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Computer trio.

The computer market is crowded but The Hayek brothers have shown there is always room for one more with the right product.

Forest Computers has built a business on tailoring higher quality hardware on demand.

Over the past three years, Forests' gross annual sales have jumped from $471,000 to $2.8 million. That 497 per cent increase earns the company second ranking among Manitoba Business Magazine's Annual 50 Fastest-Growing Companies' Survey.

Company spokesman Phil Hayek says, "We tried providing a better quality product and it worked out. There are cheaper ways to go and companies will tell you they are just as good, but they aren't. We know our industry and we could save people a few dollars, but we don't it if it will sacrifice quality."

The secret to quality, Hayek says, is using higher end computer components such as motherboards and hard drives, only Intel processors, and the best quality sound and video cards available. He claims this makes their computer systems run better and faster. For example, on a 52,000 systems, cutting corners might save the customer $300 by using lower quality components. "But we make them realize they are buying a better product and they are willing to pay for that."

Phil and his partners - brothers, Stewart, 36, and Jeff, 37, have always worked together. Today, Hayek is the technical advisor and advertising director for the company, Jeff takes care of sales and Stewart is the purchaser. "We discuss everything together," says Phil. "I can't imagine things progressing this fist, had one of us worked alone."

Hayek, 39, spent 15 years training race horses at Assiniboia Downs and also worked in sales before going into business. Stewart worked at a local computer store for a time. Jeff worked for another computer company for a time before joining his brothers recently. All three brothers love computers. Says Phil Hayek, "I always loved the games."

To date, Forest Computers has sold thousands and thousands of computer systems, says Phil. "Most of our quotes become purchases." They continue to serve a growing market - providing networks for offices and schools, and computers for the home. They also are a reseller of all the major brands.

The company is growing rapidly and now employs 15 staff besides family and includes head technician, Paul Profeta. Mrs. Pat Hayek, their mother, helps out by doing the books and still does payroll. Their father Stan, who is retired, drops in everyday to fill out the family roster.

The company has already expanded to 2,500 sq ft from 1,200 sq ft in the same building and may soon expand again Forest's success is a classic example of and winning in a niche market with the right product mix.

More than that, it is an example of a harmonious family relationship within a business.
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Title Annotation:Forest Computers; Manitoba Business Magazine's 50 Fastest Growing Companies Survey
Publication:Manitoba Business
Article Type:Company Profile
Geographic Code:1CMAN
Date:Jan 1, 1999
Words:472
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