Where, when and by whom was OP3 founded?
Zak Ali founded OP3 Technology in 2008 in Cardiff Bay. He saw a gap in the market for PC systems built with the highest quality components to exacting specifications. Too many large suppliers focus purely on shifting boxes for the lowest possible price, and OP3 still lives by the principle that if you put the right things into a PC, you get the right things out of it. Back then we supplied PC systems exclusively for Aria Technology.
Is the company very different now to how it was then?
Yes. Since those days we have grown considerably. Following the development of our website we now sell to a far larger customer base, and currently employ three dedicated telesales staff. We also took on Robert Riley-Ditchfield, a product manager with ten years’ experience in the PC industry. This enabled us to significantly expand our product range. We have also forged direct links with vendors such as Asus, Kingston and Microsoft, which have allowed us to further improve our portfolio by keeping right up to the minute with the latest technology.
We currently sell directly through our website and also supply the likes of Ebuyer.com, Aria Technology, Computer Troubleshooters, Brigantia and around 2,500 small computer shops. We have also moved to a larger premises to enable us to cope with the increased demand we have experienced.
Who do you mostly sell to?
The vast majority of our business is with small computer shops but we have also been very active in the education market, winning orders for over 1,500 school PCs this year alone. This new area of business can come to OP3 because we offer value at extremely competitive prices, combined with custom specifications, along with personal delivery and installation.
What is the main driving factor in desktop PCs at the moment?
We have found that despite the increase in laptop and netbook sales, the desktop PC market is still buoyant if your product is right. People are aware that a desktop PC is more powerful for the same money as a laptop, and easier to upgrade. We design all our PCs to be upgradeable as our customers’ needs grow. We are also experiencing good demand for our Mini ITX and slimline ranges, which differ from most small form factor PCs in that they offer greater performance. OP3’s gaming range also attracts a lot of sales.
Do you have any plans to expand?
OP3 is a forward-thinking company and there are no limits to our future expansion. We recently facilitated the delivery of goods to the Republic of Ireland via our website and are looking into other countries in Europe as there have been several enquiries from further afield. Other places around the world will naturally follow as demand for our products increases.
In the UK specifically our telesales team are recruiting partners all the time and this trend is set to continue as our brand becomes more recognised. We have seen an increase in regularly purchasing customers since the launch of our partner website, which allows customers to download specifications, images and other marketing material to help sell OP3 PCs. We will also be starting a major campaign to continue the growth of our education business at the beginning of next year so we can be ready for the school buying season.
Do you think Christmas will be better for retail than last year?
We believe so. Although the public is still worried about the recession and Government spending cuts, there is less uncertainty than last year. Computers are no longer seen as a luxury, they are a part of life. Therefore consumers will always be looking for performance and quality when purchasing.
OP3 is well placed to take advantage of market conditions as we offer a fantastic deal. Not only are we able to compete with the big brands on price, but our industry-leading warranty gives peace of mind that any investment made now will be safe for years to come – something which is extremely important in a climate where money is tight.
Where do you see OP3 in five years?
We see a very bright future for OP3. Our aim is to continue to increase our brand awareness, both through advertising and by the sheer strength of our portfolio. Our projected sales will put the OP3 brand on the map as a household name, which instantly makes the public think of quality technology products. Our product range will increase further as demand grows and new opportunities present themselves.
In five years’ time we would expect to have several retail outlets to supplement our website sales, and be a market innovator in the latest technology.