FLKI has long been an industry leader in the concept and development of product conceptions that today fill the shelves of countless stores globally – and the cycle doesn’t seem to end with FLKI product conceptions winning the European Innovation Award and its highly successful recent introduction of the “Brilliance” line of paint reflectors. Much of this has been covered by the press and releases – Google FLKI.
Growing sales at the rate of 28% + each quarter is a feat to accomplish at the best of times, launching a series of 5 products with industry projections of $ 12 million in sales ($4 million in operating revenues) in this climate is an amazement. Yet both are those of FLKI in a market which is worthy of analysis if only to underline the dramatic difference in management and performance of this small innovative company swimming about in an ocean of competition owned by huge international conglomerates who seemingly have lost touch with their frail and at times failing albeit very small (proportionately) affiliates. What resource and time indeed could a Clorox, 3M, Honeywell and such giants have for these ailing subsidiaries ?
Hence the persistent rumors that FLKI and the Clean Plus® Product Group the best known perveyor of its product conceptions will prove the target of an acqisition.
The sudden success took better than ten years to develop. Management persisted in its belief that it would not emphasize or promote sales until it had its house in order ie conceptions, development, production, logistics, procurement, price stability… Ah boring stuff. However today that emphasis which has kept the company in the back end unnoticed for years suddenly has come to project its leadership position to the forefront. Conception – time and again FLKI conceptions are award winning. Production – it is currently in position to deliver from one to three hundred pallets of any product reference within a day. Logistics – at 96.7% perfect fill and time it is the industry leader. Procurement, its World Trading affiliate hedged up to three years ahead, delivers raw materials at 30% below the cost incurred by the competitors of its production partners leading to retail price differences on average of 25 to 40% and up to 150%. Price stability – its distribution network has experienced unprecedented price stability with the last increase in 2001 !
And this in a period where the industry has been challenged by an unprecedented crisis. Take just one of the markets where FLKI product conception Clean Plus® has an unambiguous leadership position : France.
Through September 30, 2009 the automobile accessory business at 7.6 billion euros (nearly 12 billion dollars) is down 38.1% in comparison to 2008. The industry had already registered poor results for 2008 with an 11.7% drop in sales.
In the first quarter alone, sales dropped 42.6% in comparison to 2008. Exports were down 38% even sales of used parts and vehicles were down 1.39 billion euro or 30.6%.
Compare FLKI product conception – up on sales to that industry alone 21.3% !
“We believe that signs of a French come-back are clearly outlined in the performance of distributors of our product concepts” says Manuel Garcia, communications officer. While slow and guarded we expect distributors to close the year in that market with an increase of 25%, 20% at the worse.
The industry in France – is clearly in overcapacity and burdenned with an excess of personnel. “To our regret a significant portion of our increase in results in France and elsewhere flows from encroachments on our competitors market shares. We would prefer to grow the market, but stand apparently unique and alone with our lean management practices” added Garcia. ” We would prefer to grow the market as a whole” concluded Garcia.
Contrary to forecast established by FLKI, the industry believes the future uncertain. The prevailing aids established for the industry in most European nations fail to favor new car development but to FLKI’s advantage will enhance the pool of used vehicles – consumers of its product concepts. French industry analyst are guarded in their optimism and more than careful in any opinion relating to the French industrial base.
Contrarian and true to its historical base, FLKI believes and projects substantial increases for the distribution of its product concepts.
Reviewing performance in its activity sector FLKI seems justified in its optimism.