CHANGING LANDSCAPE: Innovex has been working to make the shift from being solely an equipment dealer to a diversified, digital-service company. Above are Innovex CEO Peter Parisi, left, and Director of Marketing and Digital Sales Chris Parisi.
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
By Patrick Anderson PBN Staff Writer
For some, the paperless office is a dream. For others, it could be a nightmare.
As businesses churn through less paper, less toner and fewer staples every year, their counterparts selling copiers, printers and a whole range of related supplies see their markets being squeezed.
At Innovex in Lincoln, avoiding the disruption of the digital office has meant moving into the information technology market that’s taking over how businesses operate.
Last year, Innovex purchased Netsense, a Cranston IT consulting and Web-development firm, marking the latest and most aggressive shift yet from a straight equipment dealer to a diversified digital-service company.
“What is happening with office technology is it is converging with IT,” said Innovex President and CEO Peter Parisi. “If you look at all the paper mills closing, that is why we have to go out into other areas.”
Adapting to changing technology is nothing new for Innovex, which evolved as office equipment has since it was founded in 1961 as Advanced Business Machines Repair Service.
Back then, manual typewriters were the dominant office equipment and the company formed to service Olivetti typewriters after the manufacturer of that brand decided to focus on production.
Over the years, manual typewriters gave way to electric typewriters, and then copiers, desktop printers and word processors.
An accountant by training, Parisi turned to office equipment in the 1990s when his previous employer, Almacs Supermarkets, began to fall apart.
It was just after copying technology started going digital around the turn of the last century that Parisi saw an opportunity in the industry and purchased Advanced Business Machines in 2001.
When Parisi took over, Advanced Business Machines was operating on Broad Street in Providence and in his first year did $400,000 in total sales.
With an eye on expanding beyond the Providence market, Parisi moved the business to Smithfield to improve access to customers in southeastern Massachusetts.
Steadily, the business grew and in 2008 moved to its current 16,000-square-foot facility in Lincoln.
In 2009, Parisi’s son Chris launched a marketing division and in 2011 rebranded the firm Innovex, heralding the company’s migration into IT services.