Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year to everyone!

Best wishes to everyone for a Happy, Healthy, Productive, Prosperous New Year!

Legjobb kíván mindenkinek boldog, egészséges, termelékeny, virágzó Új Évet!

S přáním všeho nejlepšího všem za šťastné, zdravé, produktivní, úspěšný nový rok!

أطيب التمنيات للجميع لسعيدة وصحية ومنتجة السنة مزدهر ، جديد!

איחוליי לכל עבור שמחה, בריאה שנה, משגשג פרודוקטיבי חדש!

Meilleurs voeux à tous pour un heureux, en santé et productif, le Nouvel An prospère!

Mis mejores deseos a todos para un feliz, sano, año productivo, próspero Nuevo!

Najlepsze życzenia dla wszystkich na szczęśliwe, zdrowe, produkcyjne, Prosperous Nowego Roku!

С наилучшими пожеланиями всем для счастья, здоровья, производственных, Процветающая Новым Годом!

Hälsningar till alla för en glad, frisk, produktiv, framgångsrikt nytt år!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen an alle für ein glückliches, gesundes, produktives, erfolgreiches neues Jahr!

Beste ønsker til alle for et lykkelig, sunt, produktiv, Prosperous nyttår!

Onnea kaikille ja onnellinen, terve, tuottava, vauras uutta vuotta!

Auguri a tutti per un felice, sano, produttivo, prospero Anno Nuovo!



Friday, December 30, 2011

Quick Profile: RGS (ReproGraphic Solutions) in Las Vegas and Keith Holding (owner of RGS)

Most Reprographers – during their “lifetime” in the reprographics business - operate one or two locations and conduct business in only one city or market area …… and do not venture out to other market areas or to other countries.

Even thought that’s very, very common, there are, of course, some who have an appetite for adventure, even though there’s added risk in expanding beyond where they originally established their footprint. (If I remember to do it, I’ll later author a separate article about the “adventurers” that grace (or have graced our industry.)

Today’s blog-post is a “quick profile” of RGS, a reprographics company that operates in Las Vegas, NV and is owned by Keith Holding, one of the more interesting characters in the reprographics industry. Keith has definitely proven to be one of the “adventurers” in the reprographics business. So far, he’s been in the reprographics business in the United Kingdom, the United States and in Singapore (Asia). That’s a lot of frequent flyer miles. I don’t recall having met Keith in the past; maybe, maybe not, but we have several acquaintances in common.

Okay, here’s quick profile of RGS, which operates 3 locations in the Las Vegas area. Later on in this post, I’ll have some comments about Keith’s former companies and adventures.

RGS’ Services:

Digital Reprographics

Plan Printing & Copying CAD

Large Format B/W & Color
Inkjet Printing

Small Format B/W & Color

Presentation Graphics

Wide Format Scan to Print

Finishing Mounting &
Lamination Services

B/W & Color Digital Scanning
& Archiving Services

Document Management

On-Site (Facilities
Management) Solutions

RGS has launched it's new planroom system called ReproConnect. With added features such as "Hosted Planroom" and "Invitation To Bid" together with easy online viewing and ordering services, ReproConnect streamlines your document management needs.

RGS is the official Reprographic vendor for the Clark County School District (CCSD).

- - - - - - - - -

On RGS’ web-site, there’s a list of major projects and major customers presently or previously served by Keith’s companies. Included are customers and projects of Keith’s Singapore company, Keith’s AL, LO and MS companies, and Keith’s first Las Vegas company. It’s a very interesting list of very high-profile companies and projects, and you can view this impressive list by clicking on this link:

From the “Company History” …..

Keith Holding, as a young man, entered into the reprographics industry by starting a London-based reprographics operation in 1976. Early successes resulted in rapid growth throughout London and progressed into other major cities nationwide. LDO Ltd UK became the first of many companies that Keith would groom into a successful business.

In 1993, the company reached across the Atlantic to further expand its operation to Las Vegas, NV, a (then) rising U.S. metropolis with an emerging construction boom. The company became the U.S. arm of Keith’s successful reprographics venture.

In 1995, an exciting opportunity presented itself through a joint venture project which featured an “on-site” facilities management setup in Hong Kong’s Chep Lap Kok airport, the largest civil engineering project in the world. This joint venture produced millions (of prints of) construction drawings and administered document control for the entire project from start to finish.

In 1997, additional operations were established an investments made in Mobile, AL, New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MS, namely LDO Ltd “ALM”.

In January 2000, the company teamed up with Charrette, a leading U.S. international corporation, in order to continue with strategic acquisitions and growth ventures throughout the states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Following an extremely successful integration of the businesses, Keith Holding and his family relocated to Singapore (Asia) and, again, established a Reprographic and Color Digital Printing business. This company, which is still in existence today, Service Point Media Solutions (, has become the Singapore market leader in Digital Reprographic and Color Imaging/Printing with 24 hour operations and staffing levels in excess of 60 employees.

After successfully establishing their base in Singapore, Keith Holding and his management team relocated back to Las Vegas, NV in order to facilitate a new acquisition. On July 1, 2005, RGS ReproGraphic Solutions (RGS) opened its doors.

I found this information at

“About Mercury LDO” …..

Mercury Blueprint and Supply Company was founded in 1954 by Joseph E. Robichaud who located his first shop on Main Street in downtown Las Vegas. “Robie’s” business philosophy was to provide the best customer service in town. He started the shop with three diazo machines and a photocopier. In 1985, Robie moved the shop to its present location at 2910 South Highland Drive, making the move to a much larger facility. He added a photo lab and additional diazo machines and expanded the supply and map side of the business. In 1990, Robie’s daughter Suzanne and son-in-law, Miguel Garcia acquired the company and began transitioning the company into the digital world. When Oce introduced the 9800, Mercury Blueprint recognized this new technology as the future of reprographics and purchased their first machine in Las Vegas in 1995. The digital revolution and plain paper conversion had begun, Mercury closed its photo lab in 1998 and phased out its large map business at the same time. After owning a series of successful reprographic firms in England, Ray Martin arrived in Las Vegas in 1992 and with his partner, opened LDO (London Drawing Office). Ray’s expertise in document management of major projects quickly earned his company the rights to such projects at The Bellagio, and The Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In 1998, both Mercury Blueprint and Supply Company and LDO were acquired by American Reprographics Company , the largest reprographics company in the world. After one year, ARC, blended the two Las Vegas firms into one, forming the new Mercury LDO. The synergy of Mercury, LDO and ARC brought the latest technology to their customers, including PlanWell, the world’s largest on-line planroom. In 2002 Mercury LDO became a fully digital shop, replacing diazo prints with crisp digital bond copies, T1 bandwidth for digital transmissions, and an easy to use Electronic Work Order system. The same commitment to quality over the past 50 years remain the hallmark of Mercury-LDO today. With the addition of PlanWell online planrooms, Mercury LDO’s superior services, and an easy-to-use digital work order process, 9 convenient locations and ARC affiliates in more than 300 locations, Mercury LDO now serves both traditional and digital markets with equal priority, efficiency and quality that our customers deserve and expect. Welcome to Mercury LDO. We appreciate your business. Thank you from Mercury-LDO!

Joel’s comments about Keith’s ventures/adventures:

If you read the “company history”, you likely noticed that it’s all about Keith Holding.

As to the LDO operation that Keith was with in the United Kingdom….Keith’s history, as stated on RGS’ web-site, says this, “LDO Ltd UK became the first of many companies that Keith would groom into a successful business.” It doesn’t go on to say what happened to LDO UK. Perhaps LDO UK was sold to another company? Another reprographics company, at the time called UDO (I think that stood for United Drawing Office) and which later, via a name change, became Service Point UK, may have purchased Keith’s LDO UK business, but I’m not sure about that. (Perhaps one of our UK visitors, or Keith himself, could clarify that point.) UDO (not to be confused with LDO) was founded in 1919.

As to the LDO operation in Las Vegas (Keith’s first business in Las Vegas), after I read the LDO/Mercury “story” that I found on, I found myself wondering, “why did that story mention Ray Martin but not Keith Holding?” The story did mention that Ray Martin came from the U.K. to Las Vegas and it did mention that Ray had “a partner”, but it did not say that Keith Holding was Ray’s partner. And, when I read the “Company History” that’s on RGS’ web-site, while it does talk about Keith founding LDO in Vegas, it does not mention that he did that with a partner (who, evidently, was Ray Martin.) Anyway, LDO was sold to American Reprographics Co (ARC), around the same time that ARC purchased Mercury Reprographics. Not very long after ARC purchased those two Las Vegas companies, they were merged together. (Does anyone happen to know what happened to Ray Martin? Is he still with the ARC operation in Las Vegas?)

As to the LDO operation that was active in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, Keith sold that operation (those businesses) to Charette (the use of the phrase, “teamed up with” is, I think, stretching it just a wee bit!) For those of you who are not familiar with Charrette, Charrette was a Boston-based company that operated two different business segments; Reprographics (referred to as Charrette ProGraphics) and Supplies (simply referred to as “Charrette”). Charrette ProGraphics was sold to Service Point Solutions (the Spain-based public company). So, Service Point’s USA Division (which is still based in the Boston area) was formerly known as Charrette ProGraphics. Keith sold the LDO AL, MS, LA operation to Charrette in 2000. Subsequently, Charrette (or it may have been called Service Point at the time) later sold those operations to another company. (I guess Service Point decided that doing business in the deep South was not a good fit, culturally speaking.)

As to the LDO operation in Singapore that Keith founded, well, first let me say that I love Asian food (all Asian food), so I would have enjoyed participating with Keith in that venture/adventure. Yesterday, I attempted to visit that operation’s web-site, but found that it was “under construction” (“new and exciting services coming your way soon.”) On that web-site, it does show logos for both the Service Point Media Solutions company and the RGS company in Las Vegas. Sounds like Keith still owns the company in Singapore. (Looks like Keith is still getting lots of frequent flyer miles!) Although at first glance, the name of Keith's company in Singapore makes it look like that company is part of Service Point Solutions' operations (I'm referring to SPS based in Barcelona, Spain), I don't think that Keith's company, SPMS, is part of SPS' operations. Just sounds like it is.

As to Keith’s second venture/adventure in Las Vegas, RGS was founded in July 2005. If Keith did agree to a “covenant not to compete” with ARC when he sold LDO to ARC in 1998, that CNTC would have been well over and done with by July 2005. But the timing of the opening of RGS in Vegas may not have been fortuitous for Keith; design/development/construction in Vegas was booming at the time (and that boom continued for at least to more years), but, as most of us are well aware, the A/E/C Industry in the greater Las Vegas area was hit very hard during the Great Recession. Well, thinking positively, perhaps all of the Vegas area Reprographers earned so much money during the boom time that they are comfortably coasting through the downturn. I hope that’s the case.

One thing’s for sure, Keith’s venture/adventures – working for and opening businesses on three different continents - qualify him as one of the reprographics industry’s most adventurous spirits and interesting characters.

RGS’ web-site is at this Internet address:

Thursday, December 29, 2011



ABC Imaging purchases Nova Blue assets at 3 locations

Acquisition of Nova Blue assets strengthens ABC Imaging’s operations in Northern Virginia. Company agrees to purchase 3 hubs—including Nova Blue’s Chantilly showroom - located near active and long-term construction projects.

Washington, DC—December 29, 2011ABC Imaging, a Washington, DC- based printing and document technology company, announced today that it has agreed to purchase the assets of three locations from Nova Blue, a reprographics and surveyors’ supply company headquartered in Chantilly, VA. ABC Imaging will acquire the assets and assume operation of Nova Blue’s Chantilly, Manassas, and Herndon locations.

“Nova Blue has a long history in our area,” said Medi Falsafi, President and CEO of ABC Imaging. “Like ABC Imaging they started with a strong commitment to customer service. We will certainly continue to meet the expectations of Nova Blue’s customers.”

In business since 1950, the company (Nova Blue) has been operated by Richard “Dick” Bartlett and his family since 1965. When Mr. Bartlett purchased the company it was renamed the Northern Virginia Blueprint and Supply Co. or Nova Blue.

Formerly a surveyor, Mr. Bartlett sold surveyor supplies and equipment as well as technical drafting supplies and equipment. ABC Imaging managers said that they expect to continue to offer supplies and equipment from Nova Blue’s Chantilly showroom.

“Construction continues to boom in Northern Virginia,” Mr. Falsafi said referring to construction of the Washington Metro Silver Line to Dulles Airport and numerous commercial projects in the Tyson’s Corners area. “Acquiring these assets from a company with a strong reputation works to our advantage as the area continues to grow.”

ABC Imaging expects to complete the purchase of the Nova Blue assets by December 31.

About ABC Imaging

From its headquarters in Washington, DC and more than 30 locations worldwide, ABC Imaging ( provides full-service, on-site solutions for document management, printing, scanning, archiving, and back-office support. ABC Imaging’s industry-leading technology includes innovative office service software easily customized to support a variety of vertical business models. ABC Imaging seamlessly integrates its technology and systems with most accounting and ERP systems. Our mission—“Impress Every Client, Every Time.”

Contact Information

Timothy Sachs

Senior Vice President

ABC Imaging

202.429-8870 x144

Corporate Headquarters • 1155 21st Street, NW • Suite M400 • Washington, DC 20036 • Phone 202.429.8870 •

PRESS RELEASE © Copyright 2011 ABC Imaging

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Who's on your team who should probably not be on your team?

An interesting and, I think, thought-provoking article from Business Week (article was published sometime around Nov 8, 2011)

“Three Types of People to Fire Immediately”

Want a more innovative company? Get rid of these folks. Today!

By G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón

We (your authors) teach our children to work hard and never, ever give up. We teach them to be grateful, to be full of wonder, to expect good things to happen, and to search for literal and figurative treasure on every beach, in every room, and in every person.

But some day, when the treasure hunt is over, we’ll also teach them to fire people. Why? After working with the most inventive people in the world for two decades, we’ve discovered the value of a certain item in the leadership toolbox: the pink slip.

Show of hands: How many of you out there in Innovationland have gotten the “what took you so long?” question from your staff when you finally said goodbye to a teammate who was seemingly always part of problems instead of solutions?

We imagine a whole bunch of hands. (Yep, ours went up, too.)

These people—and we going to talk about three specific types in a minute—passive-aggressively block innovation from happening and will suck the energy out of any organization.

When confronted with any of the following three people—and you have found it impossible to change their ways, say goodbye.

1. The Victims

“Can you believe what they want us to do now? And of course we have no time to do it. I don’t get paid enough for this. The boss is clueless.”

Victims are people who see problems as occasions for persecution rather than challenges to overcome. We all play the role of victim occasionally, but for some, it has turned into a way of life. These people feel persecuted by humans, processes, and inanimate objects with equal ease—they almost seem to enjoy it. They are often angry, usually annoyed, and almost always complaining. Just when you think everything is humming along perfectly, they find something, anything, to complain about. At Halloween parties, they’re Eeyore, the gloomy, pessimistic donkey from the Winnie the Pooh stories—regardless of the costume they choose.

Victims aren’t looking for opportunities; they are looking for problems. Victims can’t innovate.

So if you want an innovative team, you simply can’t include victims. Fire the victims. (Note to the HR department: Victims are also the most likely to feel the company has maliciously terminated them regardless of cause. They will often go looking for someone—anyone—who will agree that you have treated them unjustly. Lawyers are often left to play this role. So have your documentation in order before you let victims go, because chances are you will hear from their attorneys.

2. The Nonbelievers

“Why should we work so hard on this? Even if we come up with a good idea, the boss will probably kill it. If she doesn’t, the market will. I’ve seen this a hundred times before.”

We love the Henry Ford quote: “If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” The difference between the winning team that makes industry-changing innovation happen and the losing one that comes up short is a lack of willpower. Said differently, the winners really believed they could do it, while the losers doubted it was possible.

In our experience, we’ve found the link between believing and succeeding incredibly powerful and real. Great leaders understand this. They find and promote believers within their organizations. They also understand the cancerous effect that nonbelievers have on a team and will cut them out of the organization quickly and without regret.

If you are a leader who says your mission is to innovate, but you have a staff that houses nonbelievers, you are either a lousy leader or in denial. Which is it? You deserve the staff you get. Terminate the nonbelievers.

3. The Know-It-Alls

“You people obviously don’t understand the business we are in. The regulations will not allow an idea like this, and our stakeholders won’t embrace it. Don’t even get me started on our IT infrastructure’s inability to support it. And then there is the problem of ….”

The best innovators are learners, not knowers. The same can be said about innovative cultures; they are learning cultures. The leaders who have built these cultures, either through intuition or experience, know that in order to discover, they must eagerly seek out things they don’t understand and jump right into the deep end of the pool. They must fail fearlessly and quickly and then learn and share their lessons with the team. When they behave this way, they empower others around them to follow suit—and presto, a culture of discovery is born and nurtured.

In school, the one who knows the most gets the best grades, goes to the best college, and gets the best salary. On the job, the person who can figure things out the quickest is often celebrated. And unfortunately, it is often this smartest, most-seasoned employee who eventually becomes expert in using his or her knowledge to explain why things are impossible rather than possible.

This employee should be challenged, retrained, and compensated for failing forward. But if this person’s habits are too deeply ingrained to change, you must let him or her go. Otherwise, this individual will unwittingly keep your team from seeing opportunity right under your noses. The folks at Blockbuster didn’t see Netflix‘s (NFLX) ascendancy. The encyclopedia companies didn’t see Google (GOOG) coming. But the problem of expert blindness existed well before the Internet.

Two of our favorites from “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” —Western Union internal memo, 1876.

And “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” —David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

At one point in his career, Thomas A. Edison had dozens of inventors working for him at the same time. He charged each with the task of failing forward and sharing the learning from each discovery. All of them needed to believe that they were part of something big. You want the same sort of people.

You don’t want the victims, nonbelievers, or know-it-alls. It is up to you to make sure they take their anti-innovative outlooks elsewhere.

G. Michael Maddock is chief executive, and Raphael Louis Vitón is president of Maddock Douglas, an innovation consultancy that helps clients invent, brand, and launch new products, services, and business models. Maddock is author of the upcoming book Brand New: Solving the Innovation Paradox—How Great Brands Invent and Launch New Products, Services, and Business Models (Wiley, April 2011).