Kemtek commercial director Mark Broude recently received a prestigious award from Kemtek partner Datalogic, but his take on what this achievement means reveals a great deal about the reasons behind Kemtek’s ongoing success. Kemtek is a provider of solutions that go beyond technology in printing, Auto ID, 3D printing and additive manufacturing. The company also partners with Brother to support crafters with devices designed to unleash their creativity.
Broude tells us that he sees this award as being not just for him or even for the Auto ID team, but for the entire company. While he acknowledges that recognition is important, he sees this award – and the many others that Kemtek has received over the years – as just another milestone on Kemtek’s growth trajectory from competing locally to being able to hold its own on a much larger and more diverse stage.
A moment like this provides an ideal opportunity for reflection and for a deeper dive into the factors that help explain Kemtek’s overall achievements. For Broude, it comes down to one word: people. Specifically, the highly qualified, passionate and professional people that make up each of Kemtek’s divisions.
With an absolute focus on customer service, Kemtek has been able to maintain the loyalty of its customers – in many cases, for decades. Every Kemtek team member has embraced the core truth that the company can only succeed when their customers succeed.
Indeed, when you combine exceptional service with reliable stock availability (itself enabled by great relationships with suppliers), you have a winning formula.
Of course, the path to success hasn’t always been smooth. Recent years have seen a “perfect storm” of issues including the pandemic and component shortages. Broude describes how Kemtek has been able to overcome these obstacles through a combination of robust business strategies and close bonds with suppliers.
Kemtek’s resilience meant that the company was able to assist customers with recovering from some of the many curveballs that South African businesses have had to deal with in recent years, from floods to riots, plus ongoing power supply issues.
As a source of support and positivity, Kemtek has been able to further deepen its relationships with customers and partners. Datalogic is a great example – the two companies have a long-lasting business relationship based on mutual assistance.
Throughout a period of change, Kemtek’s strategies have proven to be agile and flexible enough to allow for evolution and organic growth. By building a vendor base of top-quality technologies, Kemtek has consistently been able to play in many different sectors across South Africa. This has empowered the company to find creative solutions to disruptive factors like load shedding and has given Broude a pragmatic take on power supply issues. He points out that it is hardly a new problem, and that the only current solution is to find ways to work around it.
A different mindset
This approach in many ways sums up Kemtek’s combination of creativity and practicality, and they have always focused on doing whatever it takes to move goods and provide the service they are known for.
In the post-pandemic “new normal”, Kemtek’s culture of prioritising people over profit has pivoted to include a focus on health and well-being, and particularly mental health, as the company looks to rebuild its culture and keep all its team members healthy, motivated and committed.
Given that Kemtek’s strategy of growing its reseller network has served the company so well, this is increasingly being used to drive expansion both within South Africa and beyond the country’s borders. Broude is confident that there are exciting times ahead, with major corporations beginning to focus on South Africa again. By leveraging their technical expertise, Kemtek can ensure that their customers get the best service.
Of course, technology is never static, but Kemtek’s business plan recognises and allows for this by building in preparedness for ongoing, incremental changes in technology rather than expecting occasional seismic shifts.
Embracing technology has always allowed Kemtek to help its customers grow sustainably, transition away from legacy systems and operate effectively even as the ground shifts beneath their feet.
As Kemtek continues to adopt and adapt the latest technologies, the company looks for opportunities to be more efficient and responsible in its use of resources. This has always included aligning with government policies and directives on e-waste and other forms of recycling. While sustainability can sometimes feel like a “new” concept, at Kemtek it is part of the way that things have always been done.
The golden rules still apply
Broude’s positivity about the future of the South African economy is inspiring and uplifting. He believes that the local market is an opportunity for major global brands, but that homegrown firms (like Kemtek) can coexist and compete with them by using their local knowledge.
He affirms that the key to helping SMEs to grow and create employment opportunities is to think differently, to embrace change, and to build and nurture collaborative partnerships. We’re very happy to have this opportunity to help him get his message to more people.
Kemtek has been evolving for over 35 years as part of a constant drive to deliver the best possible outcomes to our customers. The company has grown from being an equipment supplier into a trusted solutions partner. Working with global partners, including world-class, innovative OEMs, Kemtek has pivoted its business to focus on seven key areas: Auto ID technology, labelling solutions, digital print technology, large-format printing technology, additive manufacturing technology, 3D printing technology and renewable resources technology.
Kemtek is deeply committed to achieving ambitious transformation targets by providing an inclusive environment for all team members. The company continuously strives to improve its B-BBEE contributor level – and on an individual level it provides ongoing upskilling and educational opportunities for all Kemtek employees.
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