Haybrooke continues PaaS expansion with new reseller service

Roche: Confident this will be successful
Roche: Confident this will be successful

Print procurement specialist Haybrooke is launching a new sub-service of its 'printing as a service' (PaaS) procurement model aimed at general resellers in the office sector.

Launching on 4 January, the ‘Managed print category’ is particularly targeted at office stationers and the like who don’t currently have a print category, or who have a category but where it is not being successful, according to John Roche, chief executive of the eight-staff business.

The new service will see Haybrooke manage the category for them in its entirety and, effectively, agree a percentage commission for doing so.

Roche told Printweek: “We have a partnership with Boss Federation, and they have thousands of office suppliers and resellers who have various categories. For resellers in the office sector, basically any vertical category is described as a category and products sit within that specific range and only some of them have got a print category.

“We were given broad access to the customer base of Boss Federation and, working with the office stationers and resellers, we fairly quickly began to understand that although there was a desire for a print category, what’s important for a print category to work in an organisation where there’s not the inherent knowledge is the experience and printing industry expertise.

“And where that’s missing, even if you plug in a system like ours, the user may not know how to specify product.”

He added: “So although at face value this seems like a wonderful opportunity – you can talk to all these office suppliers and resellers – what we discovered was that some of them had knowledge in-house – and where they had that we plugged in our system and it was very successful for them – but when we were being introduced to other organisations who wanted to set up a print category, we were giving them PDQ [Haybrooke’s print buying platform] under the PaaS format and we were training them how to use the system, but it wasn’t being used.

“We discovered this was due to the knowledge gap, and that people didn’t know how to buy print, effectively.”

Haybrooke addressed this firstly by giving these resellers more tuition and support, but it then decided to go further by coming up with the idea to manage the print category on their behalf.

“We’re still going to provide an office reseller with our solution and PaaS, but incorporated into that there will be human resource so that effectively we’ll plug that category into a business and all we require initially to make it work are the enquiries,” said Roche.

“So we’ll effectively tutor the salespeople that are working in that business selling other products within other categories, give them some advice on how to sell print, and then instead of feeding enquiries directly into the system, they will be fed into us and we put them into our system, process the enquiries, and then feed the responses back to either them as an intermediary or back to their customers.

“So we’re plugging that knowledge gap, and in doing that we’re confident that we can go into organisations that don’t currently have a print category and help them to set one up, and that this will be successful.”

Haybrooke’s revenues exceeded £1m for the first time in its history in its provisional accounts for the year ending 31 May 2022, representing growth of 70.6% year-on-year.

The growth was attributed to the introduction of PaaS, launched in January 2021 as a trade-only outsourcing service that connects print buyers with printers.

Roche said the business is on target for £2m turnover for the current financial year. It currently has 50 customers on its books, up 100% on this time last year when it had around 25.

Earlier this year Haybrooke added two other major new features to PaaS: built-in instant messaging between customers and suppliers, and a module for supplier ratings by customers.

PaaS was also recognised in several major awards schemes this year; it was shortlisted in the Business Innovation category in the SME National Business Awards 2022 and also reached the finals of the British Business Awards 2022 for the Most Innovative Business Idea of the Year.