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ATV/UTV 26 • April 3, 2017 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com Five-year-old brand adds dealers, distributors BY LIZ KEENER SENIOR EDITOR Five years ago, the Galley family launched Hor- net Outdoors with only a handful of products. But the brand has quickly grown, with more than 70 SKUs now in its lineup and more being added monthly. "The products and the brand got started because we own and have owned ATVs and UTVs, and like a lot of folks who have owned these products, you use them, and you enjoy using them, and you get incredibly frustrated at times with certain things," said Tom Galley, owner of Hornet Outdoors. "You find yourself saying, 'Why did they do this, and why did they do that, and why don't they make it this way, and why don't they make it that way?'" In 2012, Hornet built its first product: a one-piece roof for a mid-size Polaris Ranger. The Galley family was frustrated because all the roofs on the market at the time were two or three pieces. As a former c-suite executive in the technology industry, Galley understands the hurdles OEMs face with developing new products. He knew freight costs were leading companies to be hesitant with developing a one-piece roof. But he did his research, found a company to manufacturer the roof his family designed, and though the shipping costs more than the product, he found a roof that he could deliver to market. "It's still a good roof, and it's still a good value for the customer, and we're still able to make money on it," he explained. After developing the roof, the Galley family was ready to add to their lineup. Next came a cargo rack that installs without tools, as well as bedrails for the Ranger. With that, Hornet Out- doors was born. Tom Galley's sons Derek and Dexter run the day-to-day operations, while his wife Arnell handles the financial piece, and Tom leads the website and sales efforts. All of the brand's R&D is handled in-house, using a method that's different than most. Instead of going from a Solidworks CAD model into prototype, then testing that prototype and restart- ing the process for revi- sions, Hornet starts with the prototype. "We first build. We design and build and test and then document," Galley reported. With a small company, that process is eas- ier, less time consuming and less expensive, Galley said. For example, if the team creates a rack and then find it needs more clearance for a rear windshield, they can quickly make that adjustment and retest the product, rather than bringing it back to an engineer. "You learn some of the hard lessons very, very quickly, and you're able to make changes literally on the fly," Galley said. Once a product makes it through the fit test, it's tested in real world applications on the machines before moving into full production. "Then we test the market by putting it on our website usually for 30 or 60 days before we pull the trigger and turn them loose," he explained. The website allows Hornet to test marketability and pricing. All of Hornet Outdoors' products are man- ufactured in the U.S., which is important to Hornet Outdoors expands product line See Hornet, Page 30 UTV OEM finds hiring climate difficult ODES UTVS has several open positions in DFW BY DAVE McMAHON EDITOR IN CHIEF ODES UTVS expected to see some sizable growth when it moved its assembly facility to Dallas. And the growth has come in impressive portions since the September move-in. What hasn't been so easy is finding new hires for more than a dozen available positions at ODES, which manufactures ATVs and side-by- sides and distributes via dealerships nationwide. "It's been really tough to find good people to fill the positions, and we do have a bunch of positions open," CEO Mike Smith said. "We've posted jobs in every spot you can think of, but it's been so difficult." As one of the top job markets in the U.S., Dallas has plenty of options for most job seekers. ODES currently has a staff of 30 in the Dallas location, with a goal of reaching 45 employees. "In Dallas, literally everybody has a job," Smith said. "We'll hire guys, and they'll find something else that pays 10 cents more per hour, and they're gone. The average employee on our staff has been here over 2.5 years, and we're looking for more people who are going to be here for the long haul." Among the open positions at ODES are assembly staff (8 open); parts pullers/cycle counters (2); shipper/receiver (1) with forklift experience who can execute a PDI; in-house national accounts managers (2), with respon- sibilities for making dealers successful with the brand; and graphics and video editor (1). ODES' growth is largely the result of the move of the assembly facility from Riverside, California, to Dallas. The 80,000-square- foot operation offers the ability to ship units assembled or in the crate to the company's dealer partners. "Our crate business has stayed about the same since we moved to Dallas, but because we're more centrally located, our current deal- ers are buying more inventory because they can get it to their stores faster," Smith said. "Our turnover rate is almost double what it had been." With the addition of 35 news dealers signed up in January and February alone, Smith fig- ures sales in 2017 will be double that of 2016. "Our sales to dealers already smoked what we did last January and February," Smith said. Dealers are capitalizing mostly on the seven 2017 models that feature a 7-inch touchscreen LCD display. The Zeus Touch LCD is standard on the Assailant 800cc ATV and the Dominator X2, Raider and Dominator X4 1000cc side-by- sides. It's also optional on the 800cc versions of the Dominator X2, Dominator X4 and Raider side-by-sides. "The LCD at the price point is really getting dealers interested," Smith said. "We've had a pretty good split in sales between the X2 and X4. We had the last three months of last year after our dealer meeting where we launched them, then all of the sudden we had this mas- sive amount of re-orders, and now we're get- ting the new dealers to sign on. The second three months of sales of the LCD machines were almost quadruple what we did the first three months." He's hoping to find similar success on the hiring front. PSB Sales of ODES' UTV lineup, includ- ing the Dominator X2 and X4, have led to expansion at the company's Dallas assembly facility. Hornet Outdoors' top-selling product is its Ranger Tool Hooks, which hold shovels, rakes and more to the bed of a Polaris Ranger. Hornet Outdoors makes a variety of products for side-by-sides, including the Bed Rails, Spare Fuel Mount and Chainsaw Bracket seen here.