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.
• Digital Reprographics
• Plan Printing & Copying CAD Plotting
• Large Format B/W & Color Inkjet Printing
• Small Format B/W & Color Copying
• Presentation Graphics
• Wide Format Scan to Print
• Finishing Mounting & Lamination Services
• B/W & Color Digital Scanning & Archiving Services
• Document Management Services
• 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).
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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 (www.servicepoint.com.sg), 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 www.akama.com:
“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 akama.com, 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: