Read Case 4: WindVest Motorcycle Products: Down the Windy Road. In a two to three page paper, present an overview of the company and identify its products. Discuss at least three recommendations to improve the domestic marketing strategy for WindVest’s sales. Explain the competitive advantages for the company that will result from implementing your recommendations.Submit your two to three page paper (not including title and reference pages). The paper must be formatted according to APA style and must cite at least three scholarly sources.case_4_windvest_motorcycle_products.docxCASE 4 WindVest Motorcycle Products:
Down the Windy Road
WindVest, a small family business, has a unique product, one that
is designed to keep the bugs out of your teeth. Motorcycle
windshields were once big, awkward, and incredibly uncool. That
changed when Norm Dober started manufacturing small,
aerodynamic windscreens at a factory in Silicon Valley. This rigid
piece of transparent plastic mounts to a motorcycle’s handlebars
with a crosspiece and two simple clamps. Despite its small size—
just 14 to 18 inches high—the screen deflects wind and bugs from
a much larger area around the driver. WindVest Motorcycle
Products (http:www.windvest.com) sells thousands of windscreens
every year, has experienced an annual growth rate of 10% over the
last six years, and generates $1.5 million in annual sales. Business
The Dobers want their family business to continue to grow and to
increase its profit margins. “I want to see WindVest on as many
bikes in South Carolina as I do in California,” declares Doug
Dober, Norm’s son, who handles the company’s manufacturing
and marketing. The company advertises in several biker
publications and on four California radio stations. About one-third
of all sales come through a handful of national distributors, which
in turn sell the screen kits to retailers. WindVest sells another onethird of its products to retailers. The balance of WindVest sales are
directly to bikers who purchase the kits at motorcycle shows,
online, or by phone.
Geographically, the majority of the company’s sales are in
California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Wisconsin. Without any
real marketing effort, WindVest’s sales also are strong in Florida.
Domestically, Doug wants to reach new markets throughout the
South and the Northeast. He is convinced that the best way to
boost sales in new territories is to demonstrate the product at bike
shows and rallies. That approach has worked well in California and
other western states, but Doug has found he does not have the time
to take his show across the country and manage the business.
“There’s a biker rally in New Hampshire that draws 300,000
people every year, and I can’t get there,” Doug laments. Some
would argue that only a fraction of bikers at the New Hampshire
will actually visit the WindVest booth and that Doug should
concentrate on marketing where bikers live, not where they visit
for a week. In fact, Doug has discovered that the company’s
success in Florida is the result of an enthusiastic distributor who
has been promoting the WindVest to his customers. Doug is
beginning to wonder whether the key to boosting sales might be
cultivating more distributors like the one if Florida rather than
attending bike shows. One potential strategy is to offer incentives
to the salespeople who work for Windvest’s distributors.
Manufacturing is also a growth-related issue. Doug would like to
improve the company’s manufacturing efficiency by restructuring
its supply channel and finding suppliers closer to WindVest’s
headquarters in Campbell, California. The parts WindVest
purchases to make its windscreens are relatively expensive,
particularly the molded plastic and the chrome-plated components.
The Dobers realize that competitors might enter the market and sell
low-cost versions of the WindVest, which would put pressure on
their company to lower its costs and prices. The Dobers want better
prices and service from their current suppliers but are not sure how
to negotiate those arrangements. Like many small U.S. companies,
they have a tendency to underestimate their negotiating power with
suppliers. “I’m afraid of them telling me to get lost,” says Doug.
One factor in their favor is that U.S.-based auto-parts
manufacturers are losing work to overseas suppliers, and these
suppliers should be eager to keep a growing client such as
WindVest. The good news is that WindVest has the potential to
stay ahead of any future copycats by having the labor-intensive
parts made in Mexico, where labor costs are a fraction of those in
the United States. However, they wonder about the best way to
find suppliers who have operations in Mexico.
This family-owned business does experience conflict. Norm Dober
turned over most of the daily operations to Doug. However, Doug,
who has worked at the company for seven years, is hesitant to
delegate responsibilities. Doug is a self-confessed micromanager
who takes on more tasks than he can handle. With 10 employees,
Doug still handles all complaints and returns from customers, a
complex and time-consuming task. Norm’s wife, Marilyn, 63,
keeps the books, assisted by her daughter, Tami, 38, who joined
the company three years ago. She works with her mother in
accounting, with a desire to take on more responsibility, such as
handling receivables and collections. Marilyn worries that she will
become irrelevant to the business if she delegates too much. The
result: Family disputes often get heated.
The Dobers have share many common interests, including HarleyDavidson “hogs” equipped with WindVest windshields. Harley
owners are a key component in the company’s marketing mix. The
business began exclusively marketing windshields designed for
Harley-Davidson motorcycles. As the four major foreign
manufacturers entered the American “cruiser bike” market in the
1990s, WindVest followed suit. “If it were not for the fact that we
adapted and supported the foreign cruising motorcycles, we would
not still be in business,” says Doug. There are 348 authorized
Harley-Davidson dealers located in 47 states (see accompanying
WindVest continues to look down the road to the future. With a
constant focus on quality, the Dobers have restructured their
management team in the areas of administration and
manufacturing, are applying more effective internal
communication techniques, and have learned the benefits of
delegation. “As a result,” says Doug, “margins are strong, profits
are up, and we make fewer mistakes.” With plans to enter the
European market, the road to success for WindVest looks bright.
“Go big or go home,” states Doug.
Number of Authorized Dealers by State
Source: Authorized Harley-Davidson Dealers, http://hogs4sale.com, June 4, 2006.
Purchase answer to see full
Why Choose Us
- 100% non-plagiarized Papers
- 24/7 /365 Service Available
- Affordable Prices
- Any Paper, Urgency, and Subject
- Will complete your papers in 6 hours
- On-time Delivery
- Money-back and Privacy guarantees
- Unlimited Amendments upon request
- Satisfaction guarantee
How it Works
- Click on the “Place Order” tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
- Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER DETAILS" section.
- Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline, and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
- Click “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record-keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
- From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.