Family ties and old friendships are the foundations of what built LaserEquipment, a local cartridge recycling company that recently moved to Martin City in 2015. Started by a father and son in a basement back in 1989 when typewriters were king, Daryl Ochs and Ken Elder would take old cartridges, toners, and printers into their basement and repurpose them on the spot. Once rebuilt, they began selling the repurposed products to customers. It quickly became clear, they were on to something.
Since refurbished products are significantly less expensive for companies to purchase, Ochs and Elder’s repurposed products were flying off the shelves. They began operating under the name LaserEquipment and quickly outgrew their basement headquarters. Locations in Joplin and Springfield, MO, Omaha, NE, and Merriam, KS were opened to accommodate the growing demand.
They were pumping out, on average, over 6,000 new printer cartridges per month. Large corporations began to take notice, and now, most of their clients are nationwide companies.
In 2014, John Walker, Owner of Perfect Output, a customized solutions provider for large organizations like Hallmark Cards, Inc., Cerner Corporation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and The White House Communications Office, purchased LaserEquipment. His daughter, Farrah Walker, took over operations and began looking for a larger location to accommodate growth.
The move to Martin City seemed like an obvious one for Walker. With companies like Infinite Energy Construction already in place, Walker saw an opportunity to further grow the Martin City industrial scene.
“Growing up, I would visit Martin City once or twice a week. Many of my family’s favorite restaurants are here. This place is like a second home to me” said Walker.
The City of Kansas City, Missouri, Jackson County, and the Martin City Community Improvement District have been investing millions of dollars into improving Martin City. As a result, property owners have been reinvesting and new businesses like LaserEquipment are looking at Martin City as a great place to grow a company. Walker says she’s thrilled to be a contributor to the growing success of the neighborhood.
“I get really excited about all the growth in this area. There’s a lot of land out there that could be put to use and developing it would do our community a lot of good,” said Walker.
Mike Rice, the owner of the 13850 Wyandotte Street warehouse in Martin City, is a name that frequently comes up when talking about the success of the company.
“He’s been a wonderful mentor and frequently shares advice about what might help LaserEquipment achieve more success.” Walker says Rice is one of the reasons the company decided to move to Martin City.
In 2015, Rice and Walker officially sealed a deal and LaserEquipment became fully operational in Martin City soon after.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
The key to LaserEquipment’s success is good people, good products, and no assembly lines. Their on-site staff completely breaks down every product and rebuilds it from scratch. Real humans build and test all products before shipping, and all LaserEquipment’s remanufactured toner cartridges are 100% compatible with OEM printers.
Each year, 60 – 80% of all empty toner and inkjet cartridges go directly into trash cans and end up in a landfill. It can take up to 1000 YEARS for a printer cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill site! In addition, the leftover ink inside the cartridges can seep out, further polluting the environment. When you recycle and purchase used cartridges, you are helping to conserve our natural resources!
Every remanufactured laser cartridge saves nearly two pounds of metal and plastic waste from being deposited in landfills. For cartridges, printers, and printer parts that have reached the end of their life-cycle, LaserEquipment works with industry-leading recycling partners to make sure all components stay in the circular economy.
ON A MISSION TO REDUCE WASTE
Did you know at least half of all documents printed are typically thrown away within 24 hours? This inefficient use of printers, copiers, and fax machines wastes companies a substantial amount of money each year.
Bank of America cut its paper consumption by 25% in two years by increasing the use of online forms and reports, e-mail, double-sided copying, and lighter-weight paper, and Citigroup reports they could save an estimated $700,000 each year if every employee used double-sided copying to conserve just one sheet of paper each week.
LaserEquipment is a certified Minority-Owned and Small Disadvantaged Business, which means every dollar you spend with them qualifies as one dollar spent toward fulfilling the Federal Government’s diversity spending requirements! And since all LaserEquipment’s cartridges are made in the USA, they’re keeping jobs in the U.S. too.
“Family comes first at LaserEquipment,” says Walker. “We take great pride in our people and we always want them to feel like they are a part of a family. We all take care of each other while we’re at work.”
With the Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technology Plant just five minutes south and the growth of CenterPoint Intermodal, it’s exciting to forecast what the future holds for Martin City and we’re thrilled to have LaserEquipment on board for the ride!
To find out how LaserEquipment may be able to help your business waste less and save more, please visit LaserEquipment.com.