Bob Skinstad and Mark McChlery lead Seartec’s relaunch

Bob Skinstad and Mark McChlery. Bob Skinstad and Mark McChlery.

Seartec, Sharp’s South African distributor, has been re-launched with a new vision and new management. Business leader Mark McChlery and entrepreneur Bob Skinstad have been appointed by Seardel Investment Corporation Ltd as executive directors to reposition and reengineer the Seartec brand, using their smart business approach and passion for innovation.

McChlery and Skinstad have a history of working together, having met and worked together at Itec Innovate. It was during this time that they came into contact with the Seardel Investment Corporation, owners of the Seartec brand, who were looking for new leadership to reinvigorate the brand in the South African market.

McChlery and Skinstad’s smart business approach and passion for innovation meant that they were the obvious choice for the challenge and they were appointed to the management team at the end of 2013, as Chief Executive and Chief Marketing Officers respectively.

“I think we are inherently restless souls,” comments McChlery. “To be allowed to take an entrepreneurial and small business mindset and apply that to an established business and global brands, was too great an opportunity to turn down.”

This entrepreneurial mindset, coupled with sound business sense, is setting a foundation for how the duo sees the business developing as it grows.

“We like to see ourselves as growing with adult supervision,” said Skinstad.” We have the energy and enthusiasm of young entrepreneurs but we know when to bring in talent and experience. Being able to tap into the Seardel network has been invaluable. It’s like the African proverb of “it takes a village to raise a child” where in some ways the rest of the business is acting like our elders.”

Since the duo started in November last year, they have fast-tracked a number of developments and changes throughout the business. “We try to think 10 steps ahead all the time. By this we mean we have identified what we need to do in every part of the business, in order to quickly make the business a formidable player in the market. This means looking at and streamlining every single element of the business, right down to how products are packed,” explains McChlery.

In the few months since they took over the reigns, they have already overhauled the product range; added new dimensions to it; taken products online and investigated e-commerce capability; and are currently investing in a data centre and cloud office portal.

The two have high hopes of challenging the South African technology industry from the inside out, with a new ethos of “Solving Smart”. This means that they view the business as a technology company, rather than a product company, which offers solutions to businesses and consumers.

With the Sharp brand being a core element of the Seartec business, it will not be the only focus. Since their appointment, the team has acquired two further businesses to operate under Seartec, which will offer further integrated solutions to clients.

Limtech, a leading supplier of CCTV, access control and security solutions; and Officebox, an online supplier of stationery and office products, allows Seartec to offer a wider range of integrated services, consumable, software and hardware solutions to clients.

“Our understanding of solving solutions is simple. There is no ‘one size fits all ‘solution – everyone has different problems they need to solve. We have the hardware, the software and the capacity to find bespoke solutions for clients and I believe that’s what sets us apart,” continues McChlery.

The team is looking to build a business based on credibility and “doing things properly.” There’s a tangible sense of drive and energy that surrounds McChlery and Skinstad and their dynamic relationship clearly makes for a formidable team.

“We want to build a sustainable business, not necessarily the one that sells the most or the cheapest. We want to appeal to a market that values value over cost, so customer retention and relationships are key. Quick wins don’t mean anything,” explains Skinstad.

“We’re continuing with this mind-set throughout the business,” concluded McChlery. “With technological advances in Sharp products, the acquisition of further businesses when they can add value to ours, and innovation within our own, our vision is to change the technological landscape and redefine the meaning of innovation on the African continent.”

Seartec’s upcoming products:

Pro Series colour document systems

The MX-6500N and MX-7500N high performance color document systems offer productivity, professional features and high image quality at speeds up to 75 ppm. Designed for busy in-plant and on-demand workflow environments, these new models combine a versatile, modular design with a wide range of supported media and powerful output capabilities that can help a business produce more jobs in-house and improve profitability.

Sharp Plasmacluster Ion Technology

Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion Technology has been proven to be effective against the three main causes of asthma and secondary bacterial infection, namely: dust mites; viral infections (e.g. influenza); and bacterial infection.

Unlike regular air purifiers, Plasmacluster Ion is not considered a filter-based purifier, although it does include a HEPA filter as well. The mechanism works through the creation and emission of active ions that work on the deactivation of allergens and micro-organisms. Plasmacluster Ions work in a similar way to penicillin, in that they inhibit the cell wall synthesis of bacteria, preventing the cross linking of peptides on the mucosaccharide chains. Plasma discharges are used to create and release into the air the same positive and negative ions that occur in nature. When they come into contact with a mould spore, bacteria or virus, they transform into OH radicals with extremely powerful oxidation properties. The OH radicals ‘steal’ hydrogen from the proteins on the bacteria surface, breaking down the proteins.

Cloud Portal Office

The Cloud Portal Office is a comprehensive document storage and sharing service. It provides a convenient way to seamlessly connect to business content and easily share and collaborate with team members, whether remotely or during in-person conferences. Paper and electronic documents can also be captured, indexed and archived in a single repository. Most importantly, IT administrators can manage and control user access in order to safeguard company data.

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