WHEN Amu Shah established Quick Corporate Australia in 1998, the small business's primary focus was supplying canteen and janitorial products to the Western Australian business market.
At the time, the sector was dominated by several multinational organisations, along with two large WA stationers - Sands & McDougall and Skyjack/National 1.
When the state lost the two local firms to global players through acquisition, the management of Quick Corporate Australia saw an opportunity, as multi-nationals often retain a broader focus; and although the big players service the smaller end of the market, those companies are not necessarily a priority.
Quick Corporate general manager Bob Harris said changing customer needs and the need to maintain client service levels led to an enhancement of operations, particularly an extension of the product range to include general stationery, paper and computer supplies.
"We were already renowned for excellence in our existing operation, so office supplies seemed a natural extension to our already thriving business," Mr Harris told WA Business News.
In 2004, the company added a furniture and print division to its already extensive range of products and services. These two divisions now contribute almost 10 per cent of Quick Corporate's annual business.
In 2008 the company, which has increased its staff roster from 30 to 60 over a nine-year period, bought Salmark and Star Promotions, two of WA's largest promotional products companies.
However, despite continued growth, Quick Corporate struggled to compete and remain competitive on a global scale.
"We have a plethora of competitors, from several large multinationals to national businesses and smaller WA businesses, as well as retailers," Mr Harris said.
"When global competitors entered the market and began pressuring local suppliers, QCA needed to ensure our buy rates also remained competitive.
"We were able to do this through joining our national buying network, the ASA (Amalgamated Stationers Australia).
"If QCA refused to change its business model or didn't remain competitive, it would have eventually lost out to these global competitors and most probably been acquired.
"So it was important that we adapted our business to market needs and become a recognised player in stationery, including paper and toner, canteen and washroom as well as printing and furniture."
Quick Corporate increased the size of its premises to include a purpose-built warehouse facility, bought a company fleet of delivery trucks and drivers, introduced new IT systems to manage process flows and electronic invoicing, and developed a business-to-business e-commerce solution with a purchasing portal, enabling customers to search and select products from an online catalogue.
As a result, the company recently expanded to South Australia and now has an office and warehouse in Adelaide.
The sales team grew from one to 19 over the past four years to ensure clients' expectations were delivered and profit targets were being reached.
Quick Corporate has also achieved a growth rate of 20 per cent, year-on-year, since 2005.
"Our long-term strategy is to grow the business nationally by setting up offices and warehouses on the east coast," Mr Harris said.
"We see many opportunities, especially with medium-sized businesses. Currently, many of these organisations are experiencing sub-standard levels of service and because of their size, aren't able to qualify for the large corporate pricing being offered by the multi-nationals.
"We believe that we can provide exactly what they're looking for and offer relationships that are built on trust and service."
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