Lamson Paragon celebrates 30 years in operation

Lamson Paragon is celebrating turning 30 this year, having been inaugurated on the 1 August 1990. The business comes from humble beginnings, and has grown to a trade-only industry leader in business form printing.

The business name of Lamson Paragon itself has been part of the Australian business landscape since 1897. It was originally established to manufacture sales docket books that deployed the then new technology of carbon paper.

Invented by a Canadian, Samuel Moore, of Moore Business Forms, the technology was licensed to the English company Lamson Paragon to promote the product in Europe and the British Commonwealth. Factories were progressively opened in France, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as two in Great Britain.

Its group managing director Arthur Frost joined the original company in 1966 and was with the business for 16 years.

The Lamson Paragon Group of Companies CEO and Arthur’s son, Rodney Frost, told Sprinter that his father put many years of dedication and work behind the business to grow it to what it is today.

“Dad was homeless as a young man and first got an opportunity to sell pads and pencils. Success in that opportunity progressed to him selling print, which was his first foray into the industry,” he said.

“He moved his way up the ranks in print at the original Lamson Paragon and then joined EFTECH as managing director, bringing the original EFTPOS network to Australia. The major shareholders of that business decided that EFTPOS would never work in Australia during the ‘87 stock market crash, so dad was forced to sell that business and go back to the drawing board.

“The sales team of the then Moore Paragon company wanted to start their own print broking companies but they had no one trustworthy to buy off Moore Paragon. Dad then resurrected the Lamson Paragon brand to service printers, print brokers, mailing houses, and copy shops.”

The reborn Lamson Paragon business was registered in 1983 and started trading on 1 August 1990.

Starting with one employee, one press and one collator, it gradually created a niche in the marketplace as a trade-only supplier.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t see too much of dad as he was busy with the business. My mum was holding down three jobs and trying to raise my brother, Matthew, and myself. I grew up seeing the work that dad put in within the business and learning the ropes on a broom and making boxes during the school holidays,” Rodney said.

“I officially joined the business in 1997 and I knew from the start that this was what I was meant to be doing.”

At Lamson Paragon’s facility

As the business grew, it added on three other business entities through the years – Paper Rolls Australia, Cheque-Mates, and Integrated Office Solutions.

The growth of the combined group was fuelled by the needs of its partners, typified by the birth of Cheque-Mates – a trade-only mailing and communication business. Within a few years, some customers were requesting a need for a reliable trustworthy supplier of thermal paper rolls, which in turn led to the acquisition of Paper Rolls Australia.

The business then expanded its footprint to the Philippines via Integrated Office Solutions, giving its partners the chance to setup teams in Manila.

In 2019, the company brought the trade business of the Gippsland Trade Printers brand into its fold, providing customers with access to far more products and services.

The group now employs about 160 people in Australia and the Philippines and owns over 50 pieces of equipment, which includes 11 web presses.

According to Rodney Frost, integrity, trust and partnership is what fuels the business, which has over 800 partners under its belt, backed by digital technology and automation.

“At the end of the day, if we don’t look after our partners, someone else will look after them so having integrity and trust in our partnerships is the reason we’re still here,” he said.

“We have listened to our partners and will continue to do so in knowing what’s happening in the market, where they see weaknesses, where they see opportunities, and need investments. We will continue to respond to our customers’ needs above all else; they are our partners, not our competition.”


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