Since its humble beginnings in a small suburban house in Lane Cove 10 years ago, Pelham Memory has developed a strong reputation as a high-quality product and service provider in the Australian memory industry. Today it continues to operate humbly out of small premises in Pennant Hills, a Sydney suburb.
The company hasn't grown dramatically in size - there are only four staff working in Pelham's retail division - nor has it deviated from its original modus operandi, despite having achieved strong growth in the past five years. Pelham manager Michael Bagnall expressed theÊcompany'sÊvisionÊinÊsimpleÊterms: "We've always concentrated on supplying memory to end-users at a reasonable price while offering the best possible service. That's pretty much what we do." Having resisted the temptation to throw itself prematurely into unfamiliar territory, Pelham has successfully carved its niche deep enough to now look at diversifying without jeopardising the future of the company.
"Five years ago we catered mainly to home users buying individual chips. Now we have a good share of government and corporate business. This success has given us more freedom to concentrate on selling hard drives and modems," said Bagnall.
Although confident about Pelham's ability to successfully break into new markets, Bagnall did seem a little apprehensive about the more aggressive modem business. "This market is incredibly competitive. I don't know how the company will adjust to that. We'll just have to see how it goes and make a decision whether to stay with modems or not."
Pelham has always adhered to a simple formula in the day-to-day running of its business. What is unique about this company is its preference for the soft sell approach over the familiar hard sell employed by many computer vendors and resellers. Pelham believes its success and stability stem from a commitment to quality customer service. It has prestigious clients such as the Royal AustralianÊNavy,ÊtheÊCSIROÊandÊState Parliament.
Pelham's achievement is certainly not the result of thousands of dollars spent on market-ing and advertising or costly public relations exercises. According to Bagnell, "The only advertising we do is six by six black and white ads in a few well-known magazines. I think that people get used to seeing that ad and eventually it seems to get through. People seem to like that sort of approach.
"I wouldn't want to encourage other people to start up in this area," said Bagnall jokingly. "There's already too much competition, but my advice to people who are thinking about starting a business is to strive for expertise in one particular area and really focus on customer service. That's what Pelham has always done."
Pelham Memory is situated at Suite 6, 2 Hillcrest Rd Pennant Hills Tel: (02) 9980 6988 Fax: (02) 9980 6991