Headquartered in Nashville, TN, RJ Young opened their doors over 60 years ago and now they have a new president.

With more than 30 locations across the southeastern US, AJ Baggott is ready to continue the traditions set forth by owner Chip Crunk over the years.

As one of the top 10 largest office equipment resellers in the US, RJ Young is privately owned and growing both organically and through acquisitions.

What kinds of companies does AJ want to acquire going forward? Find out in this episode of What’s Happenin’.

Full Transcript Below

SOURCE Industry Analysts Inc.

Canon Pushes Performance of Successful varioPRINT iX-series with New Software Release

what’s happening Andy here I am joined

today by AJ Baggett AJ is with RJ young

now out in Nashville Tennessee how are

you AJ I’m good Andy thanks for having

me man great to see you congratulations

we’ve got big news from from uh from

Nashville you were just promoted uh to

president of rjn so why don’t you

um why don’t you give us some background

who’s RJ young how long you been in

business how many locations all that

what do you guys do awesome yeah we can

do that uh so RJ young company has a

long tradition headquartered in

Nashville Tennessee as you mentioned uh

we’ve got 32 locations across the

southeast that’s across the nine states

in the Southeast uh you know if there’s

SEC football we have a we have an office

there so uh we try to make sure that

we’re covering the southeast you know as

holistically as we can

um we’ve been in business for 68 years

so uh really long tradition a lot of

history and uh you’re hard-pressed to

walk around Nashville and find somebody

who doesn’t know uh the RJ young brand

so uh was really fortunate to join the

company when I did uh I came on board

seven years ago as the CFO uh came on

board to help chip with Acquisitions and

um have kind of steadily progressed

throughout the organization I got to

work with some some folks who were

Legends throughout the industry uh they

worked at RJ young for a long time uh

and learned a lot from those guys and

now they’ve been you know given the

honor of leading the company as the


so you guys are at your privately owned

company um and you’re one of the biggies

you’re in the top you know I would say

top ten for sure uh you’ve been in

business forever but you’re you’re

you’re not just copiers right I mean

that’s what you started as office

equipment and and now you’ve expanded

into managed services and what else do

you guys do besides just a traditional

you know traditional office equipment

yeah so that’s a good question so I like

many of the other copier dealers in the

Imaging industry you know we we expanded

into the I.T services and many service

provider space uh we’ve been doing that

for about eight years

um growing that side of the business

pretty regularly

um mostly organic we did do an

acquisition on that side of the house

last year to grow it uh at a little more

scale but um so the managed services on

the I.T side is a pretty big component

of what we do but we also run an

outsourced print shop so promotional


um you know outsourced print you know

kind of Industrial Level print facility

here in Nashville uh but we also you

know through the pandemic we found you

know we had a five-year plan for

diversification that I’d rolled out to

chip in 2019 uh we fast forwarded that

to about a five month plan when covet

hit uh and it really expanded into audio

visual phone systems and and really

trying to be a comprehensive technology

provider so our goal is that with our

customers if they have a technology need

we’re the first place they call and you

know if that’s on the I.T service side

of things if it’s on the audio visual

side of things or even physical security

you know we want to provide all of those

opportunities that we can and if we

can’t we have partners that we can you

know Outsource that to and and we’ve got

Partnerships that we trust you know

custom software development website

development uh that we can refer our

customers to that we trust those

Partners to to represent us well

so you guys have been um Super Active

with the Acquisitions now the managed

services that you were just talking

about is this something that’s in all of

the locations is this something you’re

rolling out everywhere or is it just

unique to maybe certain locations where

you had it when you acquired them or

where you’ve ramped up uh you mentioned

you acquired an a managed services

company last year so how does that fit

in with what you guys are doing is this

something across the board a common a

commonality is it you know we sell the

same office technology in this location

as we do in all 32 or does it differ by

region by state how does that work for

you guys yeah that’s a great question so

we we offered the vast majority of what

we sell everywhere

um we have the same product lines the

same offerings you know you know whether

that be on The copier side or the audio

visual side that’s Universal across all

locations on the managed Services side

we have been

um focusing that in our larger markets

so as I mentioned 32 locations some of

those are in more rural spaces and

places where uh right now we’re still

kind of slow rolling those into those

markets from a managed Services

perspective but uh we do offer the

managed services on the I.T side for

pretty much all of our major

Metropolitan markets that we’re in which

right now is probably 10 of the

locations that we have now back to what

we mentioned before you being privately

owned that’s not slowed you down as far

as Acquisitions um you were one of the

more active companies that we saw last

year you had what three or four I think

at least that I know of

um so you’re growing organically you’re

growing into these new areas managed

Services well it’s not meta-services

isn’t new but some of these other areas

um are the AV and the phones you

mentioned are newer

um so so going forward is is the plan

continued organic growth is it you know

is it Acquisitions is it both

um what’s what’s the future look like

for RJM that’s that’s a great question

so um it’s both you know I think we want

to continue to evaluate the great thing

about technology is it changes every day

right it’s also the worst thing about

technology is that it changes every day

um so we’re trying to stay at the

Forefront of that for our customers so

we’re constantly evaluating new product

lines and offerings and services to to

grow some of those things new revenue

streams organic organically uh but we’re

still seeing even on the Imaging side

really good organic growth and some of

our more mature markets um so I think

the organic growth to us is important so

total last year we had almost 30 million

dollars of growth year over year and 60

percent of that was organic 40 was

through acquisition and so the four

Acquisitions we did last year

um you know we try to grow responsibly


um we are privately owned we don’t take

any private Equity money and so a lot of

that is funded through the fact that we

do all of our internal leasing so all

leasing that we do is funded internally

um and that helps us to fund our own

acquisition activity

um and really through code we found that

to be a huge Advantage from just being

flexible with customers giving them a

lot of opportunities from a leasing

perspective that you know maybe we’re

harder to come by from some of our other

dealer you know competitors in the


so we we do Envision ourselves

continuing to grow you know from an

acquisitive perspective you know looking

for opportunities where it makes sense

into new geographies or potentially new

product lines from an acquisition

perspective but also you know the

organic growth to me I think that’s

that’s the sign of a healthy company if

we can grow organically at the rate we

did last year I feel pretty confident

that it will continue to grow in a

healthy way that we have over the past

you know 60 plus years

well organic growth is key and you know

there’s obviously we’re in a in an

industry that is you know slowly

declining but there’s so much out there

still and you look at

um companies like you and then you know

companies you’re just even some of your

competitors that are all in on print and

really do very little and manage

services and you know maybe down the

road that’s an issue for them maybe not

but right now they’re still growing

right there’s just if you have a good

team if you have a good uh system in

place and a good product line a good


um that you that’s supporting you you

know the sky is still the limit on that

side and that’s you you know someone

like you is using that to fund uh fund

growth into other areas so that one

print eventually does decline a little

more than than you know we would like it

to there’s something else there that

that you guys are doing and I love the

idea of you know staying close to that

customer whatever the customer wants and

that’s this channel right that’s um it’s

always been BTA BTA is 95 plus years old

now I think and you know they weren’t

copiers they were adding machines they

were then they were calculators and they

were typewriters and you guys don’t sell

any of that anymore but right no I bet

some of those offices you have

um I bet some of them have typewriters

sitting in their Lobby right because

they actually do we we kind of have some

like you know

historical you know museum style things

I see it everywhere that’s what our

heritage duplicators and things like

that that’s our heritage yeah you know

it’s funny Andy you know I talked a

little bit um I’ve been in the industry

for seven years so in this industry I

feel like a a rookie still in a lot of

ways you know um you got an event and

everybody’s been in in the industry for

40 plus years and things like that so

but but I do think that you know what

you just mentioned is is fascinating

that this industry has always evolved

when they need to right and in into

whatever the next thing needs to be

right and I that’s what we’re trying to

do here and so as print declines as a

whole if the if print is declining as a

whole if we can still have a bigger

piece of that smaller pie

we’re growing right and we’re healthy

and then

while we’re doing that growing into some

of those other newer and more diverse

pieces of the business

um you know I don’t think there’s any

limitations to what our industry is

capable of evolving into because we’re a

customer-centric business right and

we’re delivering an experience and a

service to customers that need that and

so you know whether it’s copiers or

audio visual or I.T Services you know

we’ve got the opportunity to be able to

come in and the service delivery is what

we’re selling

the widget that’s behind it is the

widget behind it but it doesn’t matter

it’s you know we I’ve got dealers um I

could you probably know who they are too

selling coffee and water and you know

it’s the point is I have a truck I have

a team I have a recurring Revenue stream

here that I’m making a lot of money on

whether it’s Widgets or coffee or toner

or doesn’t matter it’s B2B it’s what

does that customer need um before I let

you go I do want to spend a few minutes

talking about your your acquisition plan

and and you know I work with a lot of

companies I have a lot of these guys on

here and we talk about this and and you

know if I’m a perspective if I’m a

dealer that’s getting ready to bow out

you know I’m a 40 50 year old deal or 10

20 million dollar deal right in that

sweet spot where you’re probably looking

um everybody wants me why RJ young

what’s you know what is it about you

guys let’s say I’m out in Memphis or I’m

in you know I don’t know Virginia

somewhere you know what what is it about

about RJ young that would make me want

to consider you guys why would I go with

you guys

yeah that’s a great question and this is

something really important to us

um you know my background at Deloitte I

did a lot of work with mergers and

Acquisitions and you know to me the

valuations and the numbers side of

Acquisitions is the easy part


understanding the culture of a company

and how they’re going to integrate into

the buyer uh to me is more important I

mean we we’ve probably evaluated 10x the

number of companies we’ve ended up

putting an offer in uh to buy just

because we want to make sure that that

cultural integration is going to work

um I think that’s the quickest way to

lose money on the return on investment

is buying something that can’t mesh and

so um you know I think a lot of our

sales pitches you know we’re going to

come in and we’re going to get to know

the people that are selling it because I

think that’ll tell you a lot about the

kind of business they ran but we’re also

going to get to know the people that

work there because that’s who’s going to

now be the face of RJ young to the

customers that we’re inheriting through

that acquisition right and so um we’ve

put an emphasis on making sure that we

treat those employees of an acquisition

just like they’ve worked for RJ young

for 30 years and I know in this industry

so many owners are concerned about what

their employees lives look like post

acquisition it’s not just about maximum

what can they get or the highest

multiple they can get yeah they want to

know that those people are taken care of

and I will tell you that you know our

10-person leadership team three of those

individuals have come through


um and so we don’t look at those people

as the step children of RJ young you

know day one of an acquisition they’re

they’re a member of our team and what we

do here and

um you know I think a lot of of the

owners that I’ve talked to in the past

you know the first question is what’s

going to happen to my people it’s not

what multiple are you guessing in the

marketplace and you know the the people

who ask that question first are the ones

where I always have the question of okay

what kind of people are going to be

working there that are working for them

if that’s all they care about and

um yeah I’ve been fortunate working for

chip that’s not all he cares about right

he’s our priority is to take care of our

people and take care of our people first

uh and we take that same approach to

acquisition so if I were giving a sales

pitch to an owner it would be that I

want to get to know you and your people

first and then we’ll decide if it’s a if

it’s the right fit to pursue a letter

than 10 or something like that very cool

way to do it and and just for the record

to be clear uh ACC and Big Ten are on

the table as well it does not have to be

SEC is that is that okay yeah we’ll

we’ll expand outside the SEC you know

they’re they’re bringing in you know

Oklahoma so they’re expanding we want to

make sure we can keep Pace all right all

right well AJ this has been an absolute

pleasure thank you so much for coming on

any last shout outs to anybody no just

thank you for having me on and uh again

you know thanks to the crunk family for

uh for the confidence and the

opportunity to lead this company I’m

excited about it

well congratulations and we will talk

soon take care thanks