We are currently introducing a couple of new products to the market. Part of the strategy is to ensure decent OEM support. OEM customers are bike manufacturers looking to build complete bikes. They purchase from the brand in order to feature the products and hopefully create a(nother) selling point for the bike.
Supporting these customers is what takes me to Taiwan each December where there are meetings with product managers to present products to them for OEM use. These may be the same as the products that consumers can buy in the shops, or special OEM variants with features omitted or different materials used to reduce the cost. For example Rock Shox in the past offered versions of their Reba forks at OEM which fitted between the forks in the after market (consumer) lineup. There are two reasons to do such a thing:
1. To reduce the price without putting an obviously inferior product on the bike.
2. To help identify any product sold OEM which may have made it’s way into After Market channels.
Right now I am on a flight on the way back from The Netherlands. I have been visiting manufacturers there. Big, prestigious brands. At heart I am still a kid and still get excited about working with companies, and having our products on bikes which as a kid I could only dream of.
Oh, and in case anyone is interested, it is my sixth flight of the year, and my 20th hotel night! That’s quite extreme really, isn’t it?!