Pro Office Equipment Fills The Niche

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There is only one question regarding office equipment and supplies that Dale Henderson can't answer: What heretofore empty niche does his brand-new business, Pro Office Equipment, fill?

"I couldn't even tell you," Henderson said. "It's too broad. And, of course, it is impossible to be all things to all people. But I can tell you this: We're not going to be competing with the discount houses, we're not going to be competing with Best Buy and Costco and those folks. That's a different distribution channel."

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Dale Henderson's new Main Street business, Pro Office Equipment, provides a full line of high- and low-end copiers, fax machines, and the technology necessary to operate a paperless office.

What Pro Office Equipment has been doing at its Main Street location since the doors were first opened June 25 is providing the area's medium-to-large sized businesses, government offices, schools and churches the full line of high- and low-end copiers, fax machines, and the technology necessary to operate a paperless office.

"In other words, high-speed scanning, high-speed archive development, copying and faxing, all out of the same box," Henderson said.

But that's not all. Not hardly.

"We represent 38 manufacturers of office furniture, and we have catalogs from all of them," Henderson said. "If I were to drop a name, I'd say we are very proud to be the Arizona representatives for Trinity Furniture, which makes church furniture and has been around since 1947. For specialty office furniture, we have a relationship with the Canadian manufacturer Lacasse, which produces very sturdy furniture with a European look."

Opening one of Lacasse's cabinet doors, Henderson points to an inside hinge. "Look at that," he said. "A secretary could do chin-ups on those."

As for the copiers (both black-and-white and full color) and fax machines, Henderson said, "We are Toshiba dealers, and for the past three years, Toshiba has been the winner of all the Most Reliable Copier awards among all of the midline, high-speed copiers."

Add to all this printers, overhead projectors, digital projectors, digital cameras, Anderson-Hickey steel-case furniture, ultra-plush and adjustable Boss office chairs and, as Henderson said, you've got a business that fills nearly every business need one could imagine.

What Pro Office Equipment will not do is sell computers ("No small business can compete with companies like Dell and Gateway," Henderson said) or offer copying services to walk-ins ("Some of our customers do that, and we certainly don't want to compete with our own customers").

Although Henderson has been in the Payson office-equipment business for many years through his former association with Payson Business Services, the local market still has the ability to surprise him.

"When we did our business plan, we projected that we were probably going to do about 70 percent business machines and about 30 percent office furniture," Henderson said. "But as it has turned out, to start with over the past five weeks, we're doing about 60 percent office furniture and 40 percent business machines in true dollar volume."

Henderson is very happy with that unexpected turn of event just as he is happy with his location on Main Street, even though it was chosen for strictly functional reasons.

"This just turned out to be the best space," he said. "But once I got here, met some of my neighbors, and realized what their vision for Main Street is, I am very happy to be a part of this. I'm feeling very comfortable here."

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