Spicers reorganises business following Direct Paper acquisition

Japanese owned paper supplier, Spicers Ltd, has reorganised its local operations, focusing on key areas that are in demand.

Rather than just having one business model like it used to, Spicers has split its business model into print and packaging and sign and display.

In addition, it has appointed new heads to each division – David Rowland has been appointed as general manager of the sign and display business, while Dale O’Neill is now the general manager of print and packaging at Spicers.

Rowland was formerly group regional manager of NSW, ACT and Queensland at Spicers before taking on the new role while O’Neill was one of the owners of Direct Paper.

“Like most businesses, we’ve restructured our approach to the market. We’ve organised our business to be able to cater to changing trends. With the acquisition of Direct Paper, it not only gave us the chance to see what these trends are in the market and meet demands but also make changes internally to be able to cater to them,” Spicers CEO David Martin told Sprinter.

“What we’re aiming to do is focus on these customers and try to bring them more by offering more within these sectors.”

O’Neill and Rowland said they’re looking forward to supporting Spicers’ new and existing clients in their roles.

“With an increased and broad range of commercial print and packaging options for our customer base, I’m very excited to be able to concentrate our focus on what our customers need and expect from a good supplier,” O’Neill said.

“We understand that’s what they have known and enjoyed for many years from Direct Paper, and it’s my intention to continue those customer-focused principles under the combined business.”

“I’m excited to lead an experienced and dedicated team of sign and display professionals, which will further enable us to bring to our customers some market leading brands with exemplary Spicers service and technical experience to help grow our businesses together,” Rowland added.

According to Martin, paper has been a very strong part of Spicers’ offering, encompassing paper, packaging and industrial packaging, but with a decline in paper uptake, diversifying its offerings was necessary.

“There are some key sectors like tourism and travel that have a direct effect on paper uptake. Just within the media space, for example, with some newspapers going digital it means it affects paper demand. As applications move away, it has impacted business; so, it’s not like losing market share but rather, a new application for paper needs to be developed to replace it,” he said.

“That’s the reason for Spicers having to diversify its offerings – to suit market needs. We’ve seen the trend ongoing over a few years, which is why our strategy to diversify wasn’t just in the last few months.

“So, we’ve broadened our business portfolio, and that has helped us develop our value in new sectors. We will continue to keep our roots as a supplier of paper, but have included a number of other strengths.”

Martin mentioned that the acquisition of Direct Paper, which closed at the beginning of March, has supported Spicers’ business position, especially in packaging, and with food services products.

“We’ve also added new products to the range, like our Bauhaus Aqueous media for Photo Fine Art & Proofing, which we launched in March. 3M Fasara Architectural window treatment films, 3M DiNoc Architectural refurbishment films and 3M Safety & Security films have truly extended our reach. We’re much more diversified now than before,” he said.

“Our approach is to add products to our range for our customers to find new areas of growth. Printers add value to our consumables, and our aim is to diversify our offerings so that printers are able to diversify their business as a result.”

Spicers parent company Kokusai Pulp & Paper (KPP) also recently entered into a binding agreement with Sequana and Bpifrance to take an 83.7 per cent stake in Antalis. Antalis is a global paper, packaging and visual communications distributor that is based in France but has operations worldwide including Australia.

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