Driving along the Federal Highway at Sungei Way, Petaling Jaya, you can’t miss the four-storey red and black building that serves as the headquarters of local courier services company abx Express (M) Sdn Bhd.
The building, which faces the highway, displays prominently the company’s logo on its facade - the word abx in black with white speed lines across it, framed by two red “parentheses” that represent movement around the globe.
“Red reflects speed and passion, and black is stylish,” explains abx Express co-owner and country manager for Malaysia, Mohamed Ali Noordin.
“This represents the speedy and high-technology services that we are providing to our worldwide customers. We have been using the tag line Delivering Satisfaction Worldwide for 20 years,” he says.
Ali, who attended a Chartered Institute of Marketing course, strongly believes that colours play an important role for a brand.
“Branding is a colour psychology game. I won’t say colours will make a successful brand for sure, but they do help,” he tells StarBizWeek in an interview.
He feels that a simple logo is easy to recall and catchy colours can make the brand stands out. “But what makes our brand well-recognised is still our service and work efficiency,” Ali says.
Currently, abx Express has more than 200 vans painted in red and black and its 1,200 employees also wear a uniform in those colours.
Ali, who has a 70% stake in abx Express, now plans to change the three white speed lines in the logo to red.
“Previously, I was worried about the printing quality, but now, with better printing technology, the red speed lines will come out well,” he says.
The Sabah-based company was founded in 1984 by C. Y. Tan in Labuan as a courier agent for Seattle-based Airborne Express. The company was then called CY Courier & Forwarding Sdn Bhd.
The name was changed to abx Express after Ali bought into the company in 1991 with an investment of RM300,000. Tan, who holds the remaining 30%, is regional manager for east Malaysia and Brunei.
Ali already had a decade of international courier experience before he came to abx. abx Express has come a long way under Ali’s leadership.
The company only had 17 employees when he first joined, with an office each in Labuan and Subang Jaya.
Today, abx Express has 78 express centres in Malaysia. It not only provides door-to-door express dispatch of documents and packages for domestic market, but it also has an international business across 200 countries through the Global Distribution Alliance (GDA) network.
GDA was formed following the acquisition of Airborne Express by German postal service provider Deutsche Post AG, DHL’s parent and Europe’s biggest mail company, in 2003.
This alliance was formed in 2004 together with other former Airborne Express Inc agents worldwide to promote international courier freight networking.
Ali says abx Express is the only Malaysian courier company that is a part of a global consortium.
Over the years, the company has racked up numerous awards, including the Human Resource Development Fund Award, Enterprise 50 Award, Golden Bull Award, MITI Quality Management Excellence Award and BrandLaureate Award.
“We believe in going for awards because it is part of our strategy for brand and image building,” he says.
Despite the global economic downturn, Ali still anticipates a 10% growth in revenue this year, up from RM50mil in 2008. Last year, its revenue grew 15%.
On the company’s plans, Ali says the company aims to purchase a piece of land near its headquarters to build its own warehouse. It is now in talks with Malaysia Airports to rent a 6,000-sq-ft warehouse at the Subang airport.
He says abx Express will invest RM500,000 to RM600,000 to renovate some existing offices this year.
It will also continue to upgrade its information technology systems to keep improving work efficiency and provide a better service to its customers.
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