August 25, 2015 by

This column appears in summer 2015 edition of B2B.

Given the exponential change in office products over the past 60 years, it couldn’t have been easy to keep up.

But Bishop Business has. Founded by two friends who once worked together at a typewriter supply company in 1954, Bishop Business has always run on a philosophy of partnering with customers to provide them what they need.

At first, the company supplied customers with carbon paper and typewriter ribbons. (Many readers are now googling definitions of these dinosaurs of the business world.) Soon the company branched out into reconditioning and then selling new typewriters, duplicators, copiers, and word-processing equipment. Today the products supplied are copiers and document management software. “We sell and service products that enable our customers to stay productive,” said Dave Bishop, president and CEO of Bishop Business, which was founded by his father, Jack, along with partner Ray Jordan.

“It’s a given that productivity tools are going to change,” added Bishop. “But what will never change is our mission to be a high- performance company providing business tools and personal, professional service. One without the other doesn’t work for our clients, and at the core is our dedication to help businesses do their work faster, easier, and better.”

Now with stores in Omaha and Lincoln, Bishop Business has customers across a wide region, tapping into the latest technologies brought to the fore by manufacturers. “There are hundreds of products available to us,” added Bishop. “We make it our business to know what our customers need. And we make it our business to become specialists on the products and technologies we select from manufacturers. Staying current with technology is a big part of our world, and in many ways determines our success.”

When I asked Bishop how he’s kept his business on task all these years, he told me that he shares the mission, vision, and core values with employees on a regular basis. “We talk about how we need to live those out day to day,” he said. “We have quarterly employee meetings and our mission is a regular part of that time together. We talk about real life experiences from a service and support standpoint and work through what great service is all about.

“However, when you boil it all down, it’s about the individuals who work for you and their desire to want to do a great job and be proud of their work. We have spent quite a bit of time reading and studying the Gallup methodology and their employee engagement questions. The basic premise is ‘engaged employees perform at a superior level.’ We use Gallup’s online tools to get better in these areas and it has been very helpful. A big part of my job is to create an environment where employees like their work and feel engaged. Quality service should flow from that if I am doing a good job.”

When I asked Bishop what is the highest compliment a customer can give him, he replied, “To renew a contract with us or acquire additional equipment. We teach our employees that we want our customers to be so happy they wouldn’t think about going anywhere else. In our industry you always have to be competitively priced, but even when our price is competitive, it’s customer service and the relationship that prevails.”

This is yet another example of one business being FOR another to overcome real challenges faced by us all today. If you are ready to tell your B4B story, contact managing editor Daisy Hutzell-Rodman and we’ll get you on the docket.

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