Packaging, process and progress: Investing in a strong service culture


Today in our Packaging, process and progress series, we hear from HMPS on its recent expansion in Victoria.

Turnkey packaging specialists HMPS Group (HMPS) have cemented their footprint in Victoria. This follows the acquisition of Integrated Machinery in 2021 – a local manufacturer of stretch wrapping machines, equipment, and systems.

Adding further capacity and on-the-ground support for customers in this pertinent region is essential to the business, as Samantha Saunders, HMPS General Manager Service (pictured below) explains: “We needed to recruit team members, find a new location, move warehouses  all whilst setting up and fitting out our new offices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The culmination of these tasks running in unison made for a rather exciting challenge.”

“Border restrictions during lockdown made it apparent that we needed to have people in each state, and we are working hard towards achieving this” she adds.

First formalised in the 1980’s as the first bag in box manufacturer in South Australia, HMPS continues to break the mould and push boundaries some 30 years later.  Acquiring PROPAC Industrial in 2019 and now in its next exciting growth phase, Samantha explains that HMPS’s latest recruitment drive is targeted at Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland in areas of customer service, technical and field service roles. “It is a great time to join the business not only because we are going through this phase of growth, but we are also bringing three businesses together and reviewing all our infrastructure. It is an opportunity for new recruits to truly form part of a new business model from the ground up.”

HMPS Victoria currently employs 20 team members – six of which are new recruits who were appointed in the past six months.

A turnkey solution to benefit customers

Samantha explains that HMPS’s turnkey solution means one point of contact for the full end of line packaging installation. “HMPS supports our customers through procurement, equipment sourcing, design and build right through to lifetime support. As an agile company we can adapt and pivot as we need to. This bold move led to an uptick in demand for more turnkey packaging line installations from the market.”

New partnership strength and synergies

The acquisition of Integrated Machinery has led to enhanced synergies. “We have built a great team of people in Victoria and with the support of the South Australian team, the integration has been seamless.”

At the heart of every company is company culture. “Company culture is so important and in acquisition it can be one of the biggest hurdles – especially given the fact that a lot of work is done remotely, and communication had to take place via TEAMS and Zoom. In this case however, we seem to have a great fit and strong alignment between the companies, which made it easy to formalise the structure and amalgamate the businesses.”

Now that borders are open, Samantha adds that the company is firmly focused on in-person team building and collaboration. 

Completing HMPS’s Offering

The acquisition of Integrated Machinery meant that HMPS could offer locally made stretch wrappers to enhance their end of line equipment and strengthen their in-house offering. “Integrated Machinery was in business for more than 30 years, designing, building, and supplying semi-automatic and automatic stretch wrappers to Australia and New Zealand. Our affordable entry level equipment is the starting point of any automation journey for smaller businesses who are looking to streamline their production.”

What’s Next? 

Samantha explains that over the next 12 months a centralised national service network will be established. “We are investing in service as a key focus area in the business and are growing what we already have. Soon, we will have local support teams in each state” she concludes.

@AuManufacturing’s editorial series, Packaging, process and progress, is brought to you with the support of SMC Corporation.

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