ASUS is planning to open a chain of service centres across Australia as part of plans to shed its component manufacturer tag and establish itself as a leading branded vendor.
ASUS general manager Asia-Pacific sales and marketing group, Benson Lin, said the company would have a branded service centre in Sydney by July and one each in Melbourne and Brisbane before the end of the year.
The service centres would compliment rather than replace existing third-party and distributor repair infrastructure, Lin said.
“This kind of investment is mandatory if you want to succeed as a brand business,” he said.
In the past ASUS was focused on its component business, according to Lin, and had only leveraged its distributors to provide service to ASUS dealers.
With consumers the focus of the company’s brand aspirations, Lin said dealer and third-party service partners were no longer enough.
“I heard that in Australia, people can accept one week’s turnaround time on service,” he said. “I would like to change the end user expectations to be at most three days. This will be our core strategy.”
The repair centres would also be leveraged to act as local branches to provide education, product and sales training for resellers, Lin said.
Local staff were to be increased from the current 10 to 30 by December as a sign of the company’s long-term commitment to the country, he said.
A growing product line would also help differentiate ASUS from its competitors, according to Lin.
He claimed product sales had grown 200 per cent in 2003 and, when compared to the second quarter sales for 2004, this increased to 300 per cent.
Lin said there were currently no plans to change the company’s existing distributor base as a result of the new strategy. However, he hoped to grow its dealer base by up to 30 per cent by the end of the year.
ASUS sales director for A/NZ, Ted Chen, said several sales incentives programs for reseller partners were planned for the third quarter. n