April 23, 2007 – Helmet House building on its record sales year

Helmet House Vice President Phil Bellomy is an advocate of growing organically. He likes the steady growth the distribution company he founded with Bob Miller has been able to achieve during the nearly 40 years it’s been operating, especially following last year’s results. 2006 was a record-breaking year in sales for the company.
Helmet House is seeking to make this year even bigger through a recently announced expansion of its sales team and warehouse facilities.
In adding personnel, the company aims to “cover more customers more effectively,” said Richard Kimes, national marketing manager. “We’re constantly trying to grow 8,000 dealers and online retailers.”
That growth comes not only from adding dealers, but also doing more business with those dealers they’re already working with.
“If we can just get one product in [with a new dealer] and make him happy, we can try to expand that business,” Bellomy said. “If we perform well and deliver on time, we’re going to grow with those dealers.”
Helmet House’s six new sales representatives will be covering new and old dealers. Some are filling in a gap the company noticed, others are serving in reconfigured territories. The new sales reps include Darrick Anderson, who is servicing dealers in Minnesota and Iowa; Tim Bettencourt, who is covering New England, Vermont and New Hampshire; and Luis Rojas, who is handling accounts in Southwest Texas. Also new is Rob Chapin, who was added to the Southern California, Ventura and Antelope Valley field force; Craig Crozier, who will cover Idaho and Wyoming; and Kim Colvin, who is handling dealers in Las Vegas.
“Sales reps are charged with being experts in their products, from the technology behind the product to how it fits into a dealership,” Kimes said.
Some of the products they will be selling will have a new home at Helmet House’s new warehouse in Newbury Park, Calif. With land and buildings in Southern California at a premium, the company opted to buy an existing warehouse only 15 miles from its headquarters in Calabasas Hills, Calif.
Having additional warehouse space will allow the distributor to increase its inventory levels. Last year, the company ran out of storage space.
The new warehouse, which doubles the company’s available warehouse space, will act as a feeder for Helmet House’s main warehouse at its base. Having a secondary warehouse is a little more labor intensive, Bellomy said, but it allows the company to stay where it is.
In addition to expanding dealer business, the company hopes to grow the products within each of the brands it represents.
“It’s not always about increasing the number of dealers, it’s really about constantly improving product availability and encouraging dealers to carry as much as they can,” Bellomy said.
Part of the Helmet House business model calls for concentrating on a few brands to maximize selling. Through partnering with the manufacturers it works with, Helmet House shares in marketing the products it distributes. If it shared the products with other distributors, the company wouldn’t be able to do that, Bellomy said.
Looking ahead, Bellomy is optimistic about the remainder of the year.
“It’s got to be better [than 2006],” he said. “The first two months of the year were soft, but March is up and April looks like a barnburner. We have not had a down year since 1986. We’re on a roll and couldn’t be happier about it.” psb

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