Successful aftermarket initiative to be extended into Europe, New Zealand and Australia this year
Rockledge, Fla.-based SeaDek Marine Products has begun developing a worldwide expansion of the successful SeaDek Certified Installer and Certified Fabricator programs that it established in the U.S. last year.
“We’ve come to realize we can’t service the aftermarket from one location, so last year we initiated a program to train and set up regional installer partners who can go out to marinas and service aftermarket clients,” said SeaDek co-owner and vice president of marketing, Jason Gardner. “Our initial focus was to train and set up a network of SeaDek certified installers as well as some SeaDek certified regional fabricators in different parts of the US. But as we’ve been attending more international trade shows, we understand that we need to replicate this effort globally.”
SeaDek’s first certified fabricator in Europe will be Activboot, based in Wiesbaden, Germany.
“They’re a Nautique distributor and we’ve worked with them before,” said Gardner. “They have the equipment, they have a waiting clientele, and we look forward to growing with them.”
Gardner notes that the long-term goal is to establish a network of certified installers and fabricators in Europe.
“With differences in language and local market demands our aim is to set up partners in France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany, Portugal and Ukraine, who can serve aftermarket clients in their local markets as effectively as we have served customers across the U.S.,” he said.
Concurrent with its activities in Europe, SeaDek is also developing its reach in Australia, which Gardner describes as the company’s largest international market at this time.
“Our distributor in New South Wales, Southern Cross Textiles, does a great job for us and we feel there’s a significant opportunity to develop custom aftermarket business in Australia. Additionally, Batavian Rubber in Featherston, New Zealand, will be coming on later in the year as a certified fabricator and distributor there,” he said.
As with the regional installer and fabricator programs launched in the U.S., Gardner says the objective of the international expansion is to reduce lead times, streamline logistics and improve customer service. Partner installers and fabricators are provided with extensive training at SeaDek’s Florida facility, and must meet stringent standards to earn certification. Once certification has been granted, the installer or fabricator works under contract, focusing primarily on regional aftermarket business.
“What the external fabricators do primarily is take some of the custom work off our hands,” said Gardner. “Our Florida facility is ISO-certified and we’ve invested in some new in-house quality and production specialists who have increased our productivity incredibly, so OEM work will continue to be handled directly from Rockledge. The custom work is ideal for the fabricators, and it’s an important part of our overall business.”
Indeed, aftermarket installations now represent up to 35 percent of SeaDek’s overall revenues, says Gardner. OEM contracts represent about half the company’s current revenues, with retail products – such as a new line of helm mats introduced at the Miami International Boat Show – representing the remaining 15 percent.
“The greatest growth potential is in the aftermarket,” said Gardner. “There are only so many boat builders, but there is almost no limit to the potential aftermarket business and with our Certified Installer and Certified Fabricator programs, we will be able to better serve a large, pent-up demand.”
For more information on the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.