By Martin Vedris

BRISBANE: Vanessa Jordan, co-owner and a director of E3 Style, an Australian-based OEM supplier and distributor of consumer electronics products and accessories, has been nominated for the 2008 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

“It’s good to get some recognition,” Jordan told Current today.

“Therese Tarlinton from Born With Style, who supplies Jeep babyware to companies like Babyco, nominated me after we developed some product for her.”

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards celebrates the achievements of Australian business women. The national winners will be announced on Tuesday 9 December.

Jordan has been nominated in two awards categories: the Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Award for employees in the private and corporate sectors, or owners with less than a 50 per cent share of a business; and the PricewaterhouseCoopers Young Business Women’s Award, open to entrants who will be aged 34 years or under as at Friday 6 June 2008.

Jordan has been involved in the Australian consumer electronics industry for seven years, having worked with major buying offices in Australia and also the Hong Kong sourcing offices of Woolworths and Coles Groups in Asia.

Taking the plunge into business over two years ago seemed like the natural thing to do for Jordan, who was then working in a national sales and business development role for Crest Electronics, but saw a chance to do business in a different way.

“The three of us who own the company [Jillbert Mulder, Richard Chen and Jordan] all worked for Crest in different departments and we saw business changing in Australia and we decided to do it ourselves,” Jordan said.

Jordan noticed that major retail accounts were attempting to source product from China and she saw the opportunity to facilitate that process — but it meant settling for a smaller margin.

“At the time, major retailers wanted to go FOB direct, so they were trying to buy product from China because Australian distributors were putting too much margin on the product, which prices the products too high and the retailer doesn’t make enough margin.

“We saw the chance to go FOB direct instead of warehousing stock, because the major retailers have a better logistics system than anyone locally. So we decided it would work better to use their system and it’s cheaper. We supply the product in China and they bring it in and warehouse it and ship it out to their stores themselves.

“We have a low overhead model and we run a few percent margin, whereas a local distributor might run on a 40 or 50 per cent margin, so the end result is that the retailer makes more money and the consumers get the product at a cheaper price point.”

Some of E3 Style’s customers include Dick Smith, Target, Kmart, Big W and Aldi.

“We develop products for them under their own brand and we also distribute other select brand name products such as Philips, SAKAR, A4 Tech and G Cube,” Jordan said.