Doug Muellner of FMF Racing talks with Dealernews about what he learned from 2010.
Dealernews: What is your gameplan for taking on 2011? What specific changes are you making?
Muellner: Thanks in part to the economic conditions, our industry learned/re-learned the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” when it comes to readily available inventory. FMF picked up on this in late 2009, and altered its game plans in manufacturing, sales strategies and marketing. We will continue on this path and refine/improve even more for 2011. At every level we have to stay in touch and be very reactive, very quickly.
Inventory supply to FMF distributors specifically, and all FMF customers as a result; will see shortened lead times and even greater fill rates. We have already refined a number of production processes plus streamlined completion and delivery execution. We will also be “pushing” in a positive way to ensure all of FMF’s distributors have inventory on their shelves - no waiting at the Dealer level, no matter who their supply source.
DN: What missteps, if any, did you make in 2010?
Muellner: This is a good thing/bad thing scenario. FMF’s Take 20 program exceeded expectations — our ability to very quickly react at the production capacity level was not quite to the standard we thought we were at. We initially underestimated our reaction time.
DN: Based on those experiences, what are you going to do differently in 2011?
Muellner: We’ve already done it! Inventory level within our facility is increased -raw materials and finished goods - as is our production capacity. This being said, we will remain very sensitive to these areas. Additionally we are working with (and on) our distributors to be highly reactive — including down to the individual SKU level.
DN: 2010 wasn’t a great year for most of our industry, but how did the market or economic conditions specifically affect you or your business?
Muellner: FMF will finish the year with good positive growth numbers. We experienced “a best month ever” in the entire history of the company this year.
DN: What did you do right in 2010?
Muellner: We did a number of things right, some just not fast enough! Staying in touch with market conditions and reacting quickly, Take 20 program, the introduction of exciting new applications in Apex Sportbike exhaust, the introduction of the new Factory 4.1 RCT product platform.