“We’ve stood in the dealer’s shoes.” This is the reason Sales Manager, Duffey Pitzer, believes Red Hawk has made it to their 15 year anniversary. John Clough owned and operated a Yamaha distributor for 30 years, Gillet Boyce has been selling golf carts and parts for almost 25 years, Duffey Pitzer owned his own dealership for 10 years and Charlie Neuman ran two different EZGO branches. Together these members of the Management and Sales Teams bring over 100 years of extensive golf car experience and knowledge to Red Hawk. As John Clough puts it, “We’ve been in the golf cart business for longer than dirt, and we’re still here!” This experience, along with being family owned and independently operated, has driven Red Hawk to continuously find ways to meet the changing needs of the dealer.
And boy has this industry changed over the last 15 years! The market continues to consolidate; the internet shifts the buying habits of dealers and consumers; end-user expectations in terms of turnaround time and new products offerings continue to rise; and this once brown box industry is trending toward retail packaging. During all of these changes, Red Hawk has been working alongside their dealers to create opportunities out of each new challenge.
As the market has consolidated, Red Hawk has remained one of the few companies to maintain their independence. Not only does Red Hawk believe this provides them with the freedom and flexibility to respond to customers’ changing needs more rapidly, but they also see this independence as allowing them to continue to make the choice not to enter the retail market. Chris Douglas, a sales representative that started with the company in 2008 stated, “We believe in protecting our dealers. If we sell retail we are going directly against our promise, a promise that we stand behind.” Nothing makes Red Hawk more proud than the customer-focused attention they are able to provide, which is based on the underlying belief that if, and only if, the dealer succeeds, Red Hawk will succeed.
Finding ways to support their customers in an era of computer savvy buyers continues to be a priority to the Red Hawk team. The company recently launched a new website platform that allows the dealer to visit an online version of the catalog with their customer at their side. Customers can still access their accounts, place orders and search past orders and invoices, but they are now also able to see the status of their returns, download product installations instructions and even watch installation videos. Customers can expect to be presented with more online options as the year progresses, as Red Hawk has committed to a continuous improvement process with this new web platform.
Continuous improvement is also the company’s motto with their Red Hawk line of replacement parts and the RHOX accessories brand. Red Hawk’s line of OE quality replacement parts at aftermarket prices expands each year. The product development team has a rigorous process that attempts to make parts fail in an effort to determine whether the parts quality and performance can be improved. Successful examples include the robust dual-action leaf springs, an original Red Hawk design, and the company’s introduction of high quality aftermarket steering racks to the market. This same exacting development process takes place with the RHOX line of accessories. While the RHOX brand was initially focused primarily on tires, wheels and lift kits, it has really come into its own and has expanded to all golf cart accessories. The creation of LED Light Kits for golf carts was a proud moment for the brand. Red Hawk was again first to market with a product – and due to the exacting internal development process, the RHOX line of LEDs is widely recognized as superior in terms of fit, function and overall quality. And of course, the Mojave tire must be mentioned. This tire, now in its third generation, has become an industry leader for DOT golf cart tires. Experiencing the growth of RHOX into a recognized brand that dealers count on and request has been a great joy for the team at Red Hawk.
Dealers can also count on the continued industry trend toward retail packaging. The brown boxes will be disappearing for many Red Hawk and RHOX products, being replaced with sturdy, colorful, customer oriented packaging. Red Hawk understands the impact that retail packaging can provide in the dealer’s showroom. In an effort to help their customers promote the products, Red Hawk recently introduced displays designed with the dealers in mind. The display units are an integral part of Red Hawk’s partnership to help their customer grow sales. The units are fully customizable and can be configured to fit a variety of spaces. And if an item on display isn’t selling well, Red Hawk makes sure the dealer is provided with product options to insure continued success.
“We’ve been in the golf cart business for longer than dirt, and we’re still here!”
There is no better way to assist their dealer base than creating a culture of learning and change for all departments and aspects of Red Hawk. All members of the Sales, Administrative and Distribution teams really listen to their customers to determine what can be changed and how they can improve in order to be a better supplier. The management team integrates customer feedback into discussions of on a daily basis. Priorities for 2016 include improving time and transit of product delivery, better inventory management during periods of rapid growth and being able to expand territory coverage to support dealers nationwide. Red Hawk’s CFO, Karen Parks described the climate at the company, “We do not shy away from problems and challenges. It may sometimes take us longer than we’d like to solve an issue, but once we have – it’s done. And we WILL be a better company and partner.”
Change and challenge have been a constant throughout Red Hawk’s fifteen years. Among all of these changes, some things have remained the same including a great group of employees. Visitors to the Red Hawk offices frequently comment on the warm, open rapport between employees. According to their Human Resource staff, new employee feedback is almost always related to the incredible willingness of employees to help each other, no matter who is asking. James Brown, a supervisor with the company since 2009, summed it up, “It feels like a family. Red Hawk really looks out for us. Trust me, I tell a lot of people that this is a great place to work.”
Gillet Boyce, one of the founders and owners of Red Hawk, credits the team at Red Hawk “for making the last fifteen years a successful, meaningful, and exhilarating experience.” He also credits their “dealer base that has been willing to stick by us during the growing pains”. And of course, Red Hawk also recognizes the role good fortune has played in their growth. If an employee or visitor speaks of Red Hawk’s good fortune, they will quickly be provided with a piece of wood on which to knock.