Leading Business Solutions

The Lamson Paragon Group

There are eight Companies and seven sites across Australasia in the stable today. Each of the entities evolved from the requests of customers. The Group works with its clients and strongly protects its position as a Trade Supplier and promotes its motto of “Your Partner, Not Your Competition”.

Group Managing Director Arthur Frost remembers fondly joining the original Company in 1966 and his involvement in forming The Australian Institute of Systems Analysts and defining the curriculum for the first tertiary course for this emerging career path with the then Caulfied Institute of Technology. Business was much easier then – everyone wanted business forms with sprocket punching.

Technology evolution in all market segments increased the proliferation of paper based forms. The marketing platform of Print Management emerged in the 80s and developed into Data Management in the late 80s and early 90s. It was at this time the current structure started to emerge with one foot in both camps – Lamson Paragon in paper and Cheque Mates in data.

Since then the Company has grown from one employee, one press, one factory to 90 plus employees, seven sites, seven business segments and a lot of equipment. It continues to work with its customers to help them help their customers. The latest expansions include Lamson Medicharts and Integrated Office Solutions, both of which are focused on specific market opportunities for the Group’s customers.

As a Trade Supplier the Group has withstood enormous pressure as the Trade imploded over the last 10 years. Unfortunately bad debts came with regular monotony and the footwork had to be in Fred Astaire’s class. Like all businesses the Group has had its ups and downs. As Group General Manager Rodney Frost explains, “Our whole philosophy has been to provide a broad range of products and services that apply to the operation of any business. Our customers recognise the integrity we have built our business on and are happy to work with us, they trust us. Dad and I are the National Sales Force and we work with strategic partners to satisfy the market in many segments. In the reception area of the Head Office a clue to our success is seen in a framed print: ‘Rule No 1 – if we don’t take care of the customer somebody else will.’”

The segments the Group currently addresses are business forms and cheques, laser forms and cheques, multipart books and continuous forms through its Lamson Paragon operations in Sydney and Melbourne. “Cheque Mates addresses our clients’ needs with all forms of variable imaging, personalised communication, intelligent imaging, IT programming, digital document storage, multi-channel distribution, etc. and operates out of both Melbourne and Sydney. Printed bond, carbonless and thermal rolls for applications such as ATMs, Transport tickets, gaming and wagering tickets, dry cleaning receipts etc. are supplied by our Sydney and Perth facilities. Perth also has the ability to manufacture OCR tickets as required in TABs around Australia.”

Just over twelve months ago Lamson Medicharts was born out of the need for a solid local wholesale business to supply paper based consumable products, non-intrusive medical devices and ultrasound gel. With TGA approval that has seen another string to the Group’s bow, helping the team to penetrate the medical market.

The latest offering is Integrated Office Solutions which has productised the enormous potential that exists within enabling small and medium businesses to have dedicated virtual resources from Manila or Cebu for a small fixed margin. This will be the future of how business is done.

The Company is quick to credit its supply chain as a key factor in its growth. It falls into the area where it can support print managers, stationery Companies, commercial printers etc, to fulfil their commitments to their customers with products they can’t otherwise source.

“Our customers keep coming back because we, over the years, have responded to our customers’ needs,” says Arthur Frost. “They require a trusted trade supplier, and we’ve always responded to those requests; our investments have been to satisfy our customers.”

A great believer in giving back not only to customers, staff and partners, the company is also involved in a number of charitable initiatives, including the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. The brainchild of business leader Bernard Fehon, the Sleepout is held during the winter solstice – the longest night of the year – to engage business leaders to raise awareness and funds for homelessness. With about 1,200 Chief Executive Officers taking part, Rodney Frost has already registered to take part June 18th next year, his seventh year in a row.

“It is a great cause to be involved in, and raises about $6 million a year for the homeless,” he says. “It is not just about the funds; it is about creating awareness, so when people see someone on the street they don’t walk away, but say ‘good day’ and buy them a coffee and some food.” With an estimated 105,000 homeless people across Australia, many of them under the age of 35, Rodney remains committed to the cause of Vinnies CEO Sleepout, and its goal of not only serving the homeless, but bringing an end to homelessness altogether. It is just another way the family owned business shows respect for not only its customers, but for society as a whole.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

January 16, 2019, 3:59 PM AEDT