Altek Business Systems Inc., based in Telford, Bucks County, is more than photocopiers and fax machines.
From managed print services to streamlining business processes, business hardware equipment, print accounting services and digital document management, Altek offers an array of technology solutions aimed at helping small and midsize businesses do business better.
Helping businesses do better is central to the company’s mission and philosophy.
“We specialize in helping businesses through office technology to be more efficient, productive and, as a result, more profitable,” said Ray Derstine, Altek founder and president.
In June 2013, Altek moved into a custom-built, 18,300-square foot facility on Emlen Way in Telford on 2.5 acres, which corrals the firm’s efforts under one roof. According to Derstine, one building makes it easier to manage accounts and provide customer service.
Altek, which now has 31 employees, was founded in 1991 as a copier and fax machine sales and service company.
“In our previous location, we were spread out across two different buildings, but now being under one roof we have a lot more advantages,” Derstine said.
According to Derstine, the Telford location is strategic to service major business sectors in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties and beyond, thanks to digital access and the technological marketplace.
Derstine said core strength areas are the backbone of his company’s offerings.
One of those core initiatives is to offer managed retrieval solutions, for small and midsize businesses, for electronic and digital file management.
Business applications are a booming market, with the advent of smartphones and other handheld devices.
“Apps are being developed to streamline output device workflows,” said Dan Flok, vice president of sales at Altek. “We see our industry integrity as a mission [to] unite business processes.”
Remote monitoring of network services using a network operations center also is based in Telford. Visitors to the building can see activity inside the center, as it is placed behind glass panels.
“It’s an exciting [department] to watch,” Derstine said.
The center offers fee or contract-based remote network monitoring for clients.
Altek also offers consulting services to help business managers set up and manage work flow. Managed print services include print accounting and file or paper management.
According to Derstine, specialized software supports clients interested in keeping track of print costs, and saving money, among other goals.
“We can tell a client how much each piece of paper they print costs, and help them find ways to become more cost- and time-efficient,” he said.
“Years ago, we only serviced [hardware products], what we sold, but today we can offer service to firms with bring-your-own-device technology, regardless of the brand,” Derstine said.
Derstine suggested that digital systems are the 21st century’s paper movers.
“Document solutions helps customers become ‘paper lite,’ ” Derstine explained of his firm’s program to help clients make the move from old-fashioned paper filing systems to completely online filing and retrieval arrangements.
“We also help clients organize and manage their files so retrieving files when they’re needed is easy. There’s no bigger time waster than looking for an [electronic file],” he said.
Altek also offers software system plans for managing online documents and files.
“Creating smooth workflows saves time and makes companies more efficient and effective,” Derstine said.
Paper scanning service allows firms to eliminate conventional paper files. Invoices, correspondence and other kinds of billing and receivable documents can not only be electronically scanned into a system, but routing can be set up to send to appropriate employees within the organization.
According to Derstine, clients who move from rack filing cabinet systems to online filing can reclaim valuable office real estate.
“If the [paper] documents are meaningless, then why have them take up space,” Derstine said.
Derstine said his company has been offering software solutions for years, but suffers from an out-of-date image as a copier and fax sales company.
“Yes, we sell business products too, but we are much, much more than a copier sales company,” he said.
“We try to help customers see [office] hardware as an on and off ramp to the digital highway,” Derstine said.