UTV OEM finds hiring climate difficult

ODES UTVS has several open positions in DFW

ODES UTVS expected to see some sizable growth when it moved its assembly facility to Dallas. And the growth has come in impressive portions since the September move-in.

What hasn’t been so easy is finding new hires for more than a dozen available positions at ODES, which manufactures ATVs and side-by-sides and distributes via dealerships nationwide.

“It’s been really tough to find good people to fill the positions, and we do have a bunch of positions open,” CEO Mike Smith said. “We’ve posted jobs in every spot you can think of, but it’s been so difficult.”

As one of the top job markets in the U.S., Dallas has plenty of options for most job seekers. ODES currently has a staff of 30 in the Dallas location, with a goal of reaching 45 employees.

“In Dallas, literally everybody has a job,” Smith said. “We’ll hire guys, and they’ll find something else that pays 10 cents more per hour, and they’re gone. The average employee on our staff has been here over 2.5 years, and we’re looking for more people who are going to be here for the long haul.”

Among the open positions at ODES are assembly staff (8 open); parts pullers/cycle counters (2); shipper/receiver (1) with forklift experience who can execute a PDI; in-house national accounts managers (2), with responsibilities for making dealers successful with the brand; and graphics and video editor (1).

Sales of ODES’ UTV lineup, including the Dominator X2 and X4, have led to expansion at the company’s Dallas assembly facility.

ODES’ growth is largely the result of the move of the assembly facility from Riverside, California, to Dallas. The 80,000-square-foot operation offers the ability to ship units assembled or in the crate to the company’s dealer partners.

“Our crate business has stayed about the same since we moved to Dallas, but because we’re more centrally located, our current dealers are buying more inventory because they can get it to their stores faster,” Smith said. “Our turnover rate is almost double what it had been.”


With the addition of 35 news dealers signed up in January and February alone, Smith figures sales in 2017 will be double that of 2016.

“Our sales to dealers already smoked what we did last January and February,” Smith said.

Dealers are capitalizing mostly on the seven 2017 models that feature a 7-inch touchscreen LCD display. The Zeus Touch LCD is standard on the Assailant 800cc ATV and the Dominator X2, Raider and Dominator X4 1000cc side-by-sides. It’s also optional on the 800cc versions of the Dominator X2, Dominator X4 and Raider side-by-sides.

“The LCD at the price point is really getting dealers interested,” Smith said. “We’ve had a pretty good split in sales between the X2 and X4. We had the last three months of last year after our dealer meeting where we launched them, then all of the sudden we had this massive amount of re-orders, and now we’re getting the new dealers to sign on. The second three months of sales of the LCD machines were almost quadruple what we did the first three months.”

He’s hoping to find similar success on the hiring front. 


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