When COREX started trading just over 15 years ago, it’s main focus was on the components market – a sector where it has gained an unsurpassed reputation – and components still remain very much a core part of its business and future strategy.
Michael Hann, marketing manager and technical assistant to the CEO at COREX, reaffirms that while the company may have branched out into other sectors such as connectivity and cloud computing, components remain its third strong pillar, the backbone of the organisation.
“Components are still our legacy business and we can never ignore this market,” Hann says. “Yes, we have diversified into other areas, but we have never forgotten our roots. Components are in our blood, our very DNA, and it doesn’t matter how much the PC market evolves, components are always going to be there.”
And while some major distributors may have recently discarded components from their product line-ups, Hann adds that they still make a significant contribution to COREX’s bottom line, despite competition from a variety of different players.
“Some people in the market have been saying that they are the only components distributor left in the market, but that is very naïve,” Hann says. “Components have a very low barrier of entry and, quite frankly, anyone with a bit of start-up money and a garage can be a components distributor. There has never been a situation where there’s massive consolidation in the components space like there has been in notebooks, for example, and there are still multiple vendors selling various components. There’s no shortage of suppliers.”
But where COREX sets itself apart from its many competitors, he says, is in a committed team and its dedication to its reseller channel, coupled with supplying them with the world’s best components.
“Something that gives us an edge is the fact that we’ve still got a full components team dedicated to selling only components,” Hann explains. “They all come from a components background and really know what they are doing and, in fairness, no-one knows the components business like CEO Mark Lu.
“There are lots of smaller guys out there going direct to customers and cutting out the distribution channel, but these are guys who have usually built their business around a single brand.
“Obviously, that is not the route that COREX has ever taken,” he says. “We fully support our reseller partners and I think they appreciate the fact that we don’t deal direct with the public. We have a good, solid foundation with our reseller base which we have built up over the years. We support them, and they support us.
“And then there’s the Tier One factor,” he continues. “And not just in the gaming arena which we are renowned for. We play in every significant components space – from motherboards and memory, through to graphics cards and workstation products – and have some dominant market share with some key products. Our push into Tier One products has always been strong and it has paid dividends. We’ve put a lot of effort into this and are now reaping the benefits.
“We have built up a really good, strong portfolio of key brands that people want and that people buy,” he says.
And the market for these brands is still there, he adds.
“The market is solid and still split into four main categories,” he says. “There are those that simply want value for money; then you’ve still got the mainstream guys who are not that price-conscious; followed by the enthusiasts where price is no object; and then there are the early adopters. There is a whole spectrum of customers and we’ve got products that fit into every category and for every requirement.
“In recent times we’ve seen some competitors withdraw from components saying it’s a dying market,” Hann adds. “But if components were dead, there wouldn’t be 10 to 12 major motherboard manufacturers and hundreds more manufacturing other components. If components were dying, there wouldn’t be this number of manufacturers. They’re still making products, they’re still making money, and they’re still releasing new products.
“But their loss is our gain,” he says of those who have pulled out of components. “The market is still there. We’re Number One or Number Two in the component areas that we deal in and, considering that we’re one of the smaller distributors in terms of turnover, that’s not bad.
“Having said that, I still believe that COREX is in the best position to continue the legacy of components distribution – and ultimately push to be the country’s leading distributor in this space,” Hann says. “We’ve been in this market for a while – 15 years – and we intend to be here for quite a while longer.”