As a 10-year-old paperboy in his hometown, Jim DiSalvo got a piece of advice from the Batavia Daily News publisher that he never forgot, and that guided him in his business career.
“If you work hard you will succeed,” Art Marshall, Sr. told him.
“All my life I thought about that,” says DiSalvo, the owner of Genesee County’s Entrepreneurial Business of the Year: Applied Business Systems (ABS). “And, I must have worked hard to get to where we are.”
ABS, owned and operated by Jim and Connie DiSalvo, has been a staple of the community for more than 30 years, but as DiSalvo himself puts it: “It is another well hidden success story here in Genesee County.” ABS is located out of sight, in the Harvester Ave. complex, where most people don’t even realize the company stuffs and mails more than four million letters per year. ABS provides forms distribution services to local businesses and businesses across the country.
Anyone operating a business understands that stuffing, addressing, and mailing thousands of letters is a difficult task, and requires a larger workforce than many businesses can afford. DiSalvo saw the need to create a cost-effective solution, and so he founded ABS to reduce the burden of mailing.
The company’s dedication to innovation and cost reducing techniques resulted in a nomination for Entrepreneurial Business of the Year. The Genesee County ARC has worked with ABS for more than 20 years, and knows first-hand that ABS works hard to cut customer costs and deliver outstanding work on-time, which is why Paul Saskowski nominated them for the award.
“Mailing individual pieces to thousands of different customers seems like a daunting task,” wrote Saskowski in his nomination letter. “It used to be a secretary typing the paper, folding the paper, stuffing the envelope, addressing the envelope, sealing the envelope, applying potage and taking it to the post office. It hurts just to read the process…ABS decided to take on these tasks and provide that service to customers in the most cost effective ways possible.”
When asked about the company’s innovations in forms distribution, Vice President of Production Steve Samis said, “We’ve taken our knowledge of the forms and printing industry and applied that to our customer’s needs and paying points, and truly, with that type of relationship and partnership, we’ve been able to consistently provide our clients with a great finished piece based on what their business needs were.”
ABS mails more than four million letters each year. Despite the huge volume of work, ABS has maintained a great reputation for on-time delivery, creative collaboration, and the lowest cost solutions available. Saskowski attributes their ability to provide low cost solutions to their unyielding dedication to proper preparation and labeling, as well as their ability to effectively collaborate with customers for on-time completion.
“If the lowest cost comes out of sorting 60,000 pieces to 35 individual zip codes in that county, ABS gets it done,” wrote Saskowski. “When ARC needed to change their billing procedures for their trash and recycling business, the processionals at ABS helped smooth out the task of billing thousands of new customers. From designing the forms, logos and making the database fit, ABS was able to offer solutions and deliver services.”
Clearly, this is a local business that understands their customer’s needs, and has the entrepreneurial spirit needed to assure them the lowest price. Moreover, ABS is active in the community and enjoys giving back. Steve Samis and Lisa Ormsbee are both active alumni of Leadership Genesee, a year-long workshop that unites business entities with the local community, and “encourages the leader within.” Each year, around the holidays, Jim and Connie DiSalvo treat more than 1,000 visitors to a spectacular light display, known community-wide as “The Lights on Fargo.” In this spirit of giving back, the Chamber of Commerce honors ABS with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and it is much deserved.
The 43rd Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards will be formally held on Saturday, February 28th at the Clarion Hotel on Park Road in Batavia, NY.