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Australia today, tomorrow the world

Local PC assembler TodayTech is on target to achieve 80 per cent growth for its new financial year, following the company's reporting of a 68 per cent jump in revenues to $47 million for the past financial year.

From a small operation founded by managing director Jack Zhong in June 1990, TodayTech has grown to encompass 11 dealerships around Australia with a total staff of 85, and a network of resellers reaching into more remote areas. It now has two offices in China, and is looking to expand its presence both locally and overseas. Based on previous growth figures of 68 per cent, Zhong believes that 80 per cent growth is achievable.

"We know where we're going, we know we can do it," Zhong said, "and you will be seeing that in the next six months. Our number of offices in Australia will be expanding further to [better serve] our customers and resellers." This will also include the expansion of TodayTech's dealer channel, which currently accounts for 20 per cent of its business.

With this combined channel and direct selling model Zhong says TodayTech has been able to sell its Moebius PCs from Tasmania to the Northern Territory, Tonga and the Solomon Islands. "And that's why we don't have a single channel, and that's why we are able to compete with the other vendors. Because TodayTech is looking to get a very wide range covered."

Zhong says the reason for TodayTech's growth so far is exemplified in it seeking and receiving ISO 9002 accreditation in 1994. "I decided the only way to get ahead was to be not only a box mover, but also that quality and the image were important. That's why we decided to get the ISO 9002." TodayTech was also one of the first local assemblers to win a contract under the Federal government's PE 51 and PE 60 purchase contracts.

Zhong says the emphasis TodayTech places on quality has helped it elevate itself ahead of a number of its competitors. "We're not a box mover, we integrate a certain value into the package."

Senior manager Michael Chong points to TodayTech's strong relationships with Microsoft, NetComm, Samsung, Canon, HP, Fujitsu and Mitsubishi as proof of the quality of components it integrates into its systems.

"If you look into any of the local assemblers in Australia, I don't think that any one of them would have as many international partners as TodayTech." TodayTech also recently won Fujitsu's award for Dealer of the Year, 1996/96, for volume products, as well as its Award for Sales Excellence in storage products.

It is this coverage combined with the commitment to quality that Zhong says will elevate TodayTech to the predicted 80 per cent growth year on year.

"I'm very confident that with all the infrastructure and with all our team's commitment that 80 per cent is achievable."

All the T in China

Zhong believes the knowledge gained through TodayTech's dealings in the Australian market will serve it well in its overseas expansion into China. "We have been getting experience and a good understanding of the network. The network in China will be implemented to be similar, but not the same as Australia.

"Zhong says he is looking for the overseas operations to account for 10 to 20 per cent of TodayTech's revenue in its first few years, with the company also looking to South Africa as a potential market.

As part of its evolving business model Zhong says TodayTech will also be moving more into the field of solution provision. "TodayTech is always seeking new things, and always making sure that if there is any requirement in the market that we are able to make it part of our expertise. Today people may only be buying PCs, but tomorrow they will be buying the network.

"It's a matter of how we can develop a better situation or better solutions for our customers. We are here to listen to the customers. We are here to make the customers profitable. We are not here just to make money," he said.