Adaps was founded in 1964 by John Thompson and Peter Monahan. It was originally a bureau service, “Adaps” being short for Australian Data Processing.
At this time, Adaps processed information for such companies as The Age and ANZ. This was done using an IBM Mainframe 360/30, which used punch cards as the input and sorted through information held on magnetic tapes. The company quickly grew to have 100 people programming, and 60 people entering the data (doing the key punching). This was done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Adaps never slept, and with no one over 30 in the company (the GM was 29) it was an exciting environment to work in, with people wandering about at all hours.
Paul Halstead, the current Managing Director, joined the company in 1967 to try his hand as a programmer. The manager of Adaps at the time quickly realised that as programmers go, Paul would make a very nice addition to the sales team! The owners publicly listed the company in 1969 – the first Australian IT company to go public.
In 1972 Paul Halstead left Adaps and went to London to join Computer People, quickly moving into the position of General Manager. Within 3 years it had become the biggest contract services company in Europe, following soon after with an office of 22 people in New York.
At the same time (1972), the Jelbart Family gained majority share-holdings of Adaps and John Thompson sold his shares in the company, going on to pursue other business interests.
In 1976, Paul came back to Australia. He established the first IT Contract Services company in Australia, out of the Melbourne bureau service offices. This was two years ahead of Adaps competitors. At this point, a 34% margin was charged for placement of contractors! In 1978, the Sydney office was opened, and over the next 4 years, offices were opened in Brisbane, Perth, then Adelaide.
Adaps was sold to Idaps, an Insurance Data Processing company in 1984. Paul Halstead was director of marketing for 12 months, leaving in 1985 to pursue other business interests, including the design and building of racing cars.
In 1996, Paul Halstead and John Thompson started Adaps again, with Paul having a 50% unit holding, and 5 others having 10% each. Later on, Peter Clift (Jack) bough out one of the Shareholder’s shares.
Today, there are 3 unit holders – Paul Halstead (Managing Director), John Thompson and Peter Clift.
The joint experiences and styles of the unit holders of Adaps are crucial elements of the way it operates today, and its core values. For example:
- Adaps will never become a publicly listed company again – there are too many rules and regulations involved in this and it forces a company to be only about the bottom line.
- Adaps always aims to make a profit, of course, but the sole aim is not to maximise profit as a percentage of turnover at the sacrifice of quality – we’re not greedy. It is why Adaps has a guarantee on all its placements and it’s also how Adaps can afford to have such guarantees.
- Adaps has always led the recruitment industry with initiatives such as a dedicated contractor care team, and will continue to innovate.