As MD, Raymond Waldeck, comments, Antalis South Africa has been involved in similar local events in their different guises over the years, and internationally with various FESPA shows. ‘But,’ he remarks, ‘in the last three years advances in technology have been staggering. The equipment on offer has improved by leaps and bounds.’ As just one example, he cites the ‘cold cure’ technology on the EFI Vutek press shown on the Antalis stand.
Asked what he feels makes Antalis different, Raymond replies: ‘At the end of the day, it’s not just about machines. Looking around these halls, there’s a raft of good equipment on display, all producing excellent quality. For us, it’s about more than machinery: it’s about people, our service, the skill of our technicians and the back-up services we offer. At the end of the day, most machines to do the work they’re intended to do. But what happens if it breaks down on a Friday night? Will the customer get decent support, especially after hours? And that’s where we set ourselves apart. Our customer service and staff commitment are excellent.
‘We’re driving excellence through our people. The machines just happen to be on the stand,’ he says.
Raymond goes on to point out that Antalis South Africa maintains a R250-million investment in spare parts and consumables, ensuring short lead times on all deliveries. While all Antalis technicians are internationally trained to provide technical support, as skilled operators they also provide insights into production and equipment optimisation, and they understand each customer’s operating environment.
Raymond is firm in his philosophy of supporting his staff and building an enthusiastic team that takes pride in its work.
Commenting on the future of Antalis as Africa’s largest paper merchant, Raymond points to shrinking demand for paper supplies worldwide. However, this trend is less pronounced in southern Africa, he maintains, and innovative products are supporting continued growth.
On the topic of eco-friendly consumable, Raymond remarks: ‘On a day-to-day basis, the average printer or consumer is still too price conscious to truly care about environmental issues. In southern Africa, sustainable packaging is driven mainly by the larger converters, with the principal motivators being a number of multinational brands calling for “greener” solutions.’
As a FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited paper merchant, Antalis is able to trace products back to source and the company takes its eco-friendly responsibilities extremely seriously. Some exciting FSC-certified products are on the horizon and Raymond is upbeat about Antalis’ growing involvement in the packaging industry.