We dropped into Antec's office for a chat with its Market Manager for Power Supplies, Christoph Katzer, to discuss about the company's recent PSU developments, its brand image and what we can expect in future products.
The front door. Antec's offices are really, really nice.
bit-tech: First of all, how do you know PSUs, Chris, and why should customers trust you?
Antec: Ah, wow, a pretty good question. I've never been asked that before. Well, I would say because of my experience as a journalist before, it gives me a big advantage that I know how companies are dealing with me; their tricks and how they try to persuade journalists to get their reviews done.
BT: How's that?
Antec: Well when I was working for Anandtech, the companies always wanted reviews to turn out well because of the influence the site has, but honestly as long as your review technique is right there's not much they can do.
Every company has their own way to push a reviewer, so why they should trust me in particular? Well experience I guess. Experience as a journalist has given me the knowledge of how to work with other journalists and also to know what not to do: the unfair way. I simply won't go down that road and will always keep the relationship honest. I even end up telling reviewers too much insider information sometimes.
Also the knowledge. I'll admit I don't have an engineering degree or something similar, but I have eight years experience in this field instead. If I have a very in-depth technical question, then Antec has its own engineers who I go to and work with to check and explain.
BT: So what's Antec's main focus now for power supplies?
Antec: Well we have a wide range of power supplies, so our main focus is on good quality power supplies for every user that needs a power supply. This is the main strength Antec has: that we have engineers who are not compromising on quality and safety features. We focus on every group: entry, mainstream, performance and high end with the same spirit.
Of course our entry-level is where the volumes are but that needs the same level of quality as everything else because if you sell 10 million cheap power supplies you don't want 5 million coming back. That creates a lot of trouble not only for your RMA team but for your brand.
We never compromise on quality and safety. We made a bad mistake once - you may remember SmartPower? I don't want to dig that topic up, but there was a time where we used one supplier and then that supplier changed a component without our knowledge and we really paid for it. Our whole reputation was completely gone. But that was several years ago now, and so we've learnt from that really bad experience and now really drive for the quality and reliability. So our price is a little higher because of it, but it's worth it for the quality, service and warranty we can put into it.