OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT AND
ENGINE SERVICE ASSOCIATION (OPEESA) &
POWER EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTORS, INC.
1. What is new and exciting about your organization heading into 2009?
Having new, innovative product to sell is exciting! The competitive challenge in knowing that aggressive, creative thinking is key to success has opened us up to unique opportunities.
2. What is your organization doing to weather the tough economic climate, and what should OPE dealers do?
Working on inefficiencies. Looking at all processes and expenses to see where cost saving can be made. Putting together alternative plans to cash flow the business.
3. What are the three biggest challenges that OPE dealers will face in the next two years, and how should they address them?
Financing the sale, I believe, will be the biggest challenge dealers will need to overcome. Dealers will need to have varied options for retail credit.
Secondly, would be the rising prices. Focus needs to be put on the value of the product RESULTS, not just iron.
Lastly, theft appears to be climbing. Securing product and having business systems that catch discrepancies will be beneficial.
4. What are the hottest trends in the OPE industry today, and which new trends will emerge over the next five years?
Back to basics. Customers are focusing on productivity and reliability, not bells and whistles. They only want what makes them run more profitably. Quality time spent with today’s customer will build loyalty that will pay dividends in the future.
5. What was the OPE industry’s biggest story in 2008, and what will be its biggest story in 2009?
It appears that 2008 had dealers gaining ground against the box stores. Many consumers are finding value in what the dealer has to offer them. I believe that will be expanded on in 2009, and the innovative dealer will have an opportunity to outshine his competition.
6. What is your overall outlook for the OPE industry heading into 2009 and beyond?
We are a hearty industry that has survived tough times in the past. Product will sell as long as grass is growing and snow is falling. Recognition of value will grow as we partner with our customers to grow our mutual businesses.