Sherie and Tom Bartlett rocket Data Source toward the top
By Erik Cagle
She's the boss, he's the national sales manager. It's a formula that has been more than just a little successful.
It has been that way since 1991 for Sherie and Tom Bartlett. Sherie was a company of one when she started her distributorship, Data Source, in 1989. Two years later, Tom--whom she married in 1988--came aboard from another distributor and brought along two co-workers and a number of large accounts.
When the receipts were tallied at the end of 1991, Data Source was in the black to the tune of $1.6 million. When 1998 draws to a close, that figure is expected to be in the area of $25 million. This phenominal growth is one reason whey Bartlett has been named the 1998 Business Forms, Labels & Systems' Distributor of the Year.
Regardless of who signs the checks or lands the accounts, the husband and wife team from Kansas City, Mo. insist Data Source is a team effort. From Sherie Bartlett down to the newest account manager among the 90 associates, virtually everyone in the plant is empowered with authority, responsibility and accountability.
"Our mission statement speaks for itself," Sherie Bartlett said. "We're in the business to make a profit and a profit is there so that we can have good surroundings for our employees and continue to grow. That is a big thing to us.
"We put a lot of ownership into all of our employees, and all of our employees put a lot of ownership in every one of our customers. [The employees] are involved in the account from beginning to end, so they feel as though, 'I want this to succeed, because if the company succeeds, then I succeed.' Data Source has a bonus program that revolves around the success of our customers," she added.