Picture a company without leadership, vision and with declining sales. The situation appeared grim, but a young man, just 25-years-old and a few years removed from completing his finance degree from the University of Arkansas, is brought in to help fix the problem. That’s exactly what Josh Lane walked into 15 years ago when he was named minority shareholder and general manger of ACDI in Little Rock.
“The idea of ownership and leading a company was exciting for me,” Lane said. “I may have been naïve, but I applied my marketing, sales, and accounting skills to everything. I learned the assembly of our products and about the hardware we needed to maintain our customer relationships.”
ACDI is now a global technology company providing products primarily to the print management and pay-for-print sectors. The company maintains reseller partnerships with almost a dozen of the world’s top copier manufactures including Toshiba, Xerox, Canon, Konica Minolta, Sharp and Samsung. The company’s main software product, PaperCut, is used by more than 60,000 organizations in over 100 countries. And, ACDI is one of the leading distributors of PaperCut worldwide.
Lane says, “We travel throughout North America and soon to be Central and South America representing who we are, not just simply what we do.” A far cry from a time when the company had just seven employees and a big vision, ACDI now employs 43 people. As the workforce has grown, Lane maintains they’ve remained like family.
“It’s something that’s important to us. When you think about the team we’ve hired, I think our customers know we are passionate and committed to their needs. Also, one of our main philosophies is, ‘God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.’ Humility is something we look for in prospective team members and that we practice around here.”
Of equal importance to Lane are his wife Mandy, and their family. Coaching sports teams, volunteering at church and giving back to his community keeps him humble and helps to maintain the balance between work and family life. “Mandy’s support is essential to everything I do.”
Now, as ACDI continues its growth, Lane is moving operations from Little Rock to Benton. The new facility will be built on the site of the former Harvest Foods grocery store. “I really like the character of downtown Benton.” he said.
The vision for the new facility, developed with Black, Corley, Owens + Hughes Architects, will combine a modern look while incorporating natural materials, landscapes and green space.
“I foresee hover boards and a full café,” he said. “We’re incorporating tons of breakout areas, but what I’m most excited about is the outdoor balcony. The facility is also designed for expansion because, as Lane sees it, ACDI has no plans for slowing down anytime soon.