CRN 2018 Women of the Channel Details

Jennifer Atchison

Managing Partner, Delmarva Document Solutions

Location: Salisbury, MD


Number of years in current position: 12

Number of years involved with indirect sales: 25

Fun Facts:

Has a female boss (or is top executive at company)
Has worked for a solution provider organization
Has a mentor
Is a mentor
Has climbed a mountain
Likes playing video games

Biography and Background:
Jennifer has been happily married to her husband, Dave, for 25 years and is proud to have two healthy and successful children, Christina (22) and Ian (18). Jennifer was born and raised on the Delmarva Peninsula in Cambridge, MD. She left for the "big city" after college and went to work for the Xerox Corporation in Arlington, VA in 1990. In 1993 she returned home to work for a Xerox Agent in the Channel. In 2005 the opportunity to purchase two Xerox agencies arose. She partnered with a friend and took the plunge into business ownership. In 2006 they purchased their 3rd agency. The partnership has been a success and she is proud to say that their agency has qualified for President's Club/Excellence Club 10 of the last 13 years. Jennifer has been very active in her community. As a member of the Salisbury Sunrise Rotary she has served on many boards and served as president for the 2006-2007 year. Jennifer has also been very involved with the local March of Dimes serving as board chair for 5 years. Jennifer also spent the last 8 years raising funds and volunteering with her local high school band booster organization.

How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
2017 was a time of change in the Xerox Agent Channel and we were encouraged to transition our business from the agent model to more of a buy sell model. I embraced this from the onset and challenged our agency to join me. The result of this was sales reps that made more money on each transaction while building an annuity stream for themselves and for the agency. At the same time I asked our sales reps to look for new places for new business. These new places could be as simple as the small auto repair place across the street that many of our competitors just walk past. The goal was to change the sales reps mindset to the point that they saw every person that they came in contact with as a potential customer. No customer too bigbut, no customer too small either. As a result of this 30% of our business in 2017 was new business.

What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
2018 is a time for growth. I have challenged our sales reps to "own their accounts" and grow their business within their own customer base. The time has passed for them to walk past other printing devices on the way to the Xerox MFP. It is their responsibility to remove these competitive machines thereby lessening the opportunity for the competitor to remove our machine. And, if they can't remove the machine then they should at least manage it when possible utilizing our managed print program. It is time for them to own and grow their accounts.

What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
In 2017 and again in 2018, the senior leadership team of USCG Xerox has honored me by asking me to serve on the USCG Agent President's Council. I am honored to say that in this roll I can help to shape the future of our channel. On a personal note, in 2017 I celebrated 25 years of marriage. While this is not an honor awarded to me by an entity I believe that it is an honor awarded to me by my husband as he continues to share his life with me. In our society this is quite an accomplishment.

Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
I admire the President of Salisbury University, Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach. The first woman to hold this office, she is the University System of Maryland's longest-serving female president. During her tenure the university student population has grown 26%, the facilities have expanded with $350 million in new buildings and she has gone above and beyond to strengthen the relationship between the university and the local community. She been recognized nationally for her accomplishments and she has helped the university to be nationally recognized as well. I strive to emulate her when running our business and look for similar growth results.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
If I could give my 16-year-old self advice I would tell myself to be more outgoing and open to new people and new ideas. Many that know me wouldn't believe this of me, but I was and still am quite shy and an introvert. On a completely different note, I would also tell my16-year-old self to pay more attention in the computer science classes that I took. Being an English Major has helped me to communicate effectively, but being a Computer Science Major would have helped me in my business today as our channel becomes more IT Service centric.

If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
One wordcoding. While I am not sure exactly what it entails I do know that many of the successful businesses in our channel have become successful with the assistance of terrific IT professionals with coding backgrounds. As our industry becomes more "app centric" the need for these professionals increases exponentially. Without these skills it seems that my best option is to look to hire someone who has them.

What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
My top book for 2017 is "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown. This book featured a motley crew team from the University of Washington who competed in and ultimately won the 1936 Olympics. It is the story of an ambitious coach who put together the right team. But, his "right team" wasn't made up of the typical Ivy League men. They didn't quite fit the "mold" but they had the right amount of grit and determination to achieve success. This is a great reminder that ambition plus determination can and often does equal success.

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