Access Systems is thriving in Fort Dodge

Company is growing fast across Iowa and beyond

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Access Systems account executives Lindsay Baessler and Mark Simonson pose in their downtown Fort Dodge offices. They are located at 706 Central Avenue.

The local office of Access Systems has a new home in the heart of downtown Fort Dodge. In January, a move took place to an expansive, renovated venue at 706 Central Ave. — across the street from the Webster County Courthouse and The Messenger. The office was previously at 15 N. 10th St.

“Because of our growth we’re going to be adding heads down the road,” said Lindsay Baessler, Fort Dodge branch manager and account executive. “We needed a larger space. This more central location allows us to be more accessible to our current and future partners. We are excited about this opportunity to better serve the greater Fort Dodge community,”

She said remaining in the central business district was an important decision factor in selecting an expansion site.

“It’s important for me because of the visibility,” Baessler said. “Fort Dodge is becoming a Main Street community and we want to be a part of that.”

Booming Iowa company

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Access Systems account executives Lindsay Baessler and Mark Simonson on a customer’s order in their downtown Fort Dodge offices. They are located at 706 Central Avenue.

Baessler, who is also the Access Systems selling sales manager in this part of the Hawkeye State, said the company has experienced phenomenal growth.

“Access Systems is based in Waukee,” she said. “That’s our corporate headquarters. Twelve or 13 years ago we offered just IT services. We have now grown to 13 branches throughout Iowa and Nebraska. Just as our size has grown, our offerings have also grown.”

Access Systems provides a full spectrum of office services. They range from IT solutions and copiers and printers to phone systems and document imaging.

According to Baessler, the company’s Iowa roots are very much evident in the way it does business.

That point was seconded by Mark Simonson, an account executive at the Fort Dodge office.

“I’ve worked for a larger company before,” he said. “I like the Iowa, Midwestern feel and values.”

Baessler said the company’s ownership and history make it a distinctive player in a competitive office-services marketplace.

“We are locally owned and operated,” she said. “We’re an Iowa-owned company. Shane Sloan purchased the company about 13 years ago. He’s from Independence. He’s been doing this since he graduated from the University of Iowa. In this industry, you are either growing or you are stagnant or losing business, which opens the door to opportunities to sell. A lot of our growth has happened through acquisitions in communities throughout the state.”

Since Baessler became part of the Access Systems team six years ago, she has seen the workforce more than triple.

“I think I was the 70th employee,” she said. “Now we are at about 225.”

The Fort Dodge office Baessler leads is part of the company’s print division.

“The nice thing about our company is we are not brand loyal,” Baessler said. “We have Ricoh, Sharp, HP, Lexmark and we are always adding to that.”

That means tailoring a solution to each client’s specific needs rather than promoting a particular vendor’s products can remain the top priority.

Baessler said helping businesses assess just what solutions best fit their situation is a key part of the assistance Access Systems professionals provide in all the service areas the company handles.

“For the print division we do a free print analysis,” she said. “We check out the current environment. We’ll talk to the end users to see how things are working today and how we could improve things. … We’ve got about 70 customers on the print side just here in Fort Dodge.”

Baessler said Access Systems is often able to help customers save money both by becoming more efficient and because of pricing it can offer.

“Based on our size and volume in ordering the equipment, our pricing is very competitive,” she said. “We’re purchasing in large quantities, which means we have good relationships with our manufacturers.”

The wide range of specialized office solutions Access Systems can address, makes it an attractive choice for clients with diverse requirements, according to Baessler.

“We also can offer everything they would need in office technology,” she said. “They can get their phone systems through us, anything IT-related – the hardware, computers, servers, switches. We even sell digital whiteboards for conference rooms, collaborations.”

Good place to work

Baessler said becoming part of the Access Systems family has proved a good move for her both personally and professionally.

“I love that technology is always evolving,” she said. “The technology is always changing. We have to stay up on the technology.”

Baessler said she also enjoys being part of a company on the move.

“The most exciting thing for me is our growth,” she said. “There are always more opportunities with our company.”

Working with a diverse set of clients also appeals to Baessler.

“My other favorite part of the job is just meeting with the customers and getting into different industries and learning about them,” she said. “One day you can be at a co-op and the next you can be in a school district. It’s fun to see those environments.”