OZSPY FLOURISHES 'IN FROM THE COLD'
Written on the 25 March 2015 by Karen Rickert
OZSPY Security Solutions is reaping the rewards of its repositioning strategy, with the surveillance company reporting strong growth across its franchise network.
Business partners Craig Mitchell and John Vlamis opened a spy gadget store in Tingalpa in 1998, later converting the company into a franchise model.
The business relocated its head office and warehouse to Stapylton in 2005, to accommodate growing demand for its products.
After identifying an under-serviced target demographic, OzSpy has undergone a transformation in recent years to capitalise on the market.
The business rebranded from OzSpy Surveillance Equipment to OzSpy Surveillance Solutions and encouraged store owners to focus on selling business-to-business (B2B).
Mitchell says the move is paying off for the group, particularly in challenging retail conditions.
"With everything happening and all the doom and gloom, it was really nice to see such a strong rise in our financials," Mitchell says.
"We believe it is part of our repositioning process, going away from the spy side of consumer electronics and focusing on the commercial B2B arena."
OzSpy established supplier partnerships with large brand names, including Samsung and Bosch, to stock premium surveillance and security equipment.
The company's website supports sales across its network of 10 stores in Australia, which has attracted commercial clients in New Zealand, the mining industry in Papua New Guinea and government departments.
"Although going from a spy shop that does a little bit of CCTV to a CCTV company that sells spy stuff doesn't sound like a very big change, it was actually a large change for us," Mitchell says.
"We not only had to retrain all our personnel and change the mindset, but change how the company was seen from a consumer's point of view."
The group reported a 17 per cent lift in average store trading figures in the last quarter of 2014, compared to the previous year's quarter. Online sales have remained stable.
Figures can't be disclosed for privacy reasons, however Mitchell says OzSpy's combination of bricks and clicks has resonated with clients.
"This has always been our point of difference compared to virtually all of our competitors who sell based on brochures or case studies," he says.
"When we go out and do an installation, most of the time the client has been to the shop, developed a relationship with us and has seen the quality and style of the cameras.
"We've got quality products and quality service at a reasonable price. That's why we feel, unlike so many competitors, that we're actually exceeding last year's turnovers."
Mitchell says the company plans to expand its national footprint by opening more stores in the next six to 12 months.
OzSpy plans to establish a presence in NSW, South Australia and Australian Capital Territory, as well as open another two stores in Western Australia.