Phillips Supply House has a rich history of service in the Williamsport area, but the company is anything but static - constant changes in the industry require employees to continue looking for ways to improve, according to company President Birch B. "Trey" Phillips III.
The copy machine has come a long way in the time Phillips Supply House has been selling copiers, Phillips said.
"Everyone still thinks of it as a copier ... and most people still use (the machine) to make copies, predominantly," he said; however, the machine has become a "multi-function portal" that can print, scan, fax and more.
"It's not your mom's copier - It's a different animal," Phillips said. "It does everything but make coffee."
As the area's authorized distributor for Sharp machines, Phillips Supply House gets to stay on the cutting edge of copier technology. Most recently, Sharp has debuted a touch-screen copy machine that allows users to scroll through documents and manipulate the machine with a screen similar to an iPad.
"When Sharp announced an initiative, we hop on board. We're 100 percent dedicated to Sharp," Phillips said.
In addition to offering the latest machines for sale, Phillips Supply House also recently launched a Managed Print Services (MPS) program - customer service specialists will visit a business, assess the costs incurred by all paper output devices, manage those costs and offer suggestions to improve efficiency. The service is particularly valuable for businesses suffering tough economic times.
"It's exciting. It's new and different ... but it fits right into our core business," Phillips said. "It's a new adventure for us, and we've headed off full steam ahead."
Phillips Supply House also works to improve efficiency within its own walls with an emphasis on recycling.
"We don't throw out any of our used copiers anymore. We recycle all of it," Phillips said, adding, "All of the vendors that we use are green-friendly."
While these changes are taking Phillips Supply House in a new direction, the company's attention to customer service is one aspect that will not change. Phillips Supply House services more than 2,000 copiers and Phillips said the company's relationship with customers has set it apart from the competition since its inception in 1893.
"So many people think that selling copiers is what we do, and it's not. Providing good customer service is 85 percent of what we do ... It's what keeps the doors open every day," he said. "Our employees take great pride in what they do."
Phillips Supply House prides itself on quick response to service calls: For 80 percent of calls on out-of-service machines in the greater Williamsport area, the company responds in less than two hours; for areas outside of Lycoming County, the company responds in less than a half-day.
The company's tradition of service has been passed down from the beginning. Phillips is the fourth-generation Phillips family member to hold the title of president at the company. Phillips Supply House's customer care specialists have worked for the company for an average of 18 years, and the business also has long-term relationships with many of its customers, from school districts to corporations.
Phillips is optimistic about the future of business in the Williamsport area.
"I love it here," Phillips, who grew up in Williamsport, said. "I like being a part of the community and I believe the community's going places ... I believe in this town."