Starleaton revamps its business strategy for growth

Starleaton has made a number of changes to its operations to enable more efficiencies within the business as well as to deliver the best outcomes for its customers.

Likewise, Starleaton display graphics partner EFI continues to focus and strengthen its presence by including new sales hires that further improve its support for customer strategies.

Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton said the company’s focus is to build on the legacy of the business as it moves into its 42nd year in operation. Strengthening the partnership with key brands such as EFI forms an integral part of the business plan.

“The past number of years have seen our product portfolio grow through the various acquisitions we have made,” Eaton told Sprinter.

“As we move into this next phase, we are refocusing each product portfolio in the several market segments that we service. Starleaton has always been known for representing brands that offer its clients significant competitive advantages.

“As it stands today, we service the sign and display, textile, fabrication, commercial print, photo and fine art, and CAD markets so we wanted to focus all of our energy on what works best for those segments.

“Our overarching goal is to offer our clients an exceptional experience. This is a huge challenge for any distribution partner. However, through greater brand and application focus, our customers can expect a consistent and reliable service and support.”

Eaton mentioned that a huge part of the business revamp has been talent acquisition.

“We had a number of gaps that we were looking to fill for some time and we wanted to ensure we are introducing to our team the right people for the right roles. So, there was some reshuffling of the deck prior to new recruits coming on board,” he said.

Starleaton’s Ben Eaton and Dale Hawkins

The company has boosted its sales team with the key appointment of former Océ/Canon senior manager of marketing, indirect channels and the business manager of technical document solutions Dale Hawkins to the role of senior manager for industrial products, which includes EFI, Zünd and Impulsa.

Hawkins is in charge of business development, as well as growing sales and market share of EFI and Zünd through Starleaton. In addition, he focuses on direct sales as well as supporting the Starleaton A/NZ sales team to sell EFI and Zünd.

Hawkins said he left Océ/Canon for Starleaton as he believed that the latter has a strong product portfolio including its Zund digital cutters and EFI display graphics printers.

“It provides a great platform to catapult the business to the next level. Starleaton being a local family business had great appeal as this provides and environment that is flexible to make decisions and get things done,” Hawkins said.

“Sharing my extensive experience (of 30 years) of the wide format graphics equipment and markets with the Starleaton and EFI teams will expand knowledge and increase value to our customers.

“I endeavour to work with the team to build on Starleaton’s mission of partnering customers to deliver innovative solutions. Relationships are everything to me. Building trust is paramount. Understanding that the solutions we provide are the life blood of commercial printers and sign makers ensures that we step up when problems occur.”

Eaton mentioned that brand loyalty is important for the business, and Starleaton’s partner EFI has stood in support of the revamped business direction.

“Both companies operate on the same wavelength, we have re-established our partnership, and are going to market with a joint front,” Eaton said.

Starleaton’s Ben Eaton and EFI’s Rodd Harrison

EFI Asia Pacific sales vice-president Rodd Harrison said the changes at Starleaton are reflective of the direction EFI Asia Pacific has taken since he took on the role in June 2019.

“We’ve put similar changes in place since I joined the team about ten months ago. We have since built a robust marketing and sales team. We’ve made some pretty significant changes across the entire region, all focused on improving customer satisfaction. This involves more frequent conversations and better quality engagement with customers,” he said.

“Being better engaged with our partners means we have a streamlined information flow, which helps them focus on the right deals and the right opportunities.

“The changes within Starleaton is something that we look forward to for all our distributors; it’s not just about us engaging better with them but also them engaging better with the marketplace. The quality of people that we have on board affects our go-to-market and our business partners also need to be joined at the hip with EFI for a strengthened customer-centric model.”

Harrison also mentioned that this means that for customers, they can contact EFI or Starleaton and be assured a unified response and continue to be top of mind.

“It shows that we’re able to find out what the customers’ needs are, and understand the problems that they are trying to solve,” he said.

“Only after we understand that do we assess what the right solution is for the customer. The right fit is different across the various markets we serve, so the focus should be on the discovery process, which is where the relationship between EFI and Starleaton comes in.

“Our relationship with Starleaton is ongoing and the industry will see a consistent improvement in the way we engage with customers. In time, we want to attain what I aimed to achieve when I joined EFI, which is to be the supplier of choice, partner of choice and the employer of choice in the industry.”

EFI’s recent hires include Darren Massey and Brett Addison to roles as sales development managers

EFI’s recent hires include Darren Massey and Brett Addison to roles as sales development managers, both responsible for customer relationships and integrated sales efforts with Starleaton.

Massey is responsible for EFI business development across half of the A/NZ territory (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and ACT).

“I aim to add value to my role by working closely with both our direct clients and our partner Starleaton to help generate new opportunities, forge strong client relationships and grow our clients’ business by helping them do things better, faster cheaper,” Massey said.

As for Addison, he is a business development manager responsible for the rest of the marketplace – South Australia, Victoria, and New Zealand. His responsibilities include managing existing accounts as well as winning new strategic accounts, in addition to assisting Starleaton and Total NZ in selling EFI equipment into their respective markets.

“My knowledge, experience and contacts in the market will improve EFI’s exposure in the display graphics market. EFI’s brand and extensive product portfolio is better than any other vendor, and I believe I can help the company boost its display graphics business,” Addison said.

Both Massey and Addison report directly to Harrison.

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