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Meet Steve Whit­ting­ton from Fla­man Group of Com­pa­nies & talk about Sled ‘n Snap

Sno-Dak News - - Board Messages -

Con­tin­ued from mag­a­zine

Sno-Dak News (SDN): Tell us a bit about Fla­man Group of Com­pa­nies (Fla­man)?

Steve Whit­ting­ton (SW): Fla­man is a mul­ti­di­vi­sional or­ga­ni­za­tion that of­fers every­thing from light in­dus­trial equip­ment, agri­cul­ture equip­ment and trail­ers to fit­ness equip­ment and ac­ces­sories. The com­pany started in agri­cul­ture and grew to what it is to­day. Our sales­men take the time to ask ques­tions and de­ter­mine ex­actly what the cus­tomer’s needs are and then find the right prod­uct within the cus­tomer’s bud­get that works for them. Fla­man has grown to be the largest fit­ness cen­ter and trailer dealer in North Amer­ica due to our con­tin­ued ded­i­ca­tion to pro­vid­ing out­stand­ing con­sumer ser­vice and of­fer­ing the most up-to-date prod­ucts in the industry. SDN: What kinds of prod­uct and ser­vices does the com­pany pro­vide? SW: Fla­man fo­cuses on cus­tomer re­spon­si­bil­ity. We have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide an out­stand­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and a prod­uct that ful­fills the cus­tomer’s need. Fla­man of­fers a good, bet­ter, best pol­icy to all of their cus­tomers, which means the com­pany has prod­ucts in a va­ri­ety of price ranges and qual­ity lev­els. Fla­man goes above and be­yond by of­fer­ing ad­di­tional ser­vices such as equip­ment and trailer rentals and parts and ser­vice round­ing out the cus­tomer’s ex­pe­ri­ence. SDN: How did Fla­man Group of Com­pa­nies be­come in­volved with snow­mo­bil­ers?

SW: Roughly 30% of our em­ploy­ees en­joy snow­mo­bil­ing recre­ation­ally and some even use it as a source of trans­porta­tion. Since we are snow­mo­bil­ers, we wanted to ser­vice the snow­mo­bile industry. Fla­man of­fers 26 brands of trail­ers and eight of the 26 brands are snow­mo­bile trail­ers. When a snow­mo­biler is shop­ping we ask them a se­ries of ques­tions in or­der to de­ter­mine the best trailer for what they need and within their bud­get. We ask them every­thing from how far and where they travel, the types of roads they travel on, what they carry with them and how much space they need. Fla­man cares about their cus­tomers’ ex­pe­ri­ences long af­ter they leave the show room floor and un­der­stand trail­ers are a cru­cial part in their snow­mo­bil­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. SDN: What types of trail­ers are most pop­u­lar for snow­mo­bil­ers? SW: This de­pends on the cur­rent trend and right now, it’s en­closed trail­ers. Tra­di­tion­ally snow­mo­bile7rs move from open deck to en­closed trail­ers. Re­cently we have seen them

skip that step be­cause of the con­ve­niences of an en­closed trailer. Their snow­mo­biles are cleaner, they can carry more things and they have a place to get ready or warm up while they are en­joy­ing the out­doors. The other trend we have no­ticed is trail­ers are start­ing to get longer to ac­com­mo­date the long track moun­tain snow­mo­biles. SDN: What should ev­ery snow­mo­biler look for in a new trailer? SW: The ver­sa­til­ity of the trailer so it can serve more than one need. We want to pro­vide the cus­tomer with the best pos­si­ble fit. SDN: What kinds of ac­ces­sories do you of­fer for the trail­ers? SW: Fla­man of­fers a full cat­a­logue of ac­ces­sories. Cab­i­nets are the most pop­u­lar op­tion be­cause they add more stor­age space. Re­cently we started to of­fer ra­di­ant heaters for en­closed trail­ers. The heater is a great ad­di­tion when snow­mo­bil­ers are get­ting ready or if they need to warm up af­ter a day out­side. One ac­ces­sory that is start­ing to be­come more pop­u­lar is a fold down bench, which of­fers a place to sit down while get­ting ready to ride. SDN: What is the one ac­ces­sory ev­ery snow­mo­biler shouldn’t live with­out?

SW: Snow­mo­bil­ers want con­ve­nience, so on-board fuel sta­tions have be­come pop­u­lar. We of­ten hear about lack of fuel stops at rid­ing lo­ca­tions and in­con­ve­nient ar­eas to fill while on the road. By hav­ing fuel sta­tions on board, snow­mo­bil­ers are able to stay out longer and ex­pe­ri­ence more of what the trails have to of­fer. As heaters have be­come more pop­u­lar in en­closed trail­ers, Fla­man has seen a need to add a floor drain to re­move the con­den­sa­tion from the snow melt­ing off the snow­mo­biles. This helps keep the trailer dry and keeps wa­ter away from gear. SDN: Does Fla­man sell sled decks? SW: Yes, we of­fer a cou­ple dif­fer­ent op­tions. The Bull­dog decks have be­come the most pop­u­lar pro­vid­ing snow chasers with an easyto-use deck and a con­ve­nient way to get to the snow. SDN: Tell us about Sled’N Snap and why Fla­man cre­ated this ex­cel­lent con­test? SW: Frank Fla­man, the founder of Fla­man, be­lieves in cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity so the Frank Fla­man Foundation was cre­ated. The com­pany wanted to give back be­cause this is a part of pro­vid­ing cus­tomer ser­vice sup­port. Af­ter a wet and heavy farm­ing sea­son, we started to re­ceive pic­tures of stuck equip­ment and de­cided to twist this un­happy sit­u­a­tion to some­thing fun and sup­port­ive, so Fla­man cre­ated Stuck in the Muck and the pro­gram took off like wild­fire. Stuck in the Muck is an on­line photo con­test for pic­tures of stuck equip­ment and a chance for our cus­tomers to win prizes for their mis­for­tune in the muck. Chris Brewer, the CEO/Pres­i­dent of the Saskatchewan Snow­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion saw the suc­cess of Stuck in the Muck and said Fla­man needs to em­u­late the pro­gram for the snow­mo­bile industry and so be­gan Sled’N Snap. SDN: What is Sled’N Snap’s ul­ti­mate goal? SW: The ul­ti­mate goal is to cre­ate aware­ness for the snow­mo­bile as­so­ci­a­tions, snow­mo­bile trails and safety. One com­mon state­ment from the snow­mo­bile as­so­ci­a­tions is the lack of dig­i­tal pho­tos to use for pro­mot­ing snow­mo­bile safety and re­cre­ations. Sled’N Snap gives the as­so­ci­a­tions what they need and it’s grown into a very suc­cess­ful pro­gram. Fla­man re­al­izes trail sys­tems are cre­ated for en­joy­ment and safe ex­pe­ri­ences, so Sled’N Snap pro­vides resources to the as­so­ci­a­tions as­sist­ing with pro­mot­ing those ex­pe­ri­ences. SDN: ND ap­pre­ci­ates be­ing a part of this great con­test; can you ex­plain why the com­pany chose to work with Snow­mo­bile North Dakota? SW: There are no bor­ders in snow­mo­bil­ing and Fla­man sees North Dakota as part of the western Cana­dian snow­mo­bile ex­pe­ri­ence. North Dakota does a great job gen­er­at­ing ex­cite­ment for the recre­ation of snow­mo­bil­ing and it fit the Sled’N Snap pro­gram. SDN: Is there any­thing else you would like to share? SW: Fla­man be­lieves in build­ing re­la­tion­ships and show­ing sup­port. It’s the com­pany’s goal to en­sure a great cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence both on and off the show room floor. We ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port of the snow­mo­bile as­so­ci­a­tions and for this op­por­tu­nity with Snow­mo­bile North Dakota and the Sno-Dak News. Thanks for your time Steve. North Dakota greatly ap­pre­ci­ates Fla­man’s sup­port and ded­i­ca­tion to the states’ snow­mo­bile pro­gram. Cheers to an ex­cel­lent win­ter sea­son!

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