ABG visit further strengthens ANZ ties

Above: Wayne Quayle (Currie Group), Mark Hyde (ABG), Mark Daws and Jon Murray (Currie Group)

Mark Hyde, sales manager for AB Graphic International, led the ABG By Appointment events at Currie Group’s Melbourne headquarters last week, delivering expert insights to the fully subscribed sessions.

For more than two decades, AB Graphics International (ABG) and Currie Group have been close partners in the supply of digital finishing solutions to the ANZ label and packaging market.

Last week, Hyde marked his 38th visit ‘down under’ bringing top-tier expertise to industry businesses through the ABG By Appointment event held in Currie Group’s Melbourne demonstration centre, and to meet with the local sales, service, management, and administration teams.

“ABG was one of the very first manufacturers of digital packaging and label finishing systems, and our partnership with Currie Group began when digital finishing was really in its infancy,” Hyde said.

Above: The team from Currie Group, ABG, and CERM

“Over the years, as we have continued to innovate and push the technologies forward, it has been fantastic to see Currie Group also expand to become a leader in the region, with an ideal mix of equipment and solutions for the sector and, importantly, an unmatched service and technical support operation which means businesses can invest with confidence.”

Currie Group said it takes considerable pride in being an ‘end-to-end’ supplier, with a wide range of solutions through their partnerships with international OEMs, many of which line up perfectly with ABG’s own collaborative relationships.

It is also aligned with ABG on many other topics, including its commitment to service, with a strong team of factory-trained technicians backed by their counterparts at ABG in the UK, and supported by a finely tuned ‘rolling stock’ arrangement which keeps stock and spare parts on hand for fast order fulfilment, despite the inevitably long shipping times between the UK and ANZ.

This synergy was clear at the fully-subscribed By Appointment sessions, which Currie Group has now run successfully on a number of its product ranges.

“By Appointment is an approach which we created to give customers opportunities you simply can’t provide at a traditional open house event – namely, individual sessions which are tailored to suit the particular requirements of the client,” said Mark Daws, director – Labels & Packaging ANZ at Currie Group.

“Perhaps they are a print service provider who is looking at moving into labels and packaging, or an established label house adding digital options or looking at ways to enhance their business with automation – a personalised appointment allows us to better provide the information and insights they need.”

Hyde, for one, is impressed with the approach. “Like us, Currie Group is focused on solutions rather than sales, and the open, consultative approach fostered by these personal, one-on-one sessions is really useful,” he said.

Visitors to the sessions experienced end-to-end label production and converting workflow in action, featuring the very latest ABG Digicon Series 3 and ABG DigiLite 3 digital finishing systems, and an ABG SRI3 slitter rewinder inspection system, coupled with an HP Indigo 6K Digital Press and CERM workflow. Guests also had access to HP and CERM experts.

“The workflow on show is designed to demonstrate the benefits of ABG’s modular, flexible and highly automated solutions, which push the boundaries of digital embellishment and finishing to add maximum value, while also improving productivity and profitability with advanced automation and operational efficiencies,” said Daws.

Above: The ABG Digicon Series 3

Hyde agrees. “We’ve invested heavily in automation in recent years as guests will see, and this, together with quality and genuine innovation, are the real focus for us going forward,” he says.

These themes – innovation, quality, automation and profitability – will also be a focus for ABG at Drupa, where the company will not only welcome guests to its own booth, but is also planning a heavy presence on the HP stand. And, while Hyde will not be drawn on exact details of the display, he says ANZ customers will find most of it familiar.

“We are constantly evolving our technologies, of course, but we are not in the business of holding back innovations from our customers to get mileage at a show, so anyone who attended the By Appointment event last week will have found that they were already very familiar with most of the innovations and advances that will feature in Düsseldorf,” Hyde said.

“We will, however, be making some exciting announcements on our future direction and global strategy – so we are very much looking forward to that.”

For now, however, the focus is “local, focused, and friendly”.

“We have channel partnerships all around the world, of course, but few are as strong as the one we enjoy with Currie Group throughout Australia and New Zealand,” Hyde said, “in fact, they are our top distributor globally, and our most advanced partner, anywhere in the world.

“Our companies have really developed side-by-side, and it’s been great to visit so often over the years and to see the relationship grow from strength to strength,” Hyde says. “I’m very much looking forward to meeting more businesses during this visit…and to coming back again, many times in the future.”

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