About us

About us

Our story starts all the way back in 2006 when we founded a business called albumworks, (which continues trading today at albumworks.com.au and which we remain very proud of).  albumworks was a business in two halves, our own brand and a white label print on demand supplier.  It grew ‘very’ quickly – both as a retail brand and a white label solution.  We picked up contracts with 2 of the top 10 retailers in Australia, won a series of specialty retailers in stationery and camera retail plus equipment manufacturers such as Canon.  We maintained those contracts for many years.

But with rapid growth came a challenge.  How do you deliver to quality and SLA with a large product range, many finishing workflows and maintain ruthless control of your Cost of Goods when you are growing at a rate of knots?  And to top it all off we had a fierce commitment to two concepts: Lifetime Customer Value and Real Time Cost.

(A quick digression… our Lifetime Customer Value philosophy required that production be capable of adjusting to ‘special’ levels of service for our Silver and Gold level customers.  We did not care about any single order when it came to our high value, repeat orderers – it was the sum of the value that was pivotal and ensuring we got the rebuy.  A commitment to Real Time Cost meant that we had to be able to see the true cost of the Order and be able to see it by slices of product code, product group and brand and combinations of those variables across time – there’s more about this philosophy in our Blog).

The only way we could deal with the sheer number of permutations that our manufacturing reality and business strategy created was by a very special piece of software.  So we  dialled up an IT team and built a piece of software, just for us.  We internally referred to this platform as Zen – because that was the place we wanted to end up – truly understanding our production reality as we strove to achieve production calmness with a fierce focus on the bottom line.

We knew we had created something unique and which gave unique capability – unique in control over cost, unique in insight and unique in ability to personalize the customer experience. So, in mid 2019 we made the big call and threw out the hard coded, internal platform we had built and began building anew as a low code/no code, totally configurable, open systems platform with a beautiful user interface providing total automation from order to ship and every stage inbetween – we called it ZenSmart, and we took it out to the global market.

Now 4 years later ZenSmart is installed in some of the largest print on demand factories in the world as well as sites with unit volume from 20,000 to 1.5 million units per annum.  We have taken our vision of efficiency and cost control and created those outcomes for others and we have built a global team of wonderful people that delivers support around the clock.

But that’s only the starting point…

Andrew Smith
Managing Director
Melbourne, Australia – Dec 2023

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