understanding and ultimately control of where their print is going and how much it costs them. Once we have that information, we can work with organisations to reduce their costs and increase productivity.

Margolis is one of a very small handful of solutions providers in the UK that has embraced 2012 and beyond with a great proposition. We are very firmly a managed print and managed document service provider that assists organisations in saving thousands of pounds a year by embracing user-friendly, environmentally-responsible products and services through grass route analysis.

What future plans do you have for Margolis?

We continue to grow our business through the implementation of cutting-edge technology. Our reputation for being one of the finest solutions providers in the UK will continue to enhance and grow as we deliver our message to more and more organisations.

I am proud to be affiliated with partners like Canon and I will work hard to continue to develop our 25 year relationship, but I’m also looking to build relationships with new developers who can integrate their technology with ours so that we can further improve our proposition to our customers.

I believe passionately in developing young people. The economic downturn has affected them terribly and I would like to assist young people to develop careers for themselves. I was given a break at Margolis in 1994 and never looked back. I’m now in a position where I can return the favour!

What do you love about running Margolis?

It sounds crass but this is a unique time to be in business. It’s not easy, but these demanding times are the reason why we are so cutting edge. It makes you really think about what the customer truly needs and how to deliver it.

I love the fact that I can tell any of my customers and prospects that we aren’t cheap. If they want cheap, there are plenty of companies and dealers to choose from. If, on the other hand, they want value for money and a support package that will enhance their business, then Margolis is the company to be talking to.