Strong leadership contributes to Richland company’s 41 years of success

Continuity can be a key to long-term success.

It seems to be the case for Abadan Tri-Cities, a Richland company going strong since 1975.

“It’s cross-generational. I’m the fourth owner,” said Tyler Best, president and general manager. “Each leader, from John Wells, the original owner, to Lee Pinnell, to my dad, has been great at passing down knowledge.”

It all combines for a family-owned business that continues to succeed, Best said.

“It’s ever-changing, and it’s great to work with awesome people and employees,” said Best, who has been with Abadan Tri-Cities for 15 years.

Abadan was founded in 1953 in Spokane, selling and servicing office equipment.

Best’s father, Bob Best, was working for Bonneville Blueprints in Boise, Idaho, while going to college in 1973.

“He heard about Abadan in Spokane and went there in 1974,” his son said. “He spent a year there. Lee Pinnell liked him and asked him to start a branch in the Tri-Cities.”

Bob Best was general manager of the Abadan Tri-Cities branch for 12 years, from 1975 to 1987.

In 1987, Bob Best bought the Tri-Cities branch from the Spokane owners and has owned it since.

In 2005, he built a large building in Richland to better serve customers.

“Our goal is to take care of people,” said Tyler, who is a co-owner with his father today, and is in the process of buying the business from his dad.

His brother Chris has joined the company and is a technician, while his sister Nicole has been with the company for 13 years and works as office manager.

Abadan also has 39 full-time employees.

“So we have a big Abadan family of 39,” Tyler said.

In an ever-changing world, people still use paper products, he said.

“We still do pretty well. People still heavily use paper,” Tyler said.

Abadan’s 26,500-square-foot facility in Richland offers copiers and printers, service technicians, equipment, supplies and parts.

And Tyler says it’s important to stay on top of the latest technology.

“There are print expos every other year,” he said. “We have to go to them because the competition does it. And I want to make sure we always take care of the customer.”

But Abadan is more than just paper.

“We’re starting to go toward more solutions, to the software and app side,” Tyler said. “We work very closely with IT. Connectivity is important right now. And our future could be managing service IT and servicing robotics.”

But as long as people need paper products, Abadan Tri-Cities will be ready to help.

“The key to being in business so long, is we’ve had some really great leaders and great employees,” said Tyler. “And it’s caring about our employees and our customers. My dad’s philosophy has always been, ‘If it’s good for the customers, the employees and Abadan, it’s going to work.’”

Another key to long-term success is local involvement.

“Our company donates prints or work we do in the copy center,” said Tyler. “That reduces local charities’ costs.”

The company is involved with Junior Achievement, United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties, Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties, Ignite Youth Mentoring and Tri-Cities Pregnancy Network.

“I have a tough time saying no,” said Tyler. “This is a great community.”

Abadan Tri-Cities is at 79 Aaron Drive in Richland. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Call 509-946-7693 or visit abadantc.com for more information.

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