Gary Chrisman, our Solutions Advisor at JustTech played an important role in the merger with Apple Valley Office Products. This month, we got to chat with Gary about his transitions through the company and learned more about his current role here at JustTech.
Thanks for joining us today, Gary! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
This is my 40th year with Xerox, in one form or another. I was with Xerox for five years, and then I started Apple Valley Office Products and we were here for 34 years, and then we sold the business to JustTech.
That was October 1, 2017, and it has been a fantastic merger of the two companies. JustTech is just a moving company; it really has so many good things going on and so much that they can do, more than we could have done as a small business working on our own. We’ve got more of everything, more processes in place, and Josh is just so smart about that kind of stuff, so I am really enjoying our relationship with JustTech.
Tell us about your role now and your main responsibilities.
When we merged with JustTech, I became the Sales Manager of the same area that we were – the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and the whole Shenandoah Valley, typically from Winchester down to Roanoke.
Starting this year, in January, I wanted to ease back a little bit farther, so I asked if we could maybe transition me into something else. I didn’t want to totally retire yet; Josh was very gracious with that, so my title now is Solutions Advisor.
I advise two of our sales people and travel with them, help out – I am not really their manager, but I also have a few accounts of my own that I work with. I spend a lot more time in the office now talking to people on the phone, putting together proposals – those kinds of activities are probably more prevalent now than they were a number of years ago because we didn’t have all those resources; You know, I’ve been selling since before there were computers – that was a whole different ballgame!
Is your current position something that you have always had an interest in?
My degree is in Parks and Recreation from Shepherd University, and I was running a Parks and Recreation program in a neighboring county, and the Xerox rep was playing in one of my football leagues, and he knew that he was going to get a promotion and was going to be doing something more in Xerox, and he said to me, ‘you know, you’d be good in sales’ and I told him that it sounded like something that I would like to do; where I was, I wasn’t going to really have more opportunities for advancement in a small county unless I wanted to do something else, so it sounded like a great opportunity. I went down and interviewed and got the job and away we go!
What do you like to do in your spare time? Are you still outside taking advantage of your Parks and Recreation degree?
I still try to keep my fingers in that – I try to do those kinds of activities because I really love it. What I really love to do is athletics and sports; coaching, running leagues, setting up leagues – those are the kinds of things I still have a knack for.
What can you tell us about JustTech?
Customer support is paramount. We have to support our customers to the highest degree. We have customers that still reach out to me, even though I don’t personally have as much contact directly with customers as I once did.
Communication is so important. Even if we can’t get something fixed that day, communication is key. Keep the customer updated, informed and just talking with them gives us the best reputation in customer support. I think that’s what differentiates us as a company at JustTech.
What do you find most interesting about the services that JustTech offers?
There’s a number of apps that have been created – the Translator app on the copier, you run a piece of paper through there and have it come out in a different language. The one that we’ve created called the Firmware app goes out and searches for updated security and firmware updates through the machine and pulls it in automatically and looks at it at a certain time; It doesn’t happen every day, but if it is out there, it’ll go get it – it’s a smart machine now!
The Contact Us app – a little icon pops up on the control panel and you can place a service call, place a supply order, you can do all that right from the machine without having to make a phone call, without sending an email. You just push a button and say you need some service.
What would you say is the best part about working at JustTech?
The best part is all of the resources that we have and all the innovations that Josh brings to the table. The creativity that he and Michael, and Michael’s brother, Marshall put together with these apps – we are just so far ahead of most other companies like ours are in producing and creating so many varied solutions. It’s not just going in there and ‘let me upgrade your copier’ – that’s just not what it is anymore; It’s managing all their devices, managing their network.
What would you say to a company that is interested in working with JustTech?
We now with JustTech have more resources than we had with my former company. We manage print services, we manage network services, and we have just all types of solutions that we can work with, so we don’t have to just simply go in there and sell someone a copier, which was old school. Now, we just have all these different resources that are there to help us; We have folks like Josh, Lee, Jerry, Michael – we have more to offer. We have more opportunities with more diverse options. Basically, solutions that we can help people with.
How can you be contacted if a company was trying to get in contact with JustTech?
We certainly have phones, we have emails, but we’re contacting customers constantly, too. We’re also doing email blasts to let them know who we are, what we do, and hopefully, people will come back to the website to see various offerings we have and who their rep would be in their area. We have a multitude of ways to reach people, but obviously going out and meeting them face-to-face is the primary way that’s always been done and is still being done. We get in the car and go drive somewhere and knock on some doors!
To wrap things up, would you recommend JustTech as a good place to work?
ABSOLUTELY! Yes. The training that goes on with a new salesperson, or not necessarily even sales, but administrative people, service techs – there’s a number of different jobs, we have well over 50 employees now, so there’s opportunities. It’s a growing company, it’s expanding, and into these new areas, we are going to be needing people; We need another salesperson in this area right now!
Thank you, Gary, for all that you do for our company, you are truly an essential part of all that we do! We would also like to congratulate you on 40 years in the business – here’s to many more!