Dealers have given Briggs & Stratton plenty to appreciate as well. “I’m very enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the dealer network,” Teske says. “There are some really, really good dealers out there. We have a responsibility as a manufacturer to uphold our end of the bargain as well. That means providing innovative products that dealers can sell to their customers, and also helping dealers with their businesses.”
Teske sees huge potential in the Internet. Manufacturers need to do a good job of providing thorough information to consumers so they are better educated. Better-educated consumers are more likely to see the value in buying from a local dealer. That is critical because the industry, Teske reminds, desperately needs an adequate supply of servicing dealers.
“The last thing we want to see happen is a shift toward throw-away product in this industry,” Teske says. “That might work when it comes to things like toasters. But there is something fulfilling about having a quality piece of machinery. We need to continue giving that to the dealer channel.”