SA's SCS swallows Sydney supplier

Australian-owned computer consumables company Specialist Computer Supplies (SCS) has purchased its second Sydney company in the past 16 months, in a move to boost turnover by 10 per cent.

The Adelaide-based wholesaler has purchased consumables company Wilbro Computer Supplies, which is located in the Sydney suburb of Kogarah.

The move is part of an aggressive acquisition strategy to boost turnover by 35 per cent a year for the next five years.

SCS predicts that integrating Wilbro with its existing Sydney branch will boost its expected 1997Ð98 turnover of $20 million by an extra $2 million next year.

The Wilbro takeover boosts SCS's employee headcount from 52 employees to 56. Once complete, SCS will have a sales and warehousing staff of 15 in a single facility in Lidcombe, Sydney.

SCS managing director Kaaren Payne said the Wilbro purchase was part of a planned strategy to build the company's national distribution network. "Acquisition is mainly the answer," she said. "We are always looking for opportunities. We are going to try and do Brisbane next."

SCS already has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, in addition to a head office in Adelaide where it was founded in the 1980s.

Its biggest sales branch is in Victoria.

Payne said Wilbro became part of SCS to enable it to survive in the highly-competitive consumables distribution industry.

"To compete in the cut-throat industry, it needed the leverage of being part of a larger organisation," she said.

"We are competing with multinationals with huge buying power, so we run a lean, mean, keen organisation. We are buying it [Wilbro] for the database and a few good sales staff."

On the rise

During the past year, SCS's staff has grown from 42 to its current level. Payne said SCS had proved it could successfully acquire and integrate an interstate business with its organisation.

"On January 1, 1997, we took over Absolute Computer Supplies which was a similar sized company to Wilbro," she said.

"But it's not a similar-sized company any more. We kept the same staff, added a few more people and have doubled the sales."