The importance of relationships in driving labelling innovation

Johannesburg, 14 Aug 2023

A relationship that delivers

The partnership between Epson and Kemtek in South Africa continues to go from strength to strength after some 19 years, and is a great example of how partnerships between OEM enterprises and their distributors can be mutually beneficial, and also improve the offering to customers by empowering the reseller network and driving innovation in areas such as on-demand label printing.

Hugh Davies, Product Management Business Systems Manager at CISMETA Epson.
Hugh Davies, Product Management Business Systems Manager at CISMETA Epson.

When we spoke to Epson’s Hugh Davies, he identified this relationship as a key factor in the success of Epson’s ColorWorks on-demand label printers in South Africa – a success story based on business relationships that have evolved into friendships based on trust, and the fact that Kemtek is a proactive solutions provider, rather than a mere distributor of devices.

The changing face of business

Multiple trends are shaping the way that companies and their customers interact, and have highlighted the value-add that on-demand label printers can bring. The range of potential applications is vast, and covers every sector in which Kemtek is active. From the growing number of start-ups and e-commerce SMMEs that need bespoke shipping solutions, to major nationwide retailers looking to entice shoppers to return to bricks and mortar stores, online printers are meeting business needs and creating opportunities.

Empowering resellers

The strength of Kemtek’s relationship with Epson has enabled the company to give resellers the expert knowledge they need to better engage with customers regarding the advantages of on-demand printing. These include enhanced sustainability (thanks to Epson’s commitment to using recycled and recyclable materials during manufacture, improvements to supply chain operations to reduce carbon footprints, and a focus on environmentally-friendly packaging). This commitment is shared by Kemtek – click here to read our e-waste policy.

On-demand label printing and business continuity

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, when conventional converters were unable to operate, Epson on-demand label printing solutions helped businesses continue to operate. Now that we are operating in the dynamic ‘new normal’, this same technology is helping sectors to recover – for example, through more appealing colour shelf talkers in supermarkets, and attractive ticketing and access control solutions for events and hospitality venues.

The flexibility of on-demand printing has been shown by Kemtek’s ability to identify new opportunities in the many industries within which we are already active, including agriculture, automotive and manufacturing. As companies increasingly focus on areas such as fulfilment, compliance and traceability, flexibility and versatility in Auto ID and labelling are becoming ever more important.

On-demand label printing is helping businesses adapt to the new normal.
On-demand label printing is helping businesses adapt to the new normal.

The importance of product demonstrations

At Kemtek, we’ve always been supporters of trade shows and conventions, and this commitment is shared by Epson. Events – including our own annual Kemtek Indaba – present the ideal opportunity to demonstrate the latest innovations, and let potential customers see devices like Epson ColorWorks on-demand label printers in action.

Seeing these printers in action is far more compelling than watching a presentation or doing online research, and Davies has commended Kemtek for our ability to identify the most important events and shows to visit, and for being able to get key industry figures together in one room.

In addition, customers can watch product demonstrations at our City Deep Centre of Excellence, or at Epson’s offices in Fourways, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Understanding the customer’s needs

While on-demand label printing may not be the solution for every business, its advantages in terms of customisation potential, waste minimisation and agility are convincing a growing number of companies to invest in this technology.

Davies points out that it is vital that in each case, a comprehensive needs analysis is carried out – only then can the optimum labelling solution be recommended with confidence. Again, this is a question of trust – the foundation of any successful, long-term relationship. It’s a matter of going beyond technology to build relationships with resellers, customers and OEM manufacturers – such as the long-lasting partnership between Kemtek and Epson.

To learn more about how Epson ColorWorks on-demand label printers can meet your business needs, contact Aziza Mahomed on (+27) 079 527 0067 or by e-mail at

Alternatively, visit or click here to download exclusive content from the Kemtek Indaba 2023: