In April 2013, am.co.za® entered the local signage industry in a relatively quiet manner. It aimed to impact the market not through extensive marketing or product promotions but through its drive to offer customers reasonably-priced solutions featuring the highest levels of productivity and user-friendliness. Equipment based on market-leading components and state-of-the-art technology with affordable prices that clients could make a profit with, was the cornerstone of it approach to the local market. The aim was to ensure accessibility for players in all market sectors, from mom-and-pop start-ups to high-end industrial applications.
Over time am.co.za® built a reputation for doing what it set out to do, making technology accessible and easy to use. Its customer base grew, as did its product range. Where it started out with vinyl cutters, it expanded into large-format printers, brought on board routers and CNC cutters, and expanded into laser cutters and engravers. All of these products are based on the simple philosophy of democratisation of technology, allowing an increasingly broad spectrum of people to gain access to the technology and to create successful businesses using it.
Another thing that these products have in common is that through continued use of the technology – and the software solutions which drive them – clients can expand their capabilities and businesses. With each expansion of its product range, am.co.za® moved and grew into new premises, and its staff complement increased.
The combination of easy-to-use solutions, broad product range, and on-hand support from the growing number of technical staff at am.co.za® has seen the installed base growing rapidly. However, it is not just the fact that am.co.za® has a large physical footprint and an impressive and wide digital presence as well. Through its various websites and online stores, it is able to offer customers everything from an online ordering service for solutions and parts, and clients can also obtain online troubleshooting and problem-solving assistance, as well as free online resources such as software drivers, templates and even tutorials or advice. This allows them to expand the depth of their knowledge and make the solutions even more profitable.
All of these factors have contributed to the rapid, even meteoric, rise in the success of am.co.za®. It has become so much more than a supplier, it has become a partner to its customers, many of whom have expanded their businesses within one sector or even branched into new sectors within the signage industry – and way beyond. There is even one client who is using the solutions from am.co.za® to design and build housing units, while another is designing and building kitchen counters and décor units.
While its digital presence is certainly impressive, to gain a true understanding of the extent of the growth that am.co.za® has experienced, you have to rather look at it’s physical presence, the sheer volumes of equipment coming into the country and the expansion of its staff complement.
When am.co.za® was founded it was in a small factory in Jet Park with hardly enough room to have its own demonstration facilities. Early in 2023 am.co.za® moved into new premises in Sunnyrock, Germiston. These premises total 6000 square metres of office and warehouse space designed to offer sufficient room for spare parts, technical services, warehousing, dispatch and office requirements. In the same time frame, the staff complement has grown from three to 30 full-time employees. Also in that time, the rate of acceptance from the market has sky-rocketed. At the time of its formation, am.co.za® was happy to achieve a sales rate of one or two machines a month in good months. Currently – as things stand – am.co.za® is selling more than one 40-foot container of products per month and at the moment has seven containers sitting at the docks in Durban waiting for release through customs. It is expected that in the next few year or so, am.co.za® will achieve an annual turnover of R100 million.
am.co.za® was the ambitious brainchild of founder and owner Eric Yin, who has never been shy to think big and dream bigger. People who know him are more than aware of the fact that anything he sets his sights on and puts his mind to, he will make happen. In keeping with his vision for the company, the industry and his clients, Eric has started what may be his most ambitious endeavour yet.
In 2024 The Ambitious Academy will open. A custom-designed and built Education, Demonstration and Showroom facility designed to offer new and existing clients the opportunity to see the various solutions in full operation. The 200 square metre Classroom will offer training courses, the 200 square metre Demo facility will show the machines in operation and, the 250 square metre Showroom will give an overview of the products on offer from am.co.za®.
If you haven’t already experienced the philosophy, attention to detail, dedication, expertise and productivity of am.co.za® and its range of solutions, you need to start considering your business decisions and looking for the smart and ambitious alternative. Look to the company that is redefining the way forward for the South African Signage Industry – am.co.za®, making a difference one customer at a time.