Global technology brand, Asus, is looking to add to its salesforce in New Zealand, and grow its business from the South Island.
“We plan two new heads. At present, we have two people in NZ. We will double our manpower very soon. I hoped last month, but certainly very soon" Asus NZ business manager for the systems business group, David McKean, says.
"The structure we are looking to have is myself still looking over our entire NZ business. We have a sales rep to look after the Auckland-based channel community. We want to have a dedicated person to look after retail customers. And we are also looking to install someone in Christchurch.
“I would say that has to happen. Our business is such that it is too hard to manage with only two people.”
The company, which recently expanded its distribution partnership with Dove to cover tablets and notebooks, is also looking to grow and enable its channel community in the country.
“We have around 200 individual partners in any quarter. But there are 30 of them bringing in 80 per cent of our business. It is a small market and everyone knows each other, so there is a level of sub distribution that takes place as well. That level of sub distribution is sometimes known by us and a lot of the time not known.
“We will be initially leveraging the sales force from our two distributors - Synnex and Dove - to bring on board some of those unmanaged accounts. We do have plans to expand our managed channel base as well. We have 10 Asus Golden Partners currently in the country – there is room for another five in the next three months, and five more in the three months after that,” says McKean.
According to McKean, the plan is also to increase the contribution from the South Island from the current 8 per cent of national total business by units, to 10 per cent in the next six months and 15 per cent in two years.
“We certainly can see with our current partner base we can see ourselves achieving 10 per cent by the end of the year from the South Island. While it is good to be a key part of 70 per cent of the market but it is far more important to be part of a 100 per cent,” says McKean.
Around 70 per cent of the firm’s current business in New Zealand comes from retail, while the rest is brought in by the commercial channel side. McKean says that he would like this to change to 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in the near future, with an eventual shift to 50 per cent each.
"We are over 100 per cent year-on-year growth, but I don’t like to talk about it because it is a very large number and it is misleading. If I talk about selling into the channel, it would be a very large number. What I would like to talk about is sell out – the selling to the end consumer – because that is more relevant. It is not just selling into a reseller and thinking we are doing a great job because the stock might not have sold to the end user.
“In terms of sales out to an end-user this year so far we have sold 75 per cent of the stock that we did in all of 12 months last year. My belief is that we will have 50 per cent year-on-year growth in terms of sell out. Sell in supports that as well, though the growth might be slightly lower because we carried some stock over,” says McKean.
According to him, the firm is also working on bringing together strategy roadmaps across retail and channel segments to help in demand generation activities.
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“We are changing slightly the way that we structure our roadmaps. Previously we had a very distinct retail roadmap and a very distinct channel roadmap. We now have a sort of zipped together roadmap. We will still differentiate with different products to different channels but the chassis will be the same. Previously you might have had an F550 in retail and X550 in channel. Going forward they will be both be either F550 or X550. The chassis will be consistent across the two channels but the products themselves swill have some differentiation,” says McKean.
This is part of Asus’ global strategy to create brand equity across product categories to establish its presence and make it more of a household name across segments.
McKean states that the firm will look to focus on its Halo range of products in the near future. It will also be launching its Flip notebook, the Android ME173 and TF103 tablets in the New Zealand market by the beginning of September.