Stephen Wik, who has run the copier division of Rocky Mountain Print Solutions since 2011, recently bought the whole business and is merging it with Murray’s Office Plus, an office supply and furniture franchise he has owned 2015.
“We’re putting together four elements — print, copiers, supplies and furniture — to provide a one-stop, all-things-office shop for the East Kootenay,” Wik said.
Stephen and Don Wik have been in discussion for several years about this transfer, which took place officially on June 1.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Don Wik. “People tease me about when I will retire, and I will retire at some point, but not until I’ve lined up enough interesting projects to keep me busy for years ahead.”
Meanwhile, Don is working in the new business—RM Office Solutions Ltd.—along with 9 other employees.
“All my life I’ve known my father to be in love with print,” said Stephen Wik. “He’s run anywhere from one to five print shops at a time since the ‘70s.”
Stephen and Don agree that things have changed in print.
“Print is more in the hands of the people than it’s ever been,” Stephen said. “Copiers are integrated with email and document storage, still there’s no substitute for the offset and digital presses we’ve got for special jobs like brochures, forms, heavy business cards, and high-volume marketing.”
Those digital printers, plus a full traditional press and a skilled bindery team, mean RM Office Solutions will continue to serve print customers with care and attention to detail. Wik doesn’t see print becoming irrelevant. “It will continue to shift to different purposes and volumes for sure, but it is the best technology we have for specific jobs.”
As for copiers, RM Office Solutions has a sales and tech support team to bring Konica-Minolta printers to people who need multi-function copiers and clear, fair leasing agreements.
And when it comes to supplies and furniture, RM Office Solutions is the regional Office Plus location, one of 50 across Canada.
“When I found out Carol Hatala (Murray) was selling her business, Murray’s Office Plus, I knew it would be a good fit for how I think small business can best serve this market,” said Stephen.
“Carol is an innovator in ‘stockless’ inventory. She started Murray’s in ‘96 and adapted it from a brick-and-mortar business to a catalogue-and-delivery business, purely on the strength of her customer service and participation in the Office Plus network.”
Being a member of the network gives RM Office Solutions national buying power combined with 100 per cent Cranbrook ownership and staffing. “Best of both worlds for sure,” Stephen said.
“Rocky Mountain Print Solutions is older than me by a few years,” he said. “In a way it’s been like my dad’s fourth child. Building a business, increasing the effectiveness of all the systems—from production to archiving to staff training—has been his life’s work, and it’s my honour to build on the foundation he’s established.”
Stephen will continue to approach business from the ‘continual improvement’ angle that Don Wik is known for. “With our new, four-part business, we’re going to focus on making it easier to for our customers to get what they want. Our goal is to be awesome—for our customers, for our community, and for our staff and families,” Stephen said.