Asus launches repair centre in Melbourne

Asus launches repair centre in Melbourne

Asus will open a notebook service and repair centre in Melbourne this month. It is the third the vendor has opened since the beginning of the year, following similar launches in Brisbane and Sydney.

Asus A/NZ director, Ted Chen, said focusing on service levels was central to the company's goal of breaking into the top five notebook vendor rankings by the end of the year.

"To become a branded business we need to start with the fundamentals," he said. "Australian consumers are still unsure about Asus but these service centres will show them we are a quality and well-serviced brand.

"In focusing on service we will gain a name for ourselves and increase market share."

Next up, Chen said Asus would develop an express service.

"Eighty per cent of customers are satisfied with pick-up and return but we are looking at guaranteeing a two-hour turnaround for more demanding customers," he said. "We want to get repair times down to about 30 minutes."

The service-based approach was already gaining market share, according to Chen, who claimed notebook sales for the year ending March 31 had grown by more than 200 per cent.

IDC analyst, Michael Sager, said Asus had grown rapidly in the Australian market during the past year.

He said it was ranked ninth in notebook sales for Q4 2004 but was just 400 units behind NEC in seventh spot.

In conjunction with its distributors - Cassa, Synnex and Ingram Micro - Chen estimated Asus was currently adding 100 resellers to the books every month.

With its service infrastructure in place, the company would now take aim at the SMB market.

"We have to stand strong in the consumer market first but, when our brand becomes a household name, corporates will also look to us," Chen said.

IDC's Sager said the service centres would serve as a market differentiator against companies such as LG and BenQ.

He also backed its move into the SMB space.

"Any new vendor to the local market has to start in the growth markets - which in 2005 are education, consumer and SME," he said.

"Asus also has the benefit of being an OEM, which allows it to have close links to the manufacturing process and enables it to quickly bring new notebooks to market that match the varying needs of users.

"The difficulty will be that every vendor under the sun is targeting the SME market."

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