WATCH: In Conversation With Kevin Hoverman of Systel Business Equipment

North Carolina-based office equipment dealership ready to take on 2021 despite challenges



Christine Dunne



I was lucky enough to recently catch up with Kevin Hoverman, Regional Director of Sales and Production at Systel Business Equipment, after last speaking with him in May. I was curious to see how things had changed for his company since then, and his outlook for 2021. Here are some takeaways from our conversation:

  • Systel had a strong finish to 2020. While the company didn’t fare as well as it would have hoped pre-COVID, it did bounce back in the last 4-5 months of the year—with an increase in sales each month.
  • Growth driven by client shifts and comfort with digital selling. Growth wasn’t necessarily driven by clients returning to the office (many are still working remotely), but rather a shift in sales conversations centered on survival to strategy. In addition, Systel’s salesforce was more comfortable with virtual prospecting and selling (its video conferencing platform of choice is Zoom, but it will use whatever the client prefers).
  • Thermal imaging technology a new product area. The company saw success selling thermal imaging technology for offices, including a high-end sophisticated solution that can integrate with building security and time-keeping systems as well as a simple, touchless kiosk that takes an individual’s body temperature to ensure it’s safe for them to come in the building.
  • Hybrid is the norm. Just about every client is operating in a hybrid manner, Hoverman said. While most or all employees may have returned to the office, they still need to be prepared for at-home working in the event of a COVID outbreak. And for those in the office, contactless technology has become a key point of discussion.
  • Excitement abounds for 2021. While Hoverman misses in-person meetings with clients, the hope is these will return in the somewhat near future with the vaccine rollout. But while things are still virtual, he and his salesforce continue to learn as much as they can about their clients and offerings to help them best sell to their customers. And the digital agility they’ve acquired allows them to share best sales practices at a very quick pace.
  • Many other opportunities. Other opportunities for 2021 reside in Systel’s print shop (which saw a record year in 2020); print technology for producing high-quality marketing materials; departmental pods of A4 devices; UCC solutions; cyber security and other managed IT services; simpler MPS offerings with flat-rate/per-user pricing and an e-commerce component; business process optimization for specific departments; as well as document technology in paper-intensive sectors.


To see an excerpt of our conversation about print-intensive verticals, check out the video below.


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