Although the marketing build-up and the official launch of Nautic Global Group culminated at February’s Miami International Boat Show, the real story behind this newly named venture began months ago.
Nautic Global Group, the corporate brand name encompassing the combined boat portfolios of Godfrey Marine and Rinker Boat Company, is comprised of a partnership between the private equity firm Code Hennessy & Simmons LLC partners and senior management of Godfrey and Rinker.
Nautic Global Group CEO Bob Moran says the company, which is the fourth-largest recreational boat builder, is focused intently on dealer development and product and process improvement — a much more internal focus than its new “global” name would imply.
The company’s focus in the near-term is to drive its dealers to be successful by giving them the tools they need, Moran says. This focus will be displayed at the company’s first combined-brands dealer show in late July.
By that time, Moran says, the company will have created a strong dealer agreement, something that neither brand had offered in the past. But above and beyond the protection element of an agreement, Moran says the real tools NGG will provide dealers revolve around such things as education on what sells, merchandising and brochures, and revamped Web sites with dealer-only sections that will assist with coop money, marketing aids, logos, photos and other items.
Perhaps its biggest news when it comes to dealer relations, however, is the addition of Tom Carney, executive vice president of sales and marketing. The task of dealer development will rest primarily on his shoulders. He joined NGG in November and is the former VP of sales at American Suzuki Motors Corporation, where he oversaw dealer development, product planning, and sales programs, as well as the company’s fleet and remarketing departments.
“These guys know how to put an organization together and build a team,” Moran says.
The product and processes
The “guys” Moran speaks of includes Jim Orbik, COO. Moran describes Orbik as a great teacher of TQM, Six Sigma and lean manufacturing.
“He works with his people,” Moran says, “and he’s creating champions of quality at different levels of the organization.”
The company’s focus on processes appears to be working, according to Moran. Through statistical process control, they have been able to improve the manufacturing process. Products are being brought to market more quickly — 90 percent of Rinker’s product line is new, for example. And most importantly, through the processes put in place, Moran explains, the company has not been hurt in profitability during lower sales in ’06.
“Our inventories are not significantly higher in the field,” he says. “We basically took our lumps in 2006, and in 2007 we should not experience such a shrink as we could have. We expect to be flat to a little bit up this year.”
The goal in mind for NGG is to develop an enterprise resource planning system whereby all of the processes speak together — to simplify the processes and make them easier for the dealers to use.
“I think what we’re delivering is the foundation on which the business is growing,” says Moran. “The entrepreneurial spirit is going to continue. ”