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The Evolution
of Altek

Providing quality products and services to the community since 1991

WHERE WE BEGAN

In 1991, after unexpected business hardship, Ray Derstine decided to start his own business technology company. With the help of his wife Cindy, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, and one technician, the dream of Altek was brought to life! Ray jumped in with both feet, navigating the journey of having his own company for the first time.  

“Altek was founded as a hardware company that happened to offer services on hardware. Today, we’ve migrated to a service provider that can offer hardware as part of the solution.” 

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

The first office was leased and fortunately had more room than they needed. Ray used that opportunity to rent out the basement and one of the areas of the office to other small companies.  

One of Ray’s key memories from the first opening was tackling the struggles of running lean. Ray had to send his technician away for training – for 2 weeks! The entirety of the service for all his customers was balanced on his shoulders. To his delight, he kept all his customers up and running, and was grateful to give back the responsibility to his tech when he returned.  

Through lenders and strategic thinking, he made it through the first year of business. After just 5 years, Altek was awarded “Dealer of the Year” from Royal Copystar!  

From starting at just 3 employees to now over 30, the vision of Altek was always to expand, having numerous locations. Today, Altek successfully sells and services to southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, along with a network of service providers across the United States.  

“Growing has advantages. It gives you more opportunities to bring new products and services to our customers. As we grow, we are able to offer more.”  

Altek is now in its 4th office, each one along the way was a victory in itself. Every new location allowed for further growth, not only as a company with employees but allowing for more customers to be supported. Our current headquarters in Telford, PA will always be one close to Ray’s heart, as this was the first office that he and his wife, Cindy, designed and built. Over a decade later, this office has welcomed many new faces that have helped Ray and Cindy get to where they are today.   

THE PEOPLE  

The more people that walked through the doors and began their careers at Altek, the more people Ray and Cindy welcomed into their family. They view this as a huge blessing, however there will always be hardship. As Ray mentioned, the more (metaphorical) kids you have in your family, the more broken ankles and sicknesses you must expect. “As a business owner, you are not only sharing in the work-life of your employees, but also celebrating their exciting personal-life events and supporting the not-so-great ones as well.”  

One of Altek’s core values is culture, which we believe is a pillar of our success.  

“The definition of culture are the shared values, attitudes, and practices. And really, how we do business here. It’s how we conduct ourselves while we are at the office. It’s how we interact and how we treat each other.”  

We have become more aware how important cultivating the right team truly is. Culture has changed from white button-ups, suits, and old-school sales methods to opening the doors to younger employees with new ideas on how businesses can be run and how sales can be made.

A few examples of maintaining our fun culture would be our Altek softball team (go Hard Drivers!), our Fun Committee which plans quarterly company events, and frequent visits from Ziggy, our Chief Morale Officer (woof!).  

“We strive to improve the relationship between the employees outside of the 9-5 time frame, since that’s where the true connections are made.” These events have ranged from mini golf, potlucks, clay shooting, and even our own Altek Olympics. 

Altek has recently hired its best employee yet – the espresso machine. This has been a surprisingly fun addition to our office in that it has been a huge topic of conversation. It’s a place for the team to gather and converse, where they may not have gotten the chance otherwise if their roles don’t typically cross.  

While it’s amazing there are numerous people who have been with Altek for over 10 years now, our ultimate goal is to have at least half of the office as tenured employees, while also trying to balance hiring new additions each year. Ray noted that some of his employees are younger than his kids, which makes him feel old, but he loves to walk around the office. Hearing all the excitement that is carried throughout the hallways is a refreshing reminder that he made the right decision 32 years ago.

FORWARD TOGETHER 

During each quarterly company event, Ray along with the managers for each department gives an overview to our team about our achievements and what we can expect in the months ahead. These meetings always include a delicious breakfast and sharing milestones that deserve recognition. A highlight is the awards; 4 trophies are awarded to employees who went above and beyond, showing each one of our core values. When this idea was originally brought up, the managers would discuss who would be awarded each of these trophies solely from events that were shared with them. Now, each quarter, the managers receive overwhelming numbers of employees being nominated for various day-to-day situations they faced head-on, and even went outside of their job responsibilities. Needless to say, we’re proud to have such an incredible, dedicated team.  

While the future of Altek will continue to evolve over time, we will be open to the opportunities that come our way. What’s certain, we will never forget where Altek began, and the core values it has been built on.  

Want to Meet Our Awesome Team? 

By focusing on your business goals, we create an individually tailored solution with today’s cutting-edge technology. We know our success is tied to our client’s success. Altek analyzes your current infrastructure, network security, and office technology to guarantee we create a plan that aligns with your company’s needs while staying within a monthly budget.