Platinum Components: How the team went from working in a bedroom to building a £42m business - PC Retail

Platinum Components: How the team went from working in a bedroom to building a £42m business

Dominic Sacco chats to the firm's Jon Harrison about what the PC market will look like in the near future
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In a market where consolidation means the big are getting bigger and distributors are upping their product portfolios, one company is doing things a little differently.

As its name suggests, Platinum Components supplies PC components to system integrators, resellers and retailers, as well as other disties and verticals like education and the public sector. But it’s remaining specifically targeted to the components sector – including CPUs, HDDs and SSDs. This specialism has seen it become an Intel platinum partner.

Jon Harrison, partner and UK sales manager, explains: “Our primary focus is on components and this really sets us aside, as we do not have a 5,000 or 10,000 sku inventory where knowledge can be lost. If you specialise in so many products, at times your message can be mixed, so you can lose customers.

“We deal internationally with over 30 different countries, which gives Platinum a unique ability to know the global market. We can see when new products become available, what price drops are about to occur and when a product is going to be in constraint. From here, we can advise our customers on the best course of action for their build projects or stocking options. For example, with last year’s Skylake shortages, we were one step ahead of the game – our clients managed to get the stock they needed.”

“From the start we believed in building long-term partnerships by delivering value over short term profits. Anyone can give one great deal to a customer then never do business with them again – we focus on understanding the customer’s needs and timescales so we become a valuable part of their business.”

Harrison goes on: “We’re a versatile company; our speed of reaction, commitment to customers and market knowledge really sets Platinum apart. As we talk to our customers, it’s surprising to hear how long other suppliers take to get back to them for something as simple as price and availability.”

The Bournemouth-based business is currently on track to achieve turnover of £42 million for its year-end in May 2016 – a rise of 15 per cent.

Over the next five years it hopes to grow its annual turnover to £60 million. This is a long way from Platinum’s humble beginnings.

Its directors Neil Allen, Simon Hiles and Paul Sinclair had previously worked together in the tech industry during the ‘90s. They decided to set up their own business – initially working from their bedrooms.

“Our directors were young, enthusiastic and determined – as well as fiercely ambitious,” Harrison says. “From the start they ensured we supplied the highest quality brands at competitive prices, underpinned with the type of customer service we as consumers and business owners value.

“15 years has passed by, and during that time they’ve experienced a steep learning curve. From Platinum Components they set up the Platinum Group with two other companies under the umbrella. It’s a real success story and one we’re proud of.”

So where does Harrison see the UK tech channel in the next five years?

“I think PCs will change from what we currently have,” he says. “I think it will move away from the box under the desk into a more impressive design – maybe more organic. No one really has a home where a large box under their desk fits in with their living or home design. That’s why Apple has been so successful in the market – they make desirable looking products with a good spec. Notebooks, laptops and phones have all followed this trait. The PC must follow.

“I think it will be very interesting to roll forward five years and look back at what we were all selling now.”

For Platinum in particular, it looks like the only way is up.

Harrison concludes: “Our five-year plan is to grow annual turnover to £60 million. We can only do this by expanding the marketplace, obtaining new customers, new products and new staff.

“It’s an exciting plan that we are working towards – we plan to reach new customers and partner with new vendors. We welcome new business and are expanding in the UK.

“We’re excited for team growth within the company, customer growth and new customers in an ever- changing market. We have some great products we are focusing on this year.”

FACT FILE
PLATINUM COMPONENTS
Founded: May 2001
Turnover: £42 million
Tel: 01202 203151
Email: sales@platinum-components.com
Web: www.platinum-components.com

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