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Company

Heritage Tour

Family

Cannon IV was conceived in the heart of Richard Jones. Beyond business success, it was a commitment to family, after all, that fired his vision. When Richard Jones established Cannon IV from the garage of his modest Eastside home, it was a gift of heritage to his wife and four sons. With his death in 1978, the business became his legacy -- a testament to his faith, perseverance, collaboration and genuine love of family and friends. Today, Cannon IV’s family ties extend wide and deep – from a dedicated circle of employees that express an uncommon fondness for one another, to customer relationships that continue to include Richard Jones’ very first, to a host of community partners through which Cannon IV commits to giving back. As humility breeds contentment, honorable expectations yield rich rewards.

Heritage

A rich legacy in Indianapolis, Cannon IV traces its roots to Kee Lox, a national manufacturer of carbon paper and typewriter ribbons. Kee Lox was managed locally by members of the Cannon IV family since 1918. Kee Lox officially passed the torch to Richard Jones on July 1, 1975, giving him their well-earned endorsement for his establishment of Cannon IV. A "loyal and most trusted" employee of Kee Lox since 1953, Richard Jones achieved a record level of business for the company as a salesman, and then in 1964 as manager of the Indianapolis branch office. It was the same branch office founded by his father-in-law, Harry Groene, in 1918, and the same one managed by his brother-inlaw, Bernie Minton, through the 1940's and 50's. The evolution of Cannon IV from Kee Lox carries on what is now nearly a century of business and familial tradition in Indianapolis. Cannon IV proudly remembers its heritage and continues to operate in the tradition of family founders, guided by a strong work ethic, a commitment to quality products, and a willful desire to please.

Ingenuity

The typewriter was king and Bob Gedig has the carbon scars to prove it. Hired by Harry Groene, Bob Gedig delivered for Kee Lox by bicycle, supplying carbon paper and typewriter ribbons to eager customers all over Indianapolis. Carbon paper and typewriter ribbons were "cash crops" to Kee Lox at that time. In those days before the computer, Bob Gedig, then 17, logged hundreds of miles delivering carbon paper "custom cut" from large reams according to customer specifications. At the end of the workday, Harry Groene helped the young Gedig secure his bike to the elevator shaft. Another day complete, Gedig took the suburban back to his southside home, carbon covered and shop-worn, in anticpation of the next day's runs.

Innovation

By the end of the 1980's, Cannon IV's gamble on computer technology had shown tremendous foresight. Once dependent on servicing the typewriter and manual check printer, Cannon IV's potential lay wide open with the computer. Just as the computer made typewriters a relic from another era, laser printers came to revolutionize check processing. In the mid-1990's, MICR technology changed the way American businesses print checks, allowing safe and efficient printing from the desktop. In 1996, Cannon IV aligned with Troy Products to become one of three distributors of MICR toner products for check printing. Today, American businesses print billions of checks daily using MICR technology via the laser printer.

Leadership

Harry Groene's happiness in life came from the happiness of those around him. It was a trait that served him well as a husband, a father and a businessman. It undoubtedly served his customers well at Kee Lox. Harry Groene came to Indianapolis with Kee Lox in 1918, where he and his wife Elise raised three daughters -- Dorothy, Rosemary and Betty Ann. At age 21, he was already one of the company's most successful salesmen. Charged with developing a branch office in Indianapolis, Groene built one of the company's most successful, utilizing a small arsenal that included only himself, a secretary and Bob Gedig in charge of delivery. Harry Groene died in 1945 at the age of 47. The business was passed to his brother, Stanley Groene, who died three years later at the same age, 47.

Loyalty

When Harry Groene sealed his first few sales making cold calls to Indianapolis companies, he couldn't have fathomed the future of communications. From phone, to fax, to modem, to cellular phone, to e-mail, today's customers have more options than ever before. More importantly, companies are able to offer them more options. In the early-1990's, Cannon IV began to exercise those options, offering customized service based on customer wants and needs. Today, Cannon IV customers order by phone, fax, e-mail, or via the company web site, where buyers from each client company accesses a customized screen and an individualized order history that helps them reorder favorite products. The fact that Cannon IV continues to earn the trust of its very first customer serves as the greatest testament to its success. Hundreds of management books have been written to decode the secret of customer loyalty, but Cannon IV has found the secret in human relations and the passion of service rather than science. Science, may bring measurable results, but passion brings results beyond measure.

Character

Bernie Minton's charismatic presence has energized countless gatherings. It is our hope that gatherings here at Cannon IV will be richer with his presence. Bernie Minton enlisted in the Navy on Pearl Harbor Day. In 1945, at the close of World War II, he married Dorothy Groene and came to work for Kee Lox at $28 a week. Upon the death of Stanley Groene in 1948, he took over management of the Indianapolis operation. Successful in Indianapolis, Bernie was offered a new challenge by Kee Lox in 1954 - to turn around an underperforming Chicago office. Bernie did just that; under his direction, the poorest selling branch of Kee Lox became the sales leader.

Relationships

There is an event in the life of every successful business that marks its arrival in the big leagues. For Cannon IV, that event came in 1989 with its recognition as Dealer of the Year by IBM. The recognition capped a groundbreaking decade and catapulted the company to a new level of acceptance in the industry. Cannon IV's reputation was soon confirmed in the eyes of other manufacturers. Hewlett-Packard named Cannon IV as one of the "fastest-growing authorized HP supplies dealers in the country" in 1995, the same year that Lexmark named Cannon IV its INTEC Dealer of the Year. Cannon IV has since been honored by nearly every major manufacturer in the industry for its sales and marketing performance. Cannon IV has found its success in collaboration, by developing relationships with manufacturers in the same way it has developed relationships with employees and customers.

Vision

Recognition of the computer as a major technological force accounted for considerable growth for Cannon IV in the 1980's. Investment in computer supplies over office supplies, its core products at the time, represented a new risk that was lessened only by the partnerships Cannon IV made in an effort to service the new technology. In 1986, Cannon IV achieved a major victory in sealing a sales contract with IBM. Authorized dealer contracts followed with Hewlett-Packard in 1987 and Lexmark in 1990. Cannon IV's evolution from an office supplies dealer to a company heavily banking on new computer technology can be traced in its contracts with Hewlett-Packard. The initial contract with Hewlett-Packard in 1987 focused on the sale of calculators. Cannon IV exceeded sales goals with calculators, but more significantly, outpaced competitors in the sale of computer supplies. A new contract was inked in 1990 to reflect Cannon IV's upgraded status with Hewlett-Packard.

Partnerships

No company has had more significant impact on driving Cannon IV than Hewlett-Packard. Cannon IV has grown with Hewlett-Packard, selling the company’s calculators in the 1960’s and its earliest printers in the 1970’s. Today, everyday, truckloads of HP product leave the Cannon IV warehouse for delivery to clients nationwide. The HP-Cannon IV partnership has been loyal -- and reciprocal. As a trusted reseller, Cannon IV has been called upon by HP often — to test market programs, model information technologies, or lead the launch of a new product – and has always responded with success. Cannon IV is an original member of the HP Dealer Advisory Council. Cannon IV is now one of HP’s largest independent dealers. Besides the common origins of the two companies – humble beginnings in a neighborhood garage – Cannon IV and HP share philosophical values that make them natural allies – a commitment to excellence, superior service, innovation, and a satisfied customer.