Business Micros Takes Stock Of The Market Down Under

Posted on 16 January 2015

Category: Latest

Business Micros spotted the potential in the Australian and New Zealand market more than five years ago.  The company began by supplying software remotely to a small number of ex-pat customers who had headed down under to set up fabrication businesses, but now has a dedicated Overseas Development Manager, Nick Bailey, who makes regular trips to provide support for a well-established customer base.

Nick has just returned from his latest trip and said:  “We’ve done really well in this region and have certainly established ourselves as the leading software supplier in PVC-U with around 40% of these fabricators now using our manufacturing, order processing or business management programmes based around the Evolution software platform.

“At first our customers were generally ex-pats who were familiar with our systems and knew and trusted our name but as we have become more active in promoting ourselves and our reputation has grown, so we have expanded into supplying to more established PVC-U businesses and to aluminium and timber fabricators adding PVC-U to their product range.  As you would expect, they are largely based in the big population centres around Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth and in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

“In total though, this still only accounts for fewer than 50 companies so there is a long way for us to go and certainly a long way for PVC-U in general to go in those regions.  The market is still hugely dominated by aluminium and timber and while PVC-U is starting to make inroads amongst homeowners and specifiers who are particularly focused on energy efficiency, I don’t see much evidence of any real momentum building which will allow it to grow in the way it did here in the UK.

“It is potentially a massive market of course and I’m sure that is what has attracted a great many of the Brits we deal with to emigrate there and try to repeat the success they have had in the UK in manufacturing PVC-U windows.  But, energy efficiency which was the big driver for PVC-U in the UK is only slowly starting to impact on buying choices.

“We deal with a wide cross section of businesses – some are fairly large and have been well established for around a decade, others are small start-ups producing only a handful of frames every week. 

“The majority of them buy their profile from REHAU which has a regional office, warehouse and sales team in Australia but there are also Veka, Kommerling, Deceuninck and LB Plastics customers.

“Just like in the UK, some just want to use Evolution for manufacturing processing while others use the full range of additional modules for order processing, quoting, and business management.  Similarly, some are true entrepreneurs, constantly looking for new market opportunities and others are satisfied with just making a living.

“There’s no such thing as a typical Business Micros customer in this region so it’s very difficult to make broad judgements.”

Business Micros has structured its operation so that it can satisfy the requirements of customers on the other side of the world.  As well as Nick’s regular trips, it also offers support contracts so that customers can get telephone or online help and advice.

Because of the time difference, calls from Australia and New Zealand are prioritised to be answered by the support team at Business Micros Dumfriesshire office first thing in the morning so that customers can get a response on the same day.  And, the installation team at the Newton-le-Willows office also works regular night shifts so that software installations can be carried out ‘live’ while the customer is in work.

Five years on from its first venture down under, Business Micros now has a loyal and much valued customer base.  It is well placed for the time when PVC-U does start to take off in Australia and New Zealand but for now it is happy to maintain its presence there and to monitor the market as it evolves.

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