Saturday, 14 December, 2019

    Darren Fullerton

    Darren Fullerton
    Winc Australia/OfficeMax New Zealand

    2019: This year, Winc Australia celebrates its second birthday and sees the reseller continuing to evolve its offering to the market as a true workplace solutions partner, providing not only office essentials but also furniture, safety equipment and complex technology services.

    In May, as a long-standing Microsoft licensing solution provider and Microsoft Gold Partner, Winc launched Cloud.Winc Marketplace which concentrates on bundled technology solutions for the SMB market. Says Darren Fullerton, CEO of Winc Australia: “This is essentially a new self-service portal offering monthly subscription-based licensing to customers who want to efficiently scale up or down in real time to reflect the changing? needs of their workplaces.”

    Winc also supports and develops the brands of ten Supply Nation-certified Indigenous businesses for products in the stationery, kitchen, furniture, jan/san and safety categories. Taking this a step further, the reseller recently introduced cultural awareness training for its 1,600 team members as part of the organisation’s fourth Reconciliation Action Plan to create a better understanding of Indigenous communities.

    Winc Australia takes its commitment to diversity in the workplace seriously. The company was recently approved to join WORK180 as an Endorsed Employer for Women. WORK180 is Australia’s only jobs board which pre-screens employers before they can advertise jobs against a set of 20 criteria including flexible working, women in leadership, opportunities to purchase additional leave, and paid parental leave.

    Next year will see the firm continuing to build on its Winc and Winc Earth own brand offerings with an emphasis on ethnically-sourced products and more sustainable options.

    2018: This year, the Winc business has focused on bringing together Staples Australia (rebranded to Winc in 2017) and OfficeMax to create a “future-facing, growth-orientated business solutions company with customer experience at the heart”, according to CEO Darren Fullerton.

    Having just celebrated its first birthday in September, the Winc brand was created for what is shaping up as a ‘new’ company with a renewed passion and focus to support customer success in a challenging and changing world.

    Fullerton says he continues to be impressed by how complementary the businesses are, the talent in the businesses as they come together, and the energy being created to drive a new experience for customers, and the workers and learners within.

    2017: The Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) business of Staples was acquired by private investment firm Platinum Equity earlier this year. Since then, it has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Winc.

    Company President Darren Fullerton called the new branding “the start of a complete change to the customer experience”. The new identity – which stands for ‘work incorporated’ – is intended to break away from its traditional competitors and represent a new focus beyond simply office products and into workplace solutions.
    The company also announced a significant investment in its supply chain, digital experience and a new service to give customers’ data-driven insights. It further announced plans to expand its last-mile delivery model to give the group a competitive edge given the imminent launch of Amazon in Australia.

    On top of that, Winc has been on one side of an acquisition tussle with Complete Office Solutions over a bid by its parent company Platinum for OfficeMax, the Australia and New Zealand business of Office Depot. If it went ahead, a combined OfficeMax/Winc would hold as much as 90% of the B2B market in Australia and New Zealand. A decision is expected to be made before the end of 2017.

    2016 NEW ENTRY: Darren Fullerton took over as President of Staples Australia and New Zealand from the highly-respected Jay Mutschler at the beginning of 2016, joining the office supplies reseller from PepsiCo where he had spent 16 years, the final three as CEO.

    Mutschler had been leading turnaround initiatives at Staples for four years and Fullerton inherited a business with an improving financial performance and an increased product and services offering beyond office supplies.

    With a new and enthusiastic senior management team supporting him, Fullerton has been following a similar strategy to the parent company in the US, launching a new mid-market division in May as the company looks to win more small and medium-sized business customers.

    Diversity is high on the agenda at many Australian companies and Staples is no exception. In August, it announced a partnership with Nallawilli Technology, a 100% owned and operated Australian indigenous IT business, to deliver a range of unified audio and visual communications services.