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History of Florida Time Clock and industry projections

November 2007

Florida Time Clock was started in 1991 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  My father had a similar business, an office machine company named Wagner Business Machines in Buffalo, New York.  I was raised in the environment of self-employment and selling to business owners and managers.

About Us:  Florida Time Clock has experienced an average growth of 20% every year.  We believer this is the result of our generating a tremendous amount of customer loyalty.  We treat people as we would like others to treat us.  We post complimentary (and funny) letters sent from our customers on our “Wall of Happiness“.  It's running out of room.  It is important to us to give back to the community that treats us so well.  I ha volunteered with the Paralyzed Veterans Association, Friends of Strays, and have served as a Director, or on the boards of directors for the following organizations, all since 1995:  Suncoast Sierra Club. Friendship Trail Corporation.  Shore Acres Civic Association. Plus a few others.  For the past 10 years, I have been a director of the Friendship Trail corporation, which set an international precedent by converting an old highway bridge in to the worlds' first free over-the-water public recreational park.  See it at www.friendshiptrail.org and see what is possible when “average Joe's“ take the time to do something INCREDIBLE.  With a thriving business, I have found it challenging to make time to volunteer, but I have received great satisfaction from the work that I have done, and in knowing that I have made substantial and positive changes to my local community.  I urge others to simply give 5 minutes of their time back to their community, one day a month.  This country became powerful by many people doing “More than their Fair Share“.  But this article is about Amano, and the future of the time clock industry.

About Amano:  Early-on, we found that Amano builds high quality equipment.  I many cases, such as the PIX, TCX, and MJr product lines, Amano builds the very best.  I can't remember a time when I demonstrated an Amano machine where I did not close the sale.  I also know that whenever we need technical support, my staff can call Amano and get a friendly, qualified technician on the phone, right away. It might be simply because Amano's equipment doesn't break all that often.  Amano's technical support people have always been great to work with, and their service department has always been fast and fair. 

Our Office:  We make a point to invest in the fastest computers, most organized filing systems, best office software, and other things to create a comfortable and efficient work environment.  It is important that when our customers call, they get the feeling that they have called “the right place“.  We're happy here, and it telegraphs quickly.

What we like about Amano:  Other than their support team?  Our favorite Amano clocks are the MJR's, the CP3000, TCX, and PIX clocks.  All easily repairable, all very reliable, and all have very customizable functions.  They fit a lot of “needs“, and they hold up really well in adverse conditions.  The MJR's as we all know, can do nearly anything imaginable.  The TCX-21 is as close to indestructible as one could ever hope to find.  It also prints beautifully.  This machine is a champ.  The CP3000 is easy to program and is the natural replacement to all Cincinnati and Acroprint Clippers, which have been discontinued.

Funny Moments:  I remember going out on my first sales call back in 1991.  I was selling a used Cincinnati_100011ss.  A few minutes in to the demonstration, the customer asked:  'so Joe, how long have your been doing this?'  I knew I was being “busted“.  I pulled back y sleeve, looked at my watch, looked out the corner of my eye at him and said “well.....“  H laughed and bought the machine. A few months later I was calling on a hardware store supplier in an industrial park.  The man behind the counter was abrupt.  He said “Time Clocks?  Time Clocks? Those went out with horseshoes.  You'd better find another job!“  now, 15 years later, I rollerblade on the trail, past the land where his business USED to be.  I believed it the value of this equipment then, and I believe in it even more, today.

People ask:  What do you see this industry becoming in the future?  My instincts have generally been pretty accurate, if not somewhat outlandish.  In the next 5 to 10 years, and beyond:  Shipping machines in for service will become more common, increasing pressure on the local mom and pop time clock dealers.  However, Bricks and mortar dealers, including Florida Time Clock, as they become more rare, will also become more valuable when the need arises for emergency on-site service.  Out of town operations can't do that.

In the short-term, people will gravitate toward on-demand subscription based technology, where they pay services based on moving employee levels.  In the future, 5 to 10 years out, employee and general public tracking technology will be everywhere.  People will wear proximity chips that will be tracked by satellites and WI-FI type random networks.  Just like Star Trek, science fiction precedes science fact.  I had the incredible luck of riding and talking with Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, in a Ford Maverick for a hour in college, back in 1976.  Roddenberry gave a three-hour speech on futurism and technology.  He predicted a camera-based society where every thing is recorded for the the control of society.  Fast forward 30 years:  Everyone is being watched.