From Humble Beginnings: The Evolution of Advanced Business Systems

Connecting you and your business technology needs since 1991.

We frequently hear this statement from ABS, and we would like to share with you the remarkable journey that has taken us from our humble beginnings to where we are today. 

Ned Jones, having found success in the sales industry (first in the car business, then in office equipment), could not shake the feeling that something was missing from his day-to-day life. His desire for growth and a greater purpose led him to decide to leave his current position with a local copier dealership behind. Teaming up with a partner, Jim Christopher, they had a shared vision to serve their local community by offering printers, copiers, and more alongside a level of customer service that was best in class, they decided to embark on a new journey in 1991.  

Transforming their vision into reality was challenging, as they encountered various obstacles along the way. The business plan they devised took months of arduous work to get off the ground. They began their venture in a 250-square-foot rental space near Rices Road (as depicted in the image to the right). The initial two years were marked by slow progress as they diligently sought new opportunities. During this time, they enlisted the help of Wayne Gillette as their sole service technician.  Wayne served as the service manager for ABS through his retirement in 2019. 

Quality Over Quantity

Ned’s goal was not to become the biggest but to be the best—providing exceptional customer service and support. He recognized the value of addressing customer concerns promptly, particularly the common query of “How soon will someone be here?” This led to a pivotal focus on maintenance. All ABS contracts received regular courtesy calls every 30-60 days, ensuring their products ran smoothly and efficiently. By constantly monitoring the machines, ABS significantly reduced the number of service calls, a testament to their commitment to customer satisfaction.  

One significant factor that set ABS apart from competitors was its 24/7 service. This round-the-clock availability proved indispensable in crucial settings like hospitals, where continuous support was essential. ABS’s dedication to personalized service and genuine care for their customers made them stand out from the competition, even though others might have offered lower prices without providing the same level of customer service.  

Gaining Traction

As ABS gained momentum and business flourished, they moved to a more prominent location on outer Pearl Street, a 1,100 square foot office in a strip mall. This expansion allowed them to accommodate their growing customer base and expand their product offerings.  

Finally, in 1995, ABS found its permanent home—a spacious 3,500 square foot location was built on Murrock Circle in Watertown and is still serving as its current headquarters.  A large addition was also added in 2004, more than doubling their previous space. At the same time, the industry became more digital, rather than analog, and ABS recognized the need to get involved in the IT space and started building their IT offerings.  Copiers were no longer just a standalone device sitting in the corner or an office, but rather a fully connected part of a customer’s network.  Up until this point, ABS primarily covered Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Lewis Counties, but a push began to expand into Oswego and Onondaga counties. 

Outer Pearl Street, 1,100 square feet
Murrock Circle, 3,500 square feet

Handing Over The Reins

In 2009, Ned’s son Ryan Jones joined the team as a sales representative covering St. Lawrence County.  After gaining some experience in the industry and learning the business that his father had built, Ned and Ryan wanted to see the business continue to grow and to stay in the family.  In 2011, they bought out Jim’s share of the business and committed substantial efforts to growing all aspects of the business.  In 2013, they purchased a building in Syracuse to accommodate growth in that market.  During this time, a strong focus was also put on expanding and improving their IT and Solutions offerings as well. 

Looking back on their journey, ABS takes immense pride in how far they have come and the values they have upheld. Their commitment to excellence, personalized service, and unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction have driven their success. One main statement that ABS has maintained is “happy employees create happy customers,” which has held importance to us as many happy, tenured employees have been with us for more than 20 years. At ABS, we believe it is imperative to treat employees like family, so they enjoy coming to work every day.  Today, ABS stands tall as a testament to the power of perseverance, innovation, and customer-centric values. This journey, which started over 30 years ago, positively impacts the lives of its customers, employees, and the surrounding communities.   

Current building with 2004 addition
Current corporate lobby which was remodeled in 2019

ABS Mission Statement: “The ABS team is committed to empowering our clients to be more productive and profitable through innovative, cost saving business technology solutions and an unparalleled customer service experience.”

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Chris Angello

    Nice work Team!! Very proud of the efforts and final result.

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