Just wanted to give an update on the business, because there have been a ton of exciting changes in the past two years and I haven’t really shared them publicly.
From the start, we have been a racing parts company, manufacturing our products in-house and selling them online direct to customer. The other side of FTR, called “FTR CNC” (www.ftrcnc.com), provides design and manufacturing services to other companies.
Over the course of last two years, we’ve become increasingly focused on our manufacturing and engineering work. Today, our clients range from small startups just getting off the ground to multi-billion dollar international companies. Manufacturing and engineering was initially just a side thing, but today it accounts for 80-90% of our business. We purchased new equipment, hired more employees, and the manufacturing side of the business has become the majority of what we do here. There has been a ton of hard work and sacrifice to get to this point; I’m really proud of my guys and their ability to maintain our high manufacturing quality standards while growing like crazy.
With all this growth, there are some changes that need to happen on the racing parts side. With both sides of the business being about 5x the size they were two years ago, we can’t apply the old model we had been using of assembling parts to order and then shipping one by one. It simply doesn’t work at this scale.
So, what changes are we making to Fully Torqued Racing?
- Build Inventory – No more “just-in-time” manufacturing, or products being assembled to order. We’re building out our inventory to have one month’s worth of product on hand at any given time. This way, orders can be filled easily and consistently, shipping same or next-day. The website will also reflect realtime inventory status.
- Automate Order Fulfillment Workflow – We’re switching to a system that’s actually built to handle the volume of product that we move now, automating shipping settings and pick lists to simplify the pick-and-pack workflow and ensure accuracy when fulfilling orders.
- Hire a Customer Service Rep – Customer communication and relationship is huge, and really needs to get dialed in now that we have grown so much. Really looking for the right person with passion, knowledge, and professionalism; if that’s you – give me a shout!
- Strengthen Dealer Relationships – We’re a design & manufacturing company at the core, we want to be able to give great support to FTR customers. The best way to do this is by partnering with dealers that have intimate knowledge of their customer’s car, since . I think it’s really important to leverage that knowledge and community aspect into a great customer experience.
- Discontinue Some Products – Our new policy is that if we don’t have a bulletproof, scalable process for a product, its not available to customers. Splitter rods, tow hooks, and Mustang brake kits are what we have now. These are the big movers, made in-house, with relatively simple supply chains. There’s a lot of demand for some of our old products, but we just don’t have the time to implement the processes needed to fulfill that demand.
- Offer New Products – Since the company is maturing, we’re able to really identify what we’re good at, and I want to highlight those strengths. Our new products coming down the road will likely be more “universal” products that are made incredibly well and and available to a wide range of customers. We just released our new tow hook, I’m really excited about how it turned out.
- Bring Back Old Favorites – Every time I peek my head out into the “Mustang socialmedia-verse” there are people asking for the 94-04 chromoly front bumper. We’re not a fab shop so we don’t make it right now, but it’s coming back. Also, we have a prototype S550 bumper that is pretty baller.
- Developing Products Collaboratively – You’ll see a few products that are kind of “collaborations”, there’s a lot of products out on the market that we designed without our name on it (those pesky NDA’s), but we have stuff in the works that will be co-branded. A good example is Scotidi products (shout out to my boy! www.scotidiracedevelopment.com). Combining our manufacturing expertise with other people’s visions is really exciting and a lot of good things come out of it.
I hope this brings everyone up to speed on what we’ve been up to. I really appreciate everyone’s patience as all of these changes are happening and new systems are implemented to make sure we can provide the best products possible. Also – if you need some killer machine work done, give me a shout. Thanks for reading!