At ADKF, we pride ourselves on the relationships we develop with our clients. We grow with them and are proud to be their trusted advisors. Because of how important our clients are, we want to share their stories. For this quarter, we interviewed Preston Woolfolk, Co-President of DOCUmation.
DOCUmation has been our client for over twenty years. The close relationship we have built has spanned generations. Tom Akin, Howard Klein, Susan Valdez, Scott Kopecky, Kelsie Tabbert, and Dylan Boss have each been a member of the team to give DOCumation the excellent service they deserve. We have helped them through restructuring, financial statement reviews, and tax planning.
I asked Preston what has made the family business so successful all these years. He told me, “Our grandfather set the culture. The values of putting your people first. If you create happy employees, you create happy clients. We’ve always believed, you take care of your employees, and they will take care of your clients. Make them enjoy their job. You can’t sacrifice your employee's happiness for your client’s happiness. We believe if we develop and take care of our employees, then all the other problems will be solved. COVID was pretty indicative of that. We didn’t do any layoffs due to COVID. We wanted to maintain as many jobs as possible knowing that in a certain amount of time, this would pass and then we’d be right back at it again. So, a lot of it is just the culture around investing in your employees and taking care of them. “
When asked about challenges over the past year Preston explained, “COVID made everything harder, such as keeping people working due to quarantine and isolation. We are essential workers and were open the entire time, never closed. We were able to send some people home, but in the IT business, or service business, we have to go on-site to fix equipment. We are essential to businesses. If you can’t print, if you can’t operate your network, if you can’t manage your IT, we’re sending people on-site to come fix it. It was a big challenge making sure our people were safe and healthy. Our people just worked through it. They became quickly flexible and put on all the PPE and got people connected and working. I was really proud of all of them and the way they stepped up. A lot of industries were able to go home and hide away for months thinking it was going to blow over, our people were doing the job they were doing the day before with really a lot of unknowns, wondering if they’re going to get sick.”
Giving back is a big part of the culture of DOCUmation. One recent development stemmed from this philosophy. When the pandemic hit, they asked themselves how they could help people get back to work faster. The solution they found was in offering Thermal Scanners. Preston shared, “As far as I’m aware, we’re the first technology dealer in Texas to do so on a large scale. There’s a scanner at the front of the office that takes your temperature and says whether you’re wearing a mask. We installed a lot of those across the state. This was a big change to our business. Not something we were shooting for or planning on, but it quickly became apparent by April that it would be one of the best ways to help open back up and to find a safer way to get people into the office. So, we quickly created the partnerships and launched the scanners in all our markets in the state. It worked out well. It was our goal to figure out what we could do to aid in the recovery.” They plan to launch telephony services in 2022. They will become a hosted VOIP service.
When asked how the partnership with ADKF has helped DOCumation Preston replied, “A big one for us is a lot of consistency with the ADKF staff in terms of history with our business. It’s really helpful, especially with a third-generation family business, to have some trusted advisors, especially on the financial side that everyone feels comfortable with. When there’s changes, it’s nice to know Susan has that history with us on the reviews and then Howard on the tax side. The best part is that trust and that consistency. Also, we’ve had some unique companies structure changes we’ve made in the last few years financially, and legal and tax structure. Working with the Tax team Dylan, Kelsie, Howard, and Scott, on ideas and the best ways to handle things structurally so you’re in compliance financially and we don’t end up getting into unforeseen tax consequences. It has been really helpful to get their ideas and creativity. I think the important part is the creativity. We had some unique challenges with the way our tax structure was set up, because we’re an S Corp and we didn’t want to bust our S Corp election, but we needed to own a lot of subsidiary entities and Howard, Scott, Dylan, and Kelsie were very creative in the way we could do that while maintaining our same tax structure. That was really helpful. But it came from them having been with us for the last fifteen years that they understood all of the challenges that we were going to encounter and how we needed to do that. We couldn’t have come up with it ourselves. There’s no way I could have come up with it myself, or anyone on our side could have ever thought in any form or fashion what Howard came up with. It was really helpful.”
We thank Preston for sharing his time and are thrilled to continue to be DOCUmation’s trusted advisor today and for all their future generations.