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Key Differentiators Set GatorStep Apart from the Competition
It is said that you are only as strong as your weakest link. For a boat builder, that means your suppliers better be strong up and down the chain. There are many competitors in skid-resistant decking who profess various benefits. What are the advantages of an OEM working with GatorStep?
Flexibility is a primary one. If an OEM partner wants to change design, scale, or volume, GatorStep is set up to quickly support it. When a model lineup needs a fresh look in the middle of a model year, for instance, GatorStep allows it to happen seamlessly. GatorStep’s ability to ‘shift and move’ is a core feature of its operations, and it will always have supplies and staff necessary to react to spontaneous conditions.
Fast turnaround is another GatorStep advantage. An OEM can expect to have its product shipped in two weeks, in most cases. “We really, really try to keep lean manufacturing practices in place to give customers what they want, when they want it,” says Mike Weatherly, General Manager of GatorStep. Reacting to short lead times is how the company has gotten to where it is today, growing from humble origins in Hubbard, Oregon, to a major all-hands-on-deck operation in facilities across the USA.
GatorStep leaves room in its production line to accommodate complicated one-offs or resubmitted designs. “We don’t tell our customers ‘Oh, you’ve got to put in a P.O. and wait six to eight weeks,’” adds Mike. “Things happen. If a new design needs to be on a boat leaving tomorrow, we will do everything in our power to enable that.”
GatorStep stays quick on its feet, reworking processes to allow fluidity in its manufacturing. It uses custom tooling to accommodate many circumstances and tries not to focus on one singular process or routine. The GatorStep staff is as ample as any large-scale manufacturer’s, with designers and producers on hand to absorb shifts in scale and volume to equally high-quality results. The whole process is engaging. Innovative ideas come through so frequently that the staff stays on their toes in anticipation of the next, invigorating project.
Accountability with a personal touch is also a GatorStep advantage. “We consider our OEM customers to be truly in partnership with us,” says Mike. “We want to help you build your best boat, and we will do everything we can to make sure that your final product is better than either of us could have imagined.”
Gatorstep’s nonacceptance of a “One Size Fits All” philosophy truly sets it apart. It might sound inconceivable, but the company would rather invest in a partner and ensure their product to be the best it can be.
A good partner has your back and is reflexive to your business needs. That is the GatorStep difference. Read More