The printing industry highlights the razor-sharp focus on efficiency that Australian business have developed better than any other. Prior to the GFC, printers would typically specialise in a singular type of printing; for example, one would be a specialist in offset printing, and customers looking for signage would be sent on to a different specialist.
This all changed with the GFC. Customers, themselves looking to take greater control over their businesses and slash costs, started demanding a single resource for all their printing needs, and printers in response, needed to diversify their capabilities beyond their speciality. The companies that supplied the printers, in turn, started to find that rounded, efficient equipment was in high demand.
This shift in demand needed to match what they are able to provide their customers. What Starleaton discovered was that durability became a key differentiator for technology; it wasn’t just important that the printers themselves were robust and a dependable workhorse, but that the printed materials needed to be long-lasting too. The climate of Australia requires that ink be highly fade-resistant, and businesses looking to keep costs down wanted signage and other printed materials that would last the distance, whether used indoors or out.
“One of the biggest benefits with OKI solvent printers, based on what our customers have come to us for, is the ink type that they use,” product manager, Tom Leggatt, said. “In the current machines, OKI uses the SX Ink, and in a comparison with all other solvent and latex printers, the SX ink has the greatest outdoor durability.”
It is no wonder, as the Australian sun is strong and most printed materials tend to fade when exposed to extreme weather conditions. “We’ve put a lot of machines in Queensland explicitly because the businesses up there consider the durability of the ink under harsh UV conditions to be so critical.” Leggatt added.
The benefits of local support
Starleaton itself also needs to operate efficiently, and OKI’s decision to expand its Australian operations to cover the industrial product range was significant in helping Starleaton’s achieve its own business objectives.
“OKI has been able to take away the pain of having to order in containers of stock, and we now have fixed pricing in Australian dollars, so we don’t worry about the fluctuation with the yen,” Leggatt said. “We also now have a second tier of support in Australia. We’d previously had to hold a lot of stock in spare parts, we don’t need to tie up so much money with that now that OKI’s holding stock itself.”
Being able to deal directly with OKI Australia to solve customer problems has also meant that Starleaton is able to resolve customer issues more quickly and efficiently. “With warranty being such a critical battleground in the printer space, the additional support has been a significant boost to both Starleaton and its customers,” Leggatt added.
“Now that there’s a local model here in OKI Australia supporting the products, the strength of the warranty is also improved”
“Now our own business with OKI is running more efficiently for all of our customers, of all sizes, and the customers themselves are appreciating the benefits that brings to their businesses as much as we are.”