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May 12, 2008 – New Cycle Country leader seeks faster innovation

May 12, 2008
Filed under Features

The new president of Cycle Country Accessories says the manufacturer of ATV and UTV accessories will work on speeding up its new product delivery.
“Our challenge is to understand what customers want and then, more quickly and efficiently, develop and build those products and get them out to the market,” said Jeff Tetzlaff, a former company consultant who was named Cycle Country’s president in early April.
“Internally, we have to do a better job of building and delivering products on time. We are in the midst of improving the systems related to product scheduling and manufacturing.”
Tetzlaff will lead the publicly traded company that has seen its revenue and net income recently increase. In February, the company raised its annual earnings per share guidance for fiscal 2008.
“I see our biggest short-term challenges are in three areas: people, products and processes,” Tetzlaff said in reference to what he will initially concentrate on. “We have outstanding people at Cycle Country. One of my objectives is to stay out of the way and let the people here do what they know how to do.”
The Iowa-based manufacturer, under former CEO Randy Kempf, ramped up its new product efforts and sought to get a better understanding of its consumers. The latter effort continues to be a main point of focus for the company.
“We need to do a better job of communicating the voice of the customer throughout the organization,” said Tetzlaff, who has more than 20 years of sales, marketing and business development experience. For the past eight years, he worked for Commerce Street Venture Group, a private equity company that invests in small and medium-sized companies.
“Customers pay the bills, and we need to better understand how we can make our customers’ lives better.”
Cycle Country sought to do just that when it unveiled a patented product earlier this spring that applies up to 150 pounds of downward force on its ATV-mounted plow, something that can help consumers cut through packed snow or push gravel, sand and dirt.
“In terms of products we are not going to take our eye off the ball,” Tetzlaff said. “We are going to continue to develop and support new products for the powersports market.
“Internally and externally I want people to understand that Cycle Country is a sales and marketing company that builds products.”

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