Regal Boats is a privately owned boat building company started in 1969 by the Kuck family and has become one of the largest family owned and operated boat manufacturing companies in the world. Over their 43 year history, the company has weathered the downturns in the industry and achieved success through an unwavering commitment to integrity and quality.
Their success and the quality of their products has been demonstrated by winning the 1996 Industry Marine Innovation Award; and in 2008 by winning multiple Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) awards from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and from J.D. Power and Associates for boats ranked at the top of their categories. Regal has also been awarded the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001-2001 rating for their quality management and controls. Achieving this recognition did not happen by accident. The individuals at Regal have worked hard over the years to rise to the top of their industry by understanding their product’s life cycles and through the use of innovative technologies and strategies to stay ahead their competition.
In the following paragraphs we will look the concept of product life cycles in relation to Regal boats and how their product teams have used innovation to rise above the competition. Product Life Cycle There are four phases in a product’s lifecycle, introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Typically Regal boats have a three to five year life cycle before the boat is considered “out of style”. At Regal, the introductory phase occurs at their Orlando factory location where their Research and Development department spends multiple hours incorporating the ideas and concepts generated from the department and from Regal customers.Once the concept is thoroughly vetted and tested, the product will move into the growth phase. During the Growth phase, the Regal boat has moved from concept to actual manufacturing and sales.
It is during this phase where you expect your product to take hold on the market with an increase in market share. During this phase, the negative cash flow that occurs during the introduction phase should begin to turn positive. The Maturity stage is entered at the point that the initial rush to sales has stabilized and the ensuing product production and sales are predictable and managed.A product enters the Decline stage when its sales begin the drop and market share is lost.
Regal may then completely stop manufacturing the model and work with dealers to phase it out. While Regal is handling each of their model life cycles, they are constantly in the introductory phase of another, with the construction exhibiting new concepts and innovations. Innovation A quote found on the Regal Boat’s Innovations webpage sums up their product strategy well: “Innovation is the difference between setting the curve and simply being ahead of it” ("Innovations,").Regal has demonstrated their ability to “set the curve” by reacing out and incorporating the ideas gathered from their customer and dealers with their own award winning research and development staff. To Regal, it’s all about people and their ability to deliver desirable, highly engineered, and beautifully designed, hand-crafted performance boats.
Regal innovations such as LIFECore, a fiberglass layering technique; and their patented FasTrac hull design which reduces surface tension between water and boat, are just two of their innovations which have placed them at the top.Regal’s innovative ability to design quality, high performance boats is aided by the use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. CAD software can be used in the design, engineering and manufacturing process. Regal has used this tool to create the plans from which a “plug” or mold of the boat hull is crafted, while other companies use CAD files to drive computer guided equipment to manufacture the plugs to exact specifications .
Use of the software to design, generate performance and test simulations and then to facilitate the rapid manufacturing of the plugs allows Regal to move a concept boat to reality relatively quick. Use of this software technology over traditional hand drafting provides substantial savings in both drafting time and accuracy. This will in turn decrease the length of the introductory phase and associated negative cash flow as well as allowing their research and development team to engage in the next concept design. Conclusion Regal Boats continues to be one of the top boating manufacturers in the world.
A 2011 announcement of the production of a new 24’ foot Sport Utility Boat contained a quote from their President and CEO Duane Kuck; "Our Regal design team and engineers really put a great effort into making the Regal 24 FasDeck an extremely usable sport-boat for the whole family... And it isn’t just change for novelty’s sake. These are innovations that matter to how you use and enjoy your boat. " (Kellum, 2011).
Innovation, product life cycle management, and their commitment to people are all factors keeping Regal at the top.