Vale Anne Kerr
Our Anne has passed away
By Tony Daley, owner, Cases Com Au
Last week we received devastating but expected news that my business partner, Anne Kerr, had passed away. Anne is known and respected by many people and thousands of customers. Anne had complications the last 2-3 years which compounded recently, and saw her hospitalised some months ago. This is my small tribute to Anne.
In 2003, after selling my share in a case company, I started another case company (Blue Cat Case Company) in Brisbane having surrendered to 15 years of Melbourne weather as shareholder-owner of Nova Forge Case Company. Within six months Blue Cat was so busy it needed an accountant to manage and systemise things, and that’s where Anne entered the door as a Mobile Accountant. Over the first few months she became intrigued at the rapid (exponential) growth combined with the singular nature of custom products and we decided to start an import business that imported cases which became known as Go Case. In 2008 Anne and I started Cases Com Au and had Blue Cat and Go Case as branch/brands rather than separate businesses.
By the end of 2004 we were the only case company in the world selling on Yahoo’s SOLD.COM auction site and subsequently eBay. We were the only case company in the world starting full-blown ecommerce for purchasing cases in 2004. Go Case was the second import ready-made cases available in Australia (with USA’s Road Ready Case Company leading at that time). Anne’s endeavours particularly in negotiating, systems, spotting opportunity in the market, and diversifying products saw Go Case rise to the top within two years of starting and remain the most popular ready-made case in Australia and New Zealand from then and still today. Blue Cat (custom cases) saw similar gains and became the largest case company after just four years. Whilst credit can be given to many of our employees, particularly Mitch Ussher, Dan Fittel, Lance Dean and Tavita Teo, the main credit for our success is due to Anne’s insistence on systems and tying the business together in a proprietary database that measures every component, minute and work-order to micro-detail.
Many people will be saddened by Anne’s passing, none the less myself. Many of our customers have probably spoken to Anne at exhibitions and in our factory. Many of our customers will know that Anne, even as an accountant, got her hands dirty in our factory manufacturing cases. She was a hard worker and typically put in 50-60 hours a week, and I’ve been blessed to have had a totally honest, astute and knowledgeable business partner in Anne. I, like many people, will miss her dearly.