Leading traditional office stationary company expands offering into digital signage

Leading Traditional Office Stationary Company
Expands Offering into Digital Signage

5 min read

Phil Hughes Office Solutions started as an office equipment and stationery company back in 1997, with a predominant focus on print, photocopiers, stationary and office furniture. Today, they have expanded their offering into the digital signage market, thanks to the ease of Fusion Signage.
I chatted with Ryan Hughes and James Parker on why and how this is benefiting their business.

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Tell us a bit about your business?

Ryan: “Phil Hughes Office Solutions started as an office equipment and stationery company back in 1997, by my father, who has been in the industry for 52 years. We always had a predominant focus on print and photo copiers essentially, until mid 2000’s where we transitioned into the stationery and furniture industries as well. More recently, we have started looking at new and emerging technologies, including digital signage. This allows us to provide our customers with a broader offering, while driving our business into the future. A thought we often come back to is, if you stay still you’re really going backwards. So, with that in mind, today we are proudly a one-stop-shop for all our customer’s needs.”

How are you using Fusion Signage in your business?

Ryan: “Fusion Signage has been a great way to drive the sales of products that we have had pre-existing relationships with. For example, we had a relationship with Sharp through our photocopiers, however with their digital signage offering we never had a delivery mechanism (CMS) that was up to my standards. I wanted to make it easy for our customers, I didn’t want to just give them a screen on the wall and say, here’s a USB stick – good luck. I wanted something that I could provide a solution from start to finish for our clients, that was easy to use and drove them to want to use it – to get better outcomes for themselves. Fusion Signage has been our answer.”

Did you consider other Content Management Systems / Why Fusion Signage?

Ryan: “We did look at the Sharp CMS that comes onboard, however Sharp are a hardware company and not a software company. We also compared other CMS’ online, however we found that the price points were often so off-putting to smaller enterprises. Launceston is a regional city with 100,000 people, whilst we have larger businesses here, for most of the small businesses the price points of these others CMS’ were so far beyond what they could justify in their businesses. To have Fusion Signage at such a reasonable price point, and so natively easy-to-use, it was a no brainer for us.”

"To have Fusion Signage at such a reasonable price point, and so natively easy to use, it was a no brainer for us."

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Where are you getting the most traction?

Ryan: “We are getting traction in a variety of areas, as we are a very diverse company. We deal with companies from government enterprises right down to one-man bands. With Fusion Signage, our reach to other clients is greatened; we have new start-ups looking at using Fusion Signage which opens the door for us to offer them stationery and furniture. We have existing, large enterprise businesses who are coming to us because they know what we can do and have now seen what Fusion Signage can do.”

James: “I think the key is in the name; Phil Hughes Office Solutions. We are here to find solutions and, the ability to be able to say to our customer, no matter the application, that we can try and find you a solution; is key. This has been key to this family run, Tasmanian owned business, thriving and growing since 1997 to seventeen employees today. Without being able to do that, if we were a one-trick-pony, we wouldn’t have been able to get this far. Fusion Signage has given us yet another arm to the business, which has allowed us to fill holes with clients that otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to attain business for. It really helps us diversify, which we are very strong on.”

Do you have your own use case that you can share with us?

James: “See Eye Care. A new start-up business that has just emerged in Launceston. They first came to us for a cash register; just a box to put money in. And from that, we were able to expand on what was just going to be a cash drawer to now being their print and digital signage provider. We are now also providing their monitor arms; so, a lot of their fit-out is in fact catered for by PHOS. And it all stemmed off that initial $50 sale, so if we weren’t able to build upon that initial sale, with the offering of something like Fusion Signage, we wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

Ryan: “Orana enterprises. They are a forestry and transport company similar to ours in that they are a father and son team who have built it up to a great business. They recently rebuilt a new facility for their offices and came to us about a photocopier. This conversation led on to furniture, in which we supplied all their chairs, desks and custom pieces. This then led on to digital signage, including interactive touchscreens, website feeds and other marketing. These screens allow them to show their clients and visitors, “this is what we do”.”

And lastly, is there anything we can do to help improve your experience as a Fusion Signage Reseller?

Ryan: “Fusion Signage is already thinking ahead. You’re not simply sitting on a product that’s selling, being happy with that. You’re thinking about the next steps, what is the next thing. And you’re also openly taking feedback along the way.”

James: “We’re very much on partnerships, our business has been built on relationships that have lasted in some cases 40-50 years. I’ve worked with innumerably different companies in the tech space, some treat you as simply a commodity. Fusion Signage is a genuine partner; they will give back what you give to them. We feel like a true partner because every time I call you guys to give you a headache because maybe I’ve found something in the software that could be improved, I give that feedback to you and within a week it’s updated. And it’s not just when I give you feedback, I can see whenever I log in to Fusion Signage that you are constantly developing it to be the best it can be. I think you’re already on top of it, to be honest, and very responsive.”

"Fusion Signage is a genuine partner; they will give back what you give to them."

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Thanks for chatting with me, guys! We love the partnership we’ve built together, and hopefully sometime soon this year we can visit you in Tassie again!

Emily Ingram

Co-Owner / Marketing Manager, Fusion Signage