Published on the 16/05/2019 | Written by Heather Wright
As Gavin Lennox steps down and John Scott takes on CEO role, company eyes AU market…
A relentless requirement to improve security in the payments market is driving strong opportunities globally for Kiwi outdoor self-service payments solution provider Invenco, which is also eyeing up Australia for growth.
The global provider of payment terminals, servers, switches and cloud services today announced a change in management, with Gavin Lennox – who has served as CEO since October 2015 – stepping down.
This environment is always being driven by a relentless requirement to improve security.
He will be replaced by John Scott, former COO of marine electronics company Navico, at the end of the month.
Invenco chair Sir Peter Maire says Invenco’s growth has been relentless since Lennox took the helm.
“Invenco has quadrupled revenues, delivered consistent profitability, positive cash flow and built the foundation for a world-class hi-tech operation,” Maire says. “It has achieved over $100 million annual turnover and received numerous accolades including being named as the 2018 NZ Hi Tech Company of the Year.”
Lennox told iStart a key driver for growth has been major regulatory change in the United States.
“They’re adopting chip cards (which we’ve had here for decades) and it’s required them to upgrade their hardware to the latest security standards,” he says.
Invenco adapted its offering, creating a 12-inch touch screen version which includes not only transactional ability but customer engagement tools.
“This environment is always being driven by a relentless requirement to improve security. There are international agencies creating standards every hardware and software provider needs to comply with in order to have their productivity certified. That drives a lot of the underlying engineering work that we do,” he says.
“From an innovation perspective, by partnering with companies like NCR we have combined their channel and customer engagement applications, like food ordering and loyalty programs, with our open technology platform. That partnership and others like it around the world have driven our growth. “
The company has a strong foothold in the United States with large convenience retails. It also has a value proposition for the smaller players, with Invenco i2, which Lennox says is ‘like SaaS for hardware and payments’. The offering provides a fully serviced payment terminal for a monthly fee.
“We think that’s going to be a great offer for the global market starting in the US.”
The company’s pay at pump offering is used across New Zealand’s petrol stations and in other global markets. However, Australia has yet to adopt pay at pump.
“But we have been working with a number of Australian retailers and a number are looking at outdoor payment and self-service and we hope to be able to crack that once they make some decisions,” Lennox says. “It’s not a competitive thing, it’s just a market landscape thing.”
While Invenco has seen high growth during Lennox’ tenure, he says he’s most proud of the culture he’s helped create.
“Our values are encapsulated in an acronym, Hapii – Honesty, Accountability, Passion, Innovation and Inclusiveness – and that’s helped create a platform that helps us attract the right talent and ensure we are retaining key talent in a highly competitive market.
The company has seen staff numbers grow from 85 to more than 230, with a very low attrition rate.
Lennox acknowledges that scaling the business has been a challenge.
“Finding the right talent and building the right process systems necessary to scale a quality product to a global market is challenging.”
As to Lennox’ future, he says after 30 years of working in technology a break is now on the cards – but he says the lure of technology will inevitably pull him back.
“I will look to return to the high-tech industry. It is my passion.”
The break will also give Lennox time to support his own family as his wife takes on a demanding role as a High Court judge.
He will continue pursuing the angel investing he’s been engaged in in recent years, saying the break will give him more time to able to be involved with the companies.
Maire says Invenco has been working on a transition plan for some time.
“We are delighted the timing has enabled us to secure John Scott to lead Invenco through its next stage of global growth, bringing a breadth of global manufacturing and operational experience to the table,” he says.
“Gavin Lennox will continue as an Invenco shareholder and will work with John to achieve a speedy and seamless transition for the company over the next few months.”
Until recently Scott was the COO of Navico, which was created from the acquisitions of Simrad Yachting, Lowrance Electronics and Brunswick New Technologies. The company, which is managed out of Norway, has its R&D centre in New Zealand.