The folks at FMF have re-invented the company, changing it from one that specializes in off-road products to one that supplies performance exhaust systems. Pointing to challenging market conditions and an ever-changing consumer base, FMF national sales manager Doug Muellner, suggests that other industry businesses may be well-advised to re-invent and re-define their own operations.
"Many of our customers are now much more educated than what they used to be, but there's also the customer who doesn't think much about the industry until they walk into the dealership on a Saturday morning and wonder how the person behind the counter can help them out," Muellner says. "What does that mean for us? That means we have to be much more diverse and much more involved, and maybe re-invent ourselves from the way we're used to doing things."
As an example, Muellner points to a recent ad by Wal-Mart that feature a living area filled with modern furniture and the tagline "Watch Out Ikea"; to Acerbis re-inventing the seat with a unique new substance; and to BMW re-inventing itself as a World Superbike contender.
"Like Wal-Mart, Acerbis and BMW, maybe we all need to examine what we are doing, and see if it makes sense to re-invent ourselves a little bit," he says.
For its part, FMF has bolstered its product development into including other markets, such as sportbike, dual sport and even American V-twin applications, and also is focusing on polishing its delivery system processes, paying particular attention to production turn-around time, warehousing and order processing.
"Think about what you do, and how you do it," Muellner says. "Now is the time to take a look. It's action time."
Watch for the future availability of FMF's new pipes for the 2010 XR1200 and CRF250, and a new counter display for the expanding line of Apex sportbike pipes.