Delivering on a distribution plan

Simm's Danny Moore talks to ARN.

What was your first job?

I took a summer job when I left school with Dominos Pizza in its distribution division. It was going to be four weeks to get some pocket money, but it just went on and on and I ended up running its distribution division for about three years. It was a great grounding in business and made me realise my real interest was in the numbers. It also brought me down to Sydney from Brisbane and into the field of accounting and finance. Who would have thought pizzas could lead into the numbers game?

How did you end up in the IT industry?

I had a friend who worked at a company called Co-Can which was a pretty big player in the mid- to late '80s before it got carved up. I came in through an accounting role while I was still studying towards my degree. It was a pretty exciting place to be with a wonderful vibe. The core staff still gets together once or twice a year which is amazing as the company hasn't existed for about 14 years.

How did you progress to where you are today?

I was with Co-Can for four or five years before I moved to an IT training company called City Data. I was there for three or four years as financial controller then moved onto Simms as financial controller in 1998. I took over as managing director in 2001.

What do you like about your current job?

It's the pace and the variety; the responsibility and the pressure. Simms is a very spirited organisation and that's what gets me into the company everyday.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

We were in pretty poor shape when I took over in 2001, I never hide that fact. I put my neck on the line to move into the managing director's role and relied on some key people around me, as I still do today, and we turned the business around. Each year from 2001 the company has grown in revenue, profitability and, I think, our position in the channel.

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

To be honest, it's the gap between perception and reality. We get products that come to market far too early. We get caught up in vapourware and promises and the industry can really be its own worst enemy in that regard.

What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?

I can only look at my industry and for us, from a memory perspective, it's virtualisation. We've moved through the hype and we're getting to the commercial reality pretty quickly so that's a great opportunity. Windows Vista is also the next big thing for refreshing the memory industry so we're looking forward to that, too.

What is the main focus for your company this year?

Developing more opportunities in the retail space in order to increase our market share with Kingston and STM and whatever other products we bring onboard. It's pretty hard to keep growing ahead of the market but that's what we want.

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What do you do when you are not at work?

I've got three young kids - five, four and 18 months old - but when I have 'me' time, I like adventure racing, which I was introduced to just over a year ago. It's like a triathlon in the bush with mountain biking, running, kayaking and a bit of navigation as well. It's done in teams of two or three and it's really addictive.

Do you like gadgets?

I'm not a big gadget man which, in this industry, it's quite unusual. But if it fits my needs, I'll look at it. As an example, I just bought a GPS unit for my mountain bike called an edge 305. It's no bigger than a mobile phone and just clips onto your bike, measuring your speed, where you've been and your heart rate. What's so great is you can download it online and overlay it on Google Earth to see where you've been, your elevation and heart rate around a particular course.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I always wanted to be a doctor from the age of about four until I was 15 or 16 and I just wasn't getting the marks. I was like any other 16-year-old boy having too much fun and schoolwork wasn't my main priority. Can you relate healing people to management? I guess you can in a way because there's this weird link between looking after people and managing people.

What is your biggest ambition?

It's got to come down to my family and my kids. I want to give them every opportunity to be what they want to be. I love what I do at work and providing opportunities for the people there is important to me, too.