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BTA Hotline: News

Copy Products Inc. Announces New Ownership

Monday, March 19, 2018  
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BTA member Copy Products Inc.'s (CPI's) founders Vernon (Vern) Starks and his wife, Antonette (Toni) Starks, have announced the acquisition of the company by their daughter, Heidi Starks Crane (active in the business since her teens and current CFO) and her husband, Erik Crane, CPI's president since 1995. According to the Starks, the Cranes will continue the legacy they began by providing expert, quality service to local and regional businesses across Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma, and by expanding CPI's services.

After founding the company in 1963, the Starks saw hand-cranked mimeographs and oversized, messy printing presses decline in popularity. This led them to enter the evolving field of office copier sales — a risk at the time, but one that paid off and resulted in a flourishing company that grew to include six branches in three states.

The Starks kept a close eye on industry changes, which allowed CPI to thrive as technologies evolved. This is a legacy that Erik Crane has maintained, as he has led CPI's charge into the digital age. Under the Cranes' leadership, CPI extended its commercial services from copier sales and IBM typewriters to include digital signage, managed network services, managed print services and document management software.

"Heidi and Erik have done such a wonderful job of taking CPI into the age of high technology and keeping it on pace with the constant changes," said Vernon Starks. "Not only has the company remained family owned and operated, but it has seen continued growth, thanks in no small part to the exceptional people Erik and Heidi have recruited, hired and retained."

Like the Starks, the Cranes are committed to taking CPI to new heights while maintaining the excellence and efficiency their customers have come to expect. According to Erik Crane, CPI is expanding the corporation's scope to include total office solutions, in addition to hardware sales and service. The company logo will be updated to reflect this new positioning, moving from Copy Products Incorporated to CPI Technologies.

CPI Technologies' offerings will encompass managed network services, complete with a 24/7 help desk and managed print services for smaller printers. These services will allow CPI customers to consolidate their business services to a "one-stop-shop" provider where their business partners can receive everything from office copiers and printers to managed print services and managed IT support. An advantage Crane sees for the future is that CPI will remain a privately owned, family-oriented company that does not answer to shareholders.

Erik and Heidi intend to continue the quick, nimble service philosophy toward CPI customers demonstrated by the Starks. Together, with their management team and departmental staff, the company will embark into new areas of complete suite office technologies in response to changes in the industry.

"Toni and Vern built an outstanding company," said Erik Crane. "It is an honor to continue in their footsteps, along with the amazing talent of account representatives, administrators and technicians that make up the CPI team. Heidi and I are thrilled for the opportunity to build upon her parents' legacy while expanding everything that CPI can do for our clients."

CPI has offices in Springfield and Joplin, Missouri; Mountain Home, Arkansas; and Iola, Pittsburg, Wichita, Kansas.

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