UTV accessory company launching its biggest offering ever
When talking about how Seizmik performed in 2015, owner and president Steve Shankin beams.
“2015 was a great year for Seizmik. Sales revenue was up tremendously. We launched a couple of new products that were really, really successful, and the thing that really helped the business the most was just doing a good job on the fundamentals of distribution strategy and supply chain management. And everything just worked well and at the same time, which is rare,” he said.
Last year continued an ongoing trend that saw UTV owners accessorizing their units to the hilt. Overall, the UTV accessory business is growing at a very fast rate, Shankin said.
“Consumers are realizing they can do so much more with vehicles, and so they need the accessories in order to do what they want to do with the vehicles, and the growth opportunity is tremendous,” he explained. “I always tell people if you’re not selling the right accessories with a utility vehicle, you’re really selling very, very expensive wheelbarrows. So to get the customers what they need to do what they want to do is so important.”
Spurring Seizmik’s growth in 2015 was the release of its Pursuit Side View Mirrors, which feature cast aluminum housing, weather-sealed caps, rubber vibration isolators and position tension adjustment bolts.
“They immediately just exceeded our expectations and our customers’ expectations that we just sold them really, really well. The customers’ feedback was fantastic,” Shankin said.
Also moving well were Seizmik’s folding windshields, which use levers that allow users to operate them from inside the vehicle.
Drawing both customers and dealers to Seizmik has been the quality of its products, Shankin said.
“We make good product that does what it’s supposed to do,” he said. “And on the rare instance when something is shipped wrong, or it’s missing a part — and let’s face it, there’s always going to be some sort of problem that comes up occasionally — we handle it quickly, and we handle it well. They like that.”
Customer service has always been a cornerstone for Seizmik, which aims to make all of its customers happy, whether they’re end users, dealers or distributors.
“They love our service. They love the fact that when you call up you actually get a person — and it’s not a machine. The person who answers the phone is capable and empowered to solve the customer’s problem. And we like to do it,” he said.
On top of high-quality products and solid customer service, dealers are also attracted to Seizmik’s rigorously-enforced minimum advertised price (MAP) policy. Since implementing its MAP policy in the fall of 2014, Seizmik has been diligent, learning patterns of offenders and parting ways with those who don’t adhere to the policy.
“I’m very happy to catch those people who don’t follow our policy and cut them off forever because they’re not the kind of people we want to do business with,” Shankin reported.
The strict enforcement of the MAP policy, along with Seizmik keeping its products out of big box stores, has led many dealers to realize they can hold their margins and increase their profits by selling Seizmik UTV accessories.
“They will bother to be in stock, and they will bother to have inventory, and they will bother to tell a customer about it. They’ll go through that effort of doing it because they know they’ll actually make money doing it,” Shankin said.
He’s seen many dealers over the past few years increasing their profit by stacking new and pre-owned UTVs with accessories, but he says, there are still too many dealers who are missing out on those opportunities because they’re not upselling or stocking enough product.
“There’s still a huge number of dealers who don’t actively sell accessories when they’re selling a new vehicle, and they leave so much money on the table. There’s such a huge opportunity to increase the average selling price per ticket and to increase the gross profits that dealers make per ticket by a huge amount,” Shankin explained.
An opportunity also lies in contacting customers who bought new units within the past few years but aren’t yet ready to upgrade.
“Dealers, especially those who have sold the vehicle, can reach out to those customers after a few years and say, ‘Hey, here are a few new things you can do with your vehicle,’” he said.
With so much potential in a still-growing UTV market, and with more new vehicles coming out regularly, Shankin is looking forward to what this year will bring.
“In 2016 we will come out with more new products than we’ve ever come out with, and we’ll have new product in every category that we do business in. We haven’t had a launch like that ever, so that’s super exciting for us,” he said. “It’s very important to do it because there are so many new vehicles, and the industry is just getting so much more competitive. We’ve got to stay in front of that.”