ACDI turns 25, celebrates with anniversary bash
On Friday, ACDI celebrated turning 25 with a cookout and field day for its many employees and their families. The event also included laser tag, Baggo, snow cones, a giant slide and more.
“We feel blessed,” said President Josh Lane regarding the milestone anniversary.
The company began in 1994 in Little Rock, founded by Jerry Barnett and Wallace Rowland. According to Lane, the company started by creating magnetic strip card readers where people could load money onto a card to swipe to pay for printing. He said the problem then was if people lost their card, they also lost whatever money was loaded to it. Now they’ve moved to digital solutions.
Lane joined the ACDI family at the end of 2000. He had previously worked with UPS while attending college at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He moved to Little Rock after graduation to work in UPS’S district hub from 1998 to 2000.
He joined the ACDI team because he knew both Barnett and Rowland. Lane came on board as general manager/president. He took a pay cut to join, but he was given 10 percent of the business. As a 24 or 25-year-old, he and his wife decided that percentage was worth the risk.
“It has paid off so far,” Lane said.
At that time, there were six employees, though he said they joked that some of them ran off when they saw how young the new general manager was.
Joseph Good, who works in production, was hired one month before Lane and is
still with the company. Lane said there are employees who have been with it 12 to 13 years.
When Lane joined, he said the company was looking at either restructuring or closing. It had tried to be more like a bigger technology company, which did not work. What they were good at was their coin operators and card readers in the dealer channel of printing.
Lane said they have spent the last 18 years moving from hardware to software, though they still offer some hardware.
From the magnetic stripe, ACDI went to pay-for-print technologies for universities and libraries.
When ACDI added Papercut, a print management software, it opened them up to working with a wider variety of organizations and businesses from commercial to healthcare to transportation and manufacturing. This software, according to Lane, provides companies with cost savings, securities, accessibility and accountability for printing.
Lane compared a company not having Papercut services for its printing to someone buying a car without a dash board. It allows companies to know who, what, when, where and why someone is printing. Without it, he feels companies are missing out.
ACDI moved its support staff to Benton during construction of its building when the company decided to relocate.
Both Lane and his wife are from Benton and many of the employees are from Saline County.
“Not only was it a good fit for us, it was a good fit for the team,” he said.
The Benton location opened in October 2017.
Lane added that ACDI strives to create a community environment within the company and Benton and Saline County help provide that environment.
ACDI employs just under 100 people. Lane said it is humbling to be able to provide jobs that provide for employees’ families.
They try to create an open environment where employees can collaborate. Lane loves seeing co-workers from different departments working together.
The company also provides perks, such as employees’ birthdays off and a Ping Pong table where employees can take a break to play.
“Why not make it a place they want to be and surrounded by people who want them to be there?” Lane said.
As a member of the Saline County community, ACDI has supported many local organizations to give back. Lane said giving is one of the company’s core values.
Recently, they brought in another company to discuss the ways they give so ACDI could learn from them.
Lane said one of the events they like to sponsor is Amplify because he feels it is important. He said it has a tremendous reach and important message, adding they enjoy focusing on youth. They give to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County, where Lane said three of his four sons have grown up playing and where he has coached different sports.
Currently, ACDI is moving forward with a move from paper to digital with Psicapture, a technology that allows for giving scanned items optical character recognition, the ability to index and tie into most document management platforms.
ACDI is also working with evolving Papercut and growing it.
Many businesses are moving into the Cloud and Lane wants to be able to serve them with ACDI’S services.
He wants to provide more managed services and eventually provide cyber security services.
They also offer proximity card readers and biometric readers.
As they grow, Lane wants to ensure they continue to serve both existing and new customers with the quality they expect. As long as they can do that, Lane wants to serve more businesses and people.
He said as technology changes, ACDI is working to stay on top of it and change as needed. He wants it to always be able to adapt as he looks forward to the next 25 years.
To learn more about ACDI and all the services it offers, visit www.acd-inc.com.
See photos from the celebration on page 10.