Parafield Ink and Toner is a successful Pooraka-based business providing computer and printer consumables with a strong focus on the environmental benefits of refilling cartridges. The company has been in operation for the past five years and has experienced many changes in the process of establishing its current place in the market.
“The cost of becoming involved with Polaris is very, very minor compared to the value that you get out of it. It is a very valuable service that is not widely known enough”
– Parafield Ink and Toner general manager Rex Wallace
“We took over a closed franchisee store in November 2009 and operated in Mawson Lakes under the franchise name. We were struggling to break even under the existing arrangements. My background is in large corporate and not in small retail, so I used the Polaris Centre as a non-employed board to bounce ideas off,” said general manager Rex Wallace.
“We weren’t told what to do, but had a reality check of which ideas were sensible and which weren’t. In October 2011 we moved out of Mawson Lakes into the store at Parafield Discount City under the new name Parafield Discount Ink and Toner. The Polaris Centre helped confirm the shift away from the franchise and the move to a new location was a good idea, and they were 100% right. The store has gone ahead in leaps and bounds.”
Through the Mentoring for Success and Business Fundamentals programs, Rex said it became clear what needed to change. “We were aiming too broadly. We were trying to be all things to all people and a jack-of-all-trades, so we re-focused our marketing efforts on our core strengths,” he said. “That’s when we changed our colour scheme, our logo, and our main marketing focus from general stationary supplies to ink and toner cartridge refilling.”
Rex said the Polaris Centre helped him realise his unique selling point; the environmental benefit of refilling cartridges. “That was our sustainable competitive advantage, our core point of difference with the supermarkets and the big stores, and what we were also making the most money on. Polaris helped us to recognise that.”