Cerkleski: People and equipment. We have more than 65
engineers in our company. We have designed, built, and deployed
all of our own equipment to build laser cartridges, inkjet
cartridges, and now our parts business with the acquisition of
It’s been important to reinvest in that side of the business
so we could build a better mousetrap than our competitors. More
importantly though, it’s to keep up with what the OEMs are doing.
The cartridges the OEMs are coming out with today are much more
sophisticated. But because of our continued reinvestment in
people, equipment and infrastructure, we have the ability to keep
up with the new technologies being implemented.
You’ve made a couple of big acquisitions over the years. Why
do you think those companies were a good fit for Clover
Cerkleski: They either share similar management
philosophies or have helped us achieve customer and market
Tell me about the Image1 acquisition.
Cerkleski: We acquired NER and its different divisions
with the exception of Print4, their print management tool, and
their racking division. We bought their supplies division
completely, which was ribbons and all imaging supplies—ink and
toner—and also acquired the parts division, which was a separate
entity called Image1. We wanted to have that HP authorization and
we wanted to grow parts internationally. I think that it is
important for ENX readers to know that Clover is an international
Where might we see you expand globally?
Cerkleski: We’ve made acquisitions in Australia,
Mexico, and we’re moving into New Zealand right now. The two areas
we are looking at today are Asia-Pacific and South America. We’re
also looking at India and have partners in Saudi Arabia. We’re
truly going international and that’s how we see our growth.
When you acquired the company was there an acquisition
strategy or is that something that has evolved over time?
Cerkleski: When I bought the company in 2000, I came
out of a company in the office products world—USOP—that was making
multiple acquisitions. They were making an acquisition a week and
that was the reason they ultimately went down. I wanted to do
things a little differently on the imaging supplies side by
finding companies that had the same management philosophy, the
same understanding of the growth opportunity in the business, and
were focused on reinvesting in the business for future growth. We
typically like to keep the management team intact and ask them to
roll a percentage of their equity into the deal. This way they’re
vested in it and you know they want to be there for the long haul.
In April Clover Technologies Group was acquired by Golden Gate
Capital. Tell us about the strategy behind that?
Cerkleski: Their strategy is to develop an aftermarket
imaging supplies portfolio. By starting their portfolio with
Clover and West Point, it paves the way for them to develop a
comprehensive, multi-channel platform positioned for rapid growth.
For more information on Golden Gate Capital you can visit
How do you see this trend towards managed print services
affecting your business and your product offerings?
Cerkleski: As a manufacturer and a provider of parts,
we see managed print services as a huge opportunity. As it becomes
more prevalent along with the desire to lower cost per page, it is
inevitable that companies utilizing MPS programs move to a lower
cost remanufactured product.
Are you doing anything differently to market products for
Cerkleski: We do not sell MPS programs directly. Based
on our customers’ needs, we will work with our partners to provide
them with the best solution available.
How do you support them?
Cerkleski: We go in more on a consulting basis,
educating them on some of the print management solutions that
we’ve tested and used, and we tell them, ‘If we can help you with
it, great, and if you want to do it on your own, here are the
You seem to have a strong sustainability message. Is that
something that’s been embraced enthusiastically by your resellers
Cerkleski: Our customers have embraced this message and
are aggressively going to market with it. Not only has it provided
them with new opportunities, through a more diverse value
proposition, but it also gives them a way to be better stewards of
Besides MPS and sustainability, what do you see as some of the
other trends that will impact your growth over the next few years?
Cerkleski: Industry consolidation, our rapid growth,
the expansion of Image1, which is our parts division, and
diversifying into emerging markets. This will enable us to expand
on our philosophy of ‘recapture, remanufacture, remarket’.
What else can we expect to hear from Clover Technologies Group
over the next 12-18 months?
Cerkleski: We will continue to expand our collection
programs, continue to grow organically as well as through
acquisitions, and execute on our strategy to diversify outside of
the ink and toner remanufacturing business.
How might you diversify outside of the remanufacturing
Cerkleski: Small electronics, printers, printer parts
and services. Clover has always looked at emerging markets and
diversification as a means to continue to grow our business and
provide value-add products and services to our customers. As we
move forward, we will continue to do that.
Anything else you’d like to tell us before we wrap things up?
Cerkleski: I think it’s important for the world to know
that Clover’s management team and our 3,800 employees are
dedicated to this business. I’m very lucky to be the CEO of this
company and leading it, but quite honestly there are divisional
leads in this company that run the day-to-day business and do an
unbelievable job. That’s because the management team owns the
company. All of those leaders have options or equity in the
business and they treat it as their own.
Scott Cullen has been covering the office equipment industry
since 1986 and he’s thankful that MPS is giving him something new
to write about.