It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce the death of Tom Flockhart, our founder and Managing Director, and the prominent entrepreneur behind the business which has dominated Scotland’s office equipment sector for over 43 years.
Pictured above: Tom at Capital Document Solutions 40th Anniversary
An incredibly charismatic figure, Tom was proud of his modest roots as an adopted child growing up in a council house in Prestonpans, East Lothian. He credited his upbringing and his school years at Preston Lodge High School with giving him the drive to go on and build his successful business empire – Capital Documents Solutions – the company he founded in 1979.
Lynn Harrison, Tom’s PA for the past 17-years, said: “We are all in shock. To describe him as larger than life doesn’t do him justice. He was passionate, driven and once you met him, you certainly couldn’t forget him.”
From a young age, Tom showed an entrepreneurial streak, working schoolboy jobs including gardening, paper rounds, fixing up old bikes and even selling sweets and haircuts to the other children in school.
He went on to complete an apprenticeship at Ferranti and gained an HND in Mechanical Engineering and would often jokingly recall how during his apprenticeship he was given his most important career advice when his boss at the time (in the nicest way possible!) advised him to go and get a job in sales. In 1970, he followed that advice and took up a role with 3M selling photocopiers.
A naturally gifted salesman, by the age of 30 he had been 3M’s top copier salesman in the UK for three successive years and was determined to strike out on his own. Using part of the proceeds from a house sale, he set up his own business, initially called Capital Copying Services in a small office in Montrose Terrace, Edinburgh and based on three abiding principles – ‘the best products, the best advice and the best after sales service and support’.
As we grew over 43 years from just three staff to over 200 employees, our name changed a few times to reflect the changes in the market and the wider range of products and services the business was providing whilst always staying true to the three founding principles.
Tom had a deep love for the company he built and the welfare and success of those who worked in it, and Capital Document Solutions is now Scotland’s largest independent supplier of office technology and a major employer with bases in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, and Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.
Tom was a remarkable man and was dedicated to sharing his knowledge, insights and what he had learned. Whether networking with business leaders, going back to Preston Lodge High School to give talks to pupils or running training for new salespeople, he was incredibly generous in giving his time and sharing his experiences.
He never held back on that because he wanted people to get on, to have the tools to better themselves. He was never jealous or begrudged other people their success – he really admired people doing well. He was an outstanding motivator who helped shape the lives of so many people in so many different ways.
Two of Tom’s close friends and colleagues commented that “the world is a worse place without him“ and that “our loss is Heaven’s gain and by Gosh is he going to shake that place up !!!”
His legacy is his passion for integrity and quality, which has been instilled in the culture at Capital through our Vision Statement – “to continuously strengthen our business and be proud of all that we are and do”.
It’s heartbreaking to deliver this news and our thoughts and best wishes are with the family at this difficult time.
Posted in About Us