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Zerographic Systems celebrates 25th anniversary

Zerographic Systems was one of the first Xerox concessionaries – fast forward 25 years, and it’s now one of the OEM’s largest European Premier Partners

25th anniversary
25th anniversary

In common with many other dealer principals, Zerographic CEO Kevin Corbett, had been working in the industry for a number of years, before making the decision to go it alone and create something new.

Corbett had first-hand knowledge of Xerox, family members had worked for the company and it was a brand that he knew and respected. Having already created a credible footprint in the professional print market, he approached Xerox and was appointed one of the first UK-based concessionaries, a move designed to support his goal to build a business by providing market-leading office printers and MFPs, managed print services, and production print systems.

Acquisitions expand reach

The company is headquartered in Stafford, but has spread its geographical reach as a result of several acquisitions. In 2005 it purchased Wakefield-based Xerox concessionaire, Document Systems, retaining the offices and key personnel to establish a local sales team serving businesses across Yorkshire.

A second acquisition of Weston-Super-Mare-based Muro Digital in 2011, enabled the firm to expand into the South West.

This Somerset branch houses a sales team, engineers, technical support team, warehousing and a distribution centre for RISO, Xerox and finishing products. There is also a dedicated telesales team whose focus is on a range of niche binding equipment. “Muro Digital always sold that kit and there is some real expertise there, so we took the opportunity to retain that and expand the business by diversifying into that sector,” Operations Director Mike Sandell explained.

The firm’s specialisms sit within document workflow solutions, managed print services and production print systems. An established Xerox Premier Partner, it has helped organisations small and large, drive down document and print related costs and manages print fleets ranging from one to 1,000 plus devices on behalf of its customers. 80 per cent of customers have been with the company which has been named Xerox’s concessionaire of the year many times, for five years or more, with some, since day one.

Sales operations strategically sited across the country
Sales operations strategically sited across the country

“With three sales operations strategically sited across the country, we have a big geographical reach,” Sandell said. “We don’t have a footprint in central London but from Weston-Super-Mare we support customers in the South West, into Devon and Cornwall and across to South Wales. Our Stafford HQ covers the Midlands and North West, and our Yorkshire office serves clients across the county and beyond,” he added.

Plan for growth

The company has enjoyed consistent year on year growth over the last four years and is geared to realise significant increases in revenue and profitable performance over the coming three years. Turnover today is around £18 million and the company has a target to achieve £30 million by the end of 2019.

Zerographic Systems has a strategic plan to continue the profitable increases in revenue turnover over the next three years. It intends to further expand and build on its effective sales coverage through a recruitment drive, as well as via relevant tactical business acquisitions.

It has recently made two key appointments to its management team, Sandell came on board as Operations Director six months ago and more recently, Mike Holyoake joined as Group Sales Director. Holyoake has for the past 27 years, held a number of senior management positions across sales and business operations for the OEM. The last five years saw him leading the UK & Netherlands as the Country General Manager within Xerox’s European Graphic Communications division, taking the business to significant profit and double-digit return on sales performance, whilst expanding its solutions portfolio presence in the technology market.

Boosting headcount

“We have achieved a great deal through organic growth,” Sandell said. “And we’re now proactively looking to really ramp that up. We are actively recruiting experienced sales personnel to expand our commercial and key accounts teams and further down the line, we will be boosting numbers within our graphics arts and production print sales team.”

Headcount across all three branches totals 58. The first stage of recruitment which is already underway and which Sandell hopes will be complete by end of Q2, will see numbers increase by up to ten heads. “This first stage is designed to strengthen the teams already in place whilst phase two will be all about setting up entirely new specialist sales teams,” he added.

Complementing its Xerox offer, Zerographic is also a Riso reseller. “We’ve been successful with Riso in the South West and we’re now looking a massively expand this side of the business and to replicate that success in the Midlands and North – it’s another revenue stream and will play a key part in meeting our growth objectives,” Sandell said in conclusion.