Delsan at 25: From printing to a total business solutions provider
To Printing and Beyond
The 1990s was a revolutionary decade in technology: it saw the beginnings of the Internet, the debut of first MP3 players, and the genesis of Google. During that decade, particularly in 1991, in the four corners of a small office composed of three employees, Delsan Office Systems Corporation also saw its humble beginnings, which eventually grew its family to 23 employees in 1998, and, now, this 2016, has a total workforce of more than 200 employees. We recently got a chance to meet its big wigs, President and CEO Ody Santos, and Vice President and COO Glenn Gucor, who shared with us the past, present and the future, not only of the company, but also of the printing business.
Can you share with us a brief background on how your company started?
In 1991, Delsan humbly began as a classic “may pera sa basura story.” We saw an opportunity to turn empty printer cartridges into useful and economic products through recycling, helping in saving the environment and providing jobs to fellow Filipinos. Ever since, we have stayed true to our mission of providing technological improvement that will satisfy and exceed customer expectations. We have consistently evolved from being an aftermarket toner manufacturer to a business solutions provider, addressing the current needs of our stakeholders.
You already have strong partnerships with different printer manufacturers. But you choose to go beyond distribution. Why did you choose that path?
Just like what our sales director said, Delsan wants to go beyond transactional engagement. We want to build long-term relationships with our partners and clients, just like Makati Shangri-La. Shangri-La has been with Delsan since 1997 or for almost 20 years. We offer more services more than printers. We want to become our customers’ top-of-mind supplier in terms of solutions and services.
There has been this ongoing movement toward paperless office brought about by digitalization and cloud computing. Do these trends affect print which is the core of your business?
In the Asia-Pacific region, CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) there is a three percent increase in use of paper. But in Europe and the United States, it is all declining because of the paperless and digital initiatives. In light of this, Delsan has migrated or evolved into a business process solution so that we can help our customers to transition from print to paperless. That is why we have BMDoc, a cloud-based document management; DocuShare, an on-premise document management solution; and FMAudit and PaperCut, which allow our customers to monitor the printouts produced by each user per machine and per department. Like if you are in a law office, you can do cost recovery by charging your clients. Actually, we are helping our customers print less. The core of our business is printing, but we are also helping our customers to print less. Because if we will not do it, other companies will do, and we will become irrelevant.
So do you believe that the future will be totally paperless?
Well, they have been saying that long ago. Hardware sales in the United States are declining, but in the Philippines, there is an increase of printer and hardware importation. We still see two or three years from now before the Philippines can become totally paperless. One major problem that we see in the Philippines, we are using various types of paper in offices: A4, A3, legal, and letter. If we will be able to stick to one paper size like in the United States, Europe or in some parts of Asia, most likely A4, we can help in saving the environment. Less paper means lesser trees to cut.
From simply being a company that offers services such as toner refilling, printer repair, and cartridge manufacturing in the 1990s, Delsan evolved into a company that goes beyond printing solutions, by providing management, production, and business process solutions through latest software technology in the following decade until its 25th year milestone. Today, Delsan has strong relationships with eight hardware and seven software partners (some are pictured above), all of which are well-recognized worldwide.