Alloys reveals secrets to 40 years of distribution success

Alloys reveals secrets to 40 years of distribution success

Growth is high on the agenda.

Paul Harman (Alloys)

Paul Harman (Alloys)

Staying ahead in the distribution game requires laser focus and constantly being one step ahead of the technology trends.

For a specialised distributor like Alloys, sticking to a niche of print, audio-visual (AV) and lifestyle technology has helped it survive and thrive for more than 40 years now.

According to CEO Paul Harman, the importance of remaining a specialist in a chosen field remains as true now as it did when Alloys first launched in 1982.

“It’s been a massive journey,” Harman said. “We’ve always been wholesale, but started in surface engineering to become a specialist IT distributor in print, AV and lifestyle technology. It's a massive swing through the 40 years.”

Alloys began life as a surface engineering business under the leadership of its brainchildren Mike Guttmann and Phillip Bond. 

Guttmann had some contacts in the IT industry and added a small printing business, which grew to the point where the two units were separated in 2006 and Harman took up the CEO post in 2007, following a management buyout. 

Marking his 16th year of running Alloys, Harman said the company has maintained a family business mentality while growing the business to be a strong print specialist, witnessing growth year after year. So much so, the distributor appointed its first sales lead in Western Australia in the form of Michelle Stavretis earlier this year.  

“We have a real clear purpose and help in enabling our partners to survive and thrive,” Harman said. 

“While we've had some different brands along the way, if you have a look at the ethos behind those brands, it's all about enabling our partners to survive. We had to clearly pick products we thought we could have an impact on in the marketplace and print was our first area of expertise.”

On top of appointing Stavretis to focus solely on its Western Australia reseller market, Alloys has also undertaken an expansion of its Brisbane distribution centre, doubling its capacity. 

“We’re going to continue to expand the portfolio that we have in our business and tackle all our core markets,” he said. 

“We still continue to grow in the print sector. Even though print has gone through a really tough time, we’re adding value there but we want to continue to give our customers the opportunity to buy a wider gamut of products within the categories that we play in.” 

Thriving in the print space has seen Alloys expand into specialist areas such as large format and 3D printing. 

“There will always be a thriving print market whether it be in specialist printing between 3D printing and other printing services to come,” he said.

“In distribution, I think what we've learnt is to be really clear about what it is that we do and the value we need to provide for our partners, suppliers and customers. I think it's very easy to get lost in what the value is because you get myopic in terms of running your business.”

Harman said distribution can’t survive on just delivering products and holding credit accounts. Instead, value is amplified further in areas of showroom displays, training, content and marketing services. 

“Small to medium resellers need something that can serve as an added value to them rather than just be supplied,” he said. 

Alloys has recently added some new partnerships with companies like LG in the AV space and Harman said it was continuing to attract new partners in the market. 

“We’re very focused on the print and AV space and we’re continuing to add some capability in those categories, giving us plenty to work on and giving our customers the even greater chance to connect with us,” he added. “We've had such strong growth and I expect that growth can continue significantly through the next few years. 

"It’s a good time to partner with us.”

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