History

The history and present of Al Hilal are closely tied to the economic development of the Kingdom and the region, and the increased computerization and networking of business and government. The company has maintained the role of innovator and market leader by being a step ahead in the processes and technologies offered to its customers. As such, when a new security feature or color capability was embraced by the industry, Al Hilal would have already spent efforts in bringing it to market. The breadth of products and services was enhanced to cater to the rapidly changing needs and regulatory requirements over the last thirty years. The strength of our partnerships, and our commitment to quality has marked this period, and the large installed base of products is a clear indication of the continued trust by our customers. Founded in 1975, originally known as Al Hilal Electronic Printing Establishment, a sole proprietor company, the main focus of the Al Hilal centered on business forms, snap outs, and other basic computer generated documents.

With only thirty employees, a quality minded management, and the technological backing of German group Bowe, the company began ascertaining itself as a prime provider of printed products to financial institutions, utilities, hospitals, and government. It was the early stages of computerization in the Kingdom, and Al Hilal was closely tracking this evolution with quality and execution. By 1983, Al Hilal employed sixty employees, and had doubled its output in terms of paper tonnage. The customer list had also grown in size and scope, while management made significant capital investment in new technologies. In the mid 80s, the MICR encoding equipment was the bearer of this investment, and it allowed the company to envisage a wider end market and more diverse products.

In 1987, Al Hilal became a limited liability company. This change in structure coincided with regulatory changes affecting the usage of checks in the Kingdom, which was a pivotal point in the development of Al Hilal’s business. The Saudi Monetary Authority Agency [SAMA] appointed Al Hilal, after a rigorous selection process, as one of the approved providers of checkbooks, and the investment in MICR encoding placed the company in a unique position in this expanding segment. The true test of execution came in 1988, with the successful solution for expatriate refunds from GOSI, to Print, MICR encode, and mail 2.5 million checks in a record three months, for Riyadh Bank. This success set Al Hilal as a leader in the area, and helped in building the trust base with the banking sector, as security aspects and strict delivery guidelines were established. By the late 80s, the company, with nearly one hundred employees, had clearly become a leader in solutions to financial institutions and other key industries, all while continuing to strengthen its partnerships and broaden its horizons.

The development of the 1990s will prove to be one of greater diversification outside the printing area to encompass more broadly, solutions and areas along with the consolidation of Al Hilal as a leader in printing products. As the needs of our customers grew, so did our capabilities and the years of perseverance materialized in the 1990s in a groundbreaking contract with Saudi Telecom, to provide a total mailroom solution covering hardware and software. From 1998 onward, as we deepened our commitment to solutions, and added more technical staff, we were awarded several key contracts from the telecom provider, and others to bring forth total billing, enveloping, and mailing systems. And the foray into the total solutions area brought with it more partnerships and greater flexibility and modularity to the services. In 2001, Al Hilal teamed up with Orga Systems GmbH to Supply Al Jawwal [the mobile provider] with a total solution for SIM cards Personalization and mailing from Orga and Böwe. We continue to make headway into the solutions area with a particular focus on newer technologies such as smart cards personalization and, more recently, archiving solutions. The story of Al Hilal is a dynamic and constantly evolving one where our innovations, driven by customer needs, and our vision of the future, have set the pace for the industry and placed us a notch above our peers. The loyalty of our customers, as well as the trust of partners continues to shape our future, and will no doubt lead to more success stories.

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