Leader Business is Metro-Detroit's leader in Office Equipment
Leader Business is Metro-Detroit's leader in office equipment
Leader Business is Metro-Detroit's leader in office equipment

History

Detroit skyline at night

Leader Business is a company founded in and focused on Metro-Detroit. We are the largest locally owned and operated Canon USA and Kyocera dealer in Southeast Michigan. Our corporate strategy to provide local sales and services through local branch offices has led us to a 97% customer retention rate.

After graduating from Western Michigan University in 1981, Karl Lieder founded the company out of his garage in Redford in 1983. He began selling Mita copiers with the help of one service technician. The company was established with the goal of providing unparalleled service support after a copier system was installed. In the early 1980’s copiers were analog devices, with many moving parts, do you remember sorter bins? Mr. Lieder knew that if he could provide the best support after the sale he could separate himself from the competition. “Our focus from the beginning was to be unsurpassed in customer service, “said Mr. Lieder.

As his startup business continued growing, Mr. Lieder incorporated Leader Business Systems in 1989. For years, the Mita, Inc. manufacturer representative calling on Mr. Lieder saw the potential of Leader Business Systems. In 1992, Mark McMacken left the manufacturer Mita and bought into Leader Business Systems. With both officers of the company having extensive copier sales experience they hired a veteran service manager, Tim Englehardt, to run the service support business in 1995. Mr. Englehardt has been in the copier business since 1979 and is considered one of Metro Detroit’s premier technical experts. Today, he manages Leader Business Systems’ corporate headquarters service support team and is our longest tenured employee.

The company’s continued growth is spurred by the founding officer’s dedication to our mission statement to operate efficiently, ethically and economically. This ideology remains our focus today. Our effectiveness in document work flows is based upon employing the most qualified sales, technical and administrative personnel to partner with our customers. We never compromise our principled standards of working with each customer conscientiously. The backbone of our strength is the founders’ philosophy to remain debt free so we can offer our customers the full advantage of a solvent support company.

As our customer needs expanded, Leader Business looked to expand their product lineup. In 1996, Canon USA approached Leader to become a Canon C-Series dealer. This was a monumental step as Leader Business was able to add the number one copier manufacturer in world to their product lineup. Mr. McMacken contacted Craig Wolter; both were former employees of the original Canon USA dealership in Detroit, International Calculator Sales, Inc. in Southfield, MI. Mr. Wolter had sold Canon equipment 1984-1990, and agreed to open the first branch of Leader Business in Taylor, MI in 1996. Mr. Wolter is a 1983 graduate of Western Michigan University.

In 2003 we opened our third office in Sterling Heights, MI. Bret Tigges was hired from Panasonic in 2001. Mr. Tigges is 1998 graduate of Western Michigan University.

In 2008 Leader Business became a full line Canon Dealer. Our product line expands to 105 PPM MFP’s.

In 2012 we opened our fourth office in Ann Arbor, MI. Bobby McMacken was chosen to run and operate this office. Having a solutions mindset and being CDIA + certified Mr. McMacken looked to expand Leader’s hardware history with solutions in both managed print services and document management software. Today Leader is a total document solutions provider. Mr. McMacken is a graduate of Albion College.

The Leader Business philosophy is to run each of its branch offices independently with the backing of corporate headquarters’. This enables Leader Business’ four branch offices to attain volume discounts from our manufacturers. Since each branch office is its own profit center, inherently this motivates efficient and economical business practices. Each branch office has its own staff of administrators, sales and technical support staff that provides local attention to our customers. There will never be an automated attendant at Leader Business! Each branch has a warehouse fully stocked with parts and toners improving response times to our customer needs. We practice hiring from within each office’s geographic location, boosting our involvement within our communities and inspiring long term careers. Our employees have been with Leader Business on average over seven years.

Leader Business at a glance:

  • 1983: Karl Lieder starts company as a Mita Dealer
  • 1989: Company incorporated as Leader Business Systems
  • 1992: Mark McMacken buys into Leader
  • 1993: K&M Leasing incorporated
  • 1996: Becomes a Canon USA Compact-Series Dealer
  • 1996: Taylor branch office opens
  • 2000: Kyocera acquires Mita Industrial Company, Ltd, and operates under Kyocera Mita, Corporation
  • 2003: Sterling Heights branch office opens
  • 2008: Becomes a full line Canon USA Dealer
  • 2011: Kyocera Mita Corporation changes name to Kyocera Document Solutions, Inc.
  • 2012: Ann Arbor branch office opens
  • 2013: Becomes a KIP America Wide Format Dealer
  • 2014: Becomes a $5 million sales organization