Celebrating 97 years of innovation: SMARTECH’s legacy in printing and mailing equipment

SMARTECH’s executive chairman, Vincent Nair, and head of marketing and communications, Ximena Guzman, reflect on the company’s history and discuss what’s next for the print solutions, mailing communications, and eCommerce global provider.

Origins and growth

SMARTECH has a rich Australian history and is a regional powerhouse in eCommerce, digital print solutions, mailing technology, and communications solutions. The company has offices and customers across the globe, with particular emphasis on Asia Pacific due to the region’s growing population.

The origins of the Australian business go back to 1927 when the first Neopost mailing technology was introduced in Australia by The Postal Stamping Machine Company Pty Ltd. Through subsequent years, ACCO Brands and GBC acquired Fordigraph, and many years later, in 2011, Euronext listed Neopost, (later rebranded Quadient), procured GBC-Fordigraph and established a direct presence in the Oceania region. In 2021, SMARTECH consequently acquired the Quadient Oceania businesses, re-establishing a renewed focus on digital printing and eCommerce services and maintaining the growth of the Quadient mailing and parcel locker solutions.

An amazing, rare feat will be achieved in 2027, when the company will celebrate 100 years of Australian presence servicing Australian customers, and its strategic long-term century-old partnership with Australia Post.

SMARTECH Business Systems HQ

Leadership in sign and display solutions“We are very proud of our Australian heritage,” said Nair. ”And we have established a very clear vision to grow our customer base in Australia”.As the largest mid-volume sign and display solutions supplier in Australia to manufacturers such as HP, Canon and Agfa, SMARTECH continues to invest in its services capability. The company is proud of its customer satisfaction surveys, which show 96 per cent quality of service, response rates, delivery and service capability. The field service delivery and customer experience teams of over 55 dedicated Australian-based national personnel could not be more flattered by its prominent achievements. “It‘s not the equipment which the customer is investing in, it‘s actually the quality of service over the life cycle of the asset,” says Nair. “You cannot have machines in the field breaking down for more time than necessary; customers expect a qualified service technician to be on the case as soon as possible and that is what we get out of bed each morning to do.”

Co-owners of SMARTECH Business Systems, US-based David Moore (Founder) and Australia-based Executive Chairman Vincent Nair

Exclusive partnership with Agfa

In 2024, SMARTECH became the exclusive channel partner in the Oceania region to Agfa in the industrial print sectors. From die making in 1867 and then transitioning to chemicals, Agfa colour, photos and film
producing, Agfa undoubtedly became a global leader in industrial print solutions due to its immense R&D investments to roll out cutting edge and reliable machines with the ink to support.“ How do you compete with Agfa in the industrial print segment?” asks Nair. “Customers must consider the total cost of ownership, machine efficiency (ink reliability and consumption), field service capability and most importantly, the warranty which upholds the return on customer investment.”Collaboration with HP As HP’s largest mid-volume channel partner, SMARTECH continues to actively compete nationally to uphold its leadership position. SMARTECH boasts a field sales force of more than 38 experienced dedicated sales reps across Australia and over 8,000 B2B customers.“We will continue to invest with HP in training and knowledge management and leverage HP’s leading global expertise in Latex Print solutions. “Latex is very popular, and customers continue to seek low-cost, end-to-end Latex print-cut, rigid, production and industrial printing solutions,” continues Nair.Canon partnership Earlier this year, SMARTECH partnered with Canon to launch the Colorado series in Australia. “We will continue to be selective with quality manufacturers to ensure that we have the best-of-breed solutions for our customers and prospects, and Canon fits the bill with us,” says Nair.

SMARTECH Head of Marketing and Communications Ximena Guzman

Focus on employee development and satisfaction

SMARTECH’s focus on employee development and growth has been the best in class. Over the last three years, the company has promoted over 32 per cent of its employees into new roles and over the last 15 months, 50 per cent of its Oceania executive leadership team has come through the ranks, clearing the way for other senior-level promotions. In this age of work-life balancing and mental care awareness, SMARTECH‘s human resources department rolled out an employee satisfaction survey in February 2023. 82 per cent of employees either agreed or strongly agreed that SMARTECH was ticking off the right boxes for them.

In 2024, the second Employee Satisfaction Survey resulted in a 96 per cent compliance rate, and 95 per cent of employees agreed or strongly agreed that the company satisfied what they were looking for in a company.

Customers will not love your company unless your employees will love the company first,” says Nair.

In late 2023, the Australian Business Council awarded SMARTECH the prestigious Employer of Choice award.

 “We are very proud of the work that has gone into making SMARTECH one of the best employers in Australia and the best in the industry also,” says Nair.

“We are also proud of the fact that we have a 99 per cent employee retention rate. Each day is about employees and customers.”

Commitment to customers

In an exclusive interview with Channel 9‘s Sophie Walsh during a customer appreciation event in December last year, Nair highlighted SMARTECH’s unwavering commitment to its customers. Amid a challenging year for many businesses, Nair emphasised that SMARTECH’s success is deeply rooted in trust.

”Trust is more than just a buzzword at SMARTECH; it is the foundation of our business model,” Nair explains. ”Every year, because we have a trusting relationship with our customers, more customers choose to work with us through recommendations.” This trust has fuelled SMARTECH‘s impressive growth, with the company expanding globally at a rate of 15-20 per cent over the past three years.

”Customers are our lifeblood,” says Nair, reflecting a core principle that drives SMARTECH‘s operations.

Sustainability and ESG

”In addition to our commitment to trust, we have implemented strong ethical standards and transparent communication to our customers,” comments Ximena Guzman, Head of Marketing and Communications at SMARTECH. ”This approach has reinforced our client relationships and set us apart in the industry.”

SMARTECH is also highly committed to environmental sustainability. Two years ago, it launched its Australian Refurbishing and Remanufacturing Centre at Regents Park NSW.

“We have a zero-landfill mindset,” says Nair. “All equipment, machines, ink cartridges or parts, returning from trade customers are categorised into recycling segments to ensure we do our best to look after our planet.”

The company also loans or sells recycled and refurbished print or mail equipment to assist customers with affordable business continuity.

Global expansion

Nair recalls the time in 2015 when Austin, Texas-based David Moore, the co-owner of SMARTECH Business Systems, discussed launching the SMARTECH brand in Asia Pacific.

 “We were both reluctant because David was based in Texas, and I was living in Sydney, and any means to invest in Asia required local presence; but with David’s insistence and guidance, I decided to take on the leadership role, and we have grown tenfold in that time,” says Nair.

“Building an international business requires a trusting relationship with your co-founder and a highly supportive board of directors.”

”As Co-owners of SMARTECH Business Systems, both David and I have made it our passion to ensure we grow and develop our employees and customers, have consequential relations with our suppliers and follow the rule of law when it comes to enterprise governance in each country we operate in,” concludes Nair.

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