Originally Posted by Canadian_JOY
Thank you for sharing this information, Andrew.
One last question, if I may... In speaking with several avionics shop owners it has become painfully clear that BK is going through a major overhaul of their dealer network, and is essentially driving many of their long-standing dealers to give up the BK dealership.
This information is also confirmed on several other aviation discussion forums where dealers indicate BK sets sales thresholds at impossibly-high levels, thus dealers can't meet minimum sales requirements (especially given the paucity of viable BK products and their "come from behind" market position after having abandoned their loyal customer base many years ago).
Your note makes mention of getting support through the BK dealer network. What's the plan to expand rather than contract that network?
Will amateur-built aircraft owners be able to buy direct rather than through a BK dealer?
Will amateur-built aircraft owners be able to obtain service directly from BK R&O centers rather than having to go through a local dealer? The steadfast insistence by BK that builders go through a dealer effectively made BK's KSN770 GPS navigator a stillborn product in the experimental market. I've spoken to BK reps at length about this disincentive at Oshkosh - I'm wondering if anything I said actually sunk in?
As you can tell, I'm far less than luke-warm about BK, having formerly been a BK dealer and service centre. I'm really, really hoping there's a change for the better coming our way, otherwise BK will continue to be shunned by the market. Unfortunately that now means TruTrak products could likewise be shunned - that would be a tragedy.
Yes, there are LOTS of changes going on with the BK network. I am personally very involved in a lot of these changes (beginning a couple of months ago, of course). There were some missteps in the past, but we are working really hard to correct those.
The purchasing requirements have been adjusted to reflect the products and prices available today. As an example, all of the TT dealers that came over were grandfathered in for the remainder of the year and if they happen to be both TT and BK dealers (many were) their sales numbers for the entire year were combined. The BK network was made much larger when all of the TT dealers were added into the fold, and we are looking forward to getting all of the new dealers up to speed on the new product offerings.
I am not claiming that we have corrected all of the errors made, but we are working hard to do so. There are new sales bulletins coming soon regarding over the counter sales, as well as we are working to ensure that all experimental folks have affordable access to TT / BK products. Yes, we are working to transition the direct sales model that TT had as well. Yes, experimental folks can go directly to the R&O network...in fact that transition has already begun.
There are a lot of great people working on our team that are VERY interested in helping to grow BK and offer our customers / future customers great products at great value. This includes service and support after the sale.
I am very confident in our direction and the changes we are trying to implement that will help customers and dealers have confidence in us going forward. I will personally be fighting for that every day. It is why I am here.
Thanks for your great questions!