Tim Stanley likes to talk about beef. He still likes to talk about copiers, toner, marketing collateral and the wonders of print-on-demand.
But these days, he really likes to talk about beef.
The longtime owner and president of Total Document Solutions Inc. of Fayetteville, who is a platinum authorized dealer of Xerox machines, is also the founder of ZAC Ranch, a 52-acre spread south of Goshen where he raises Irish Dexter cattle.
A breed that is growing in popularity due to its economical size, ability to produce milk and meat, and wash-and-wear durability, the Irish Dexter is the latest interest for a man who focuses on work, faith and family, and not much else.
“I don’t like golf, I don’t hunt or fish, and I don’t have vices,” Stanley explained. “I’ve been yipping and yapping about toner for so long, talking about beef is fun.”
And this is pasture-raised, grass-fed, hormone-free cattle. The meat is dry-aged for 21 days, and right now, the best way to buy it is in the $500 variety pack. In a show of commitment to his new endeavor, Stanley traded in his SUV for a diesel pickup, and he’s now in the market for a tractor.
“It’s the best we can do, and I’ll never go corporate,” he said of his cattle operation. “This is all about taste and quality.”
The son of a school teacher and an X-ray technician, Stanley grew up in the southern Illinois town of Flora. He attended the University of Illinois on a football scholarship and played on the offensive line.
After graduation, he took a job with Eastman Kodak Co. and moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1989. The company moved him to Memphis in 1991, and then to Fort Lauderdale, where he was Kodak’s national account representative for Office Depot.
By then he was married to wife Tina, who is from this region. The two made it back in 1996, and with rumors swirling that Kodak would be bought by Danka, Stanley founded Total Document Solutions and became the region’s Xerox agent.
When Stanley first started out with Xerox, his success was not a given. But his wife had a great job at MCI, at the time a major phone company, so Stanley had a cushion.
“Tina is a big part of the business,” he said. “I couldn’t have made it without her.”
With his wife’s support, Stanley, 51, made a name for himself and in 1999 was named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40.
In 2005, he cemented his place in Fayetteville with the purchase of a 4,100-SF office building at 2515 N. Shiloh Drive, just off Interstate 49. The $500,000 purchase raised a few eyebrows and opened a few doors.
“All the sudden I’m on three-day sales cycles, when they’re usually 90 days,” he said.
Total Document Solutions employs 20 people and is a leading supplier of office equipment, technology and software services for small and large businesses here, in southwest Missouri, and in southeast Kansas. The company supports anything from a desktop printer up to a $1 million digital press.
Throughout his career with TDS, Stanley has been a fixture on local radio, and even had his own show for four years. He tapes all his own commercials, and knows his market — talk radio and sports talk radio. His on-air work, anchored by the steady voice that accompanies his six-foot-five-inch frame, is just one piece of his campaign for success.
“I’ve just done all the little things all the time and try to do them right,” he said.
In the copier business, like everywhere else, the constant churn of technology has brought about great changes. And increasingly, the clients of Total Document Solutions have been asking about IT problems, not necessarily printer problems.
While Stanley and his team have tried to break into the IT market, they haven’t had much success. TDS, after all, is not an IT company and can’t pretend that it is. But that’s about to change. Stanley said TDS and a true IT company are about to form a partnership in order to handle document systems and affiliated computer networks.
“We’re going to be the cat’s meow at this,” he said.
While confident in the new endeavor, Stanley also acknowledged that he had no choice.
“My customers are dragging me into this, and if I don’t do it, I’m done,” he said.