Behind the Scenes: The Dallas Manufacturing Company
Expanded offerings, new products, a new name and a dedicated website are part of the Texas-based company’s extensive foray into the pet industry.
By Michael Ventre
Typically in life, there is little connection between outdoor gas grills and pet beds, unless your customers expand their frame of reference to include dogs who leap off their resting places to beg for a piece of freshly cooked steak.
|Among the myriad new products available under the Brinkmann Pet name are the soft-sided pet carriers with "Flex Room”; chew resistant Wag bag beds and bedding; and Comfort Walk leashes.|
Nevertheless, the Dallas Manufacturing Company is widening the relationship between those disparate parties. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brinkmann, a manufacturer of outdoor cooking products, flashlights and spotlights, landscape lighting, and other aspects of outdoor living. In addition, the Dallas Manufacturing Company has serious designs on taking the relationship deeper into the pet realm for the long-range benefit of both companies.
"The pet business helps the company diversify its overall business model,” noted Rob Morgan, executive vice president of the Dallas Manufacturing Company. "It is a critically important business segment.
"The company sees the pet business as a terrific growth engine as we embark upon an all new branding strategy under Brinkmann Pet and launch the company into a wide variety of new pet supply categories and products,” he added.
Under the broader Brinkmann Pet banner, the Dallas Manufacturing Company had offered only pet beds, pet apparel and a few miscellaneous pet grooming products with odor-neutralizing pet scents. Under the pet bedding category, it had some comfy and out-of-the-box offerings, such as weather-resistant Camo Wag Bag beds and high-end home décor pet bedding, among others. Under grooming it had its Perfect Scents Deodorizing Pet Brush and Herbal Fresh Spray, for those special moments when a dog’s olfactory assaults are especially acute.
However, the Dallas Manufacturing Company expects 2010 to be a year of expansion in the pet products realm. Some of the ideas planned for the coming months include new frontiers in dog waste management, including a line of Stay Put Puppy Pads with non-skid technology. There will also be lines of waste bags, sprays and backyard pooper-scoopers.
AT A GLANCE
The Dallas Manufacturing Company
Location: Dallas and Athens, Texas
Owner: Baxter Brinkmann (100 percent)
Years in Business: 20
Areas of Distribution/Business: Primarily North America, expanding worldwide
Annual Revenues: Confidential
Company Mission: To design, manufacture and market products that take into consideration three key elements: Our Pets, The Pet Parent and Preserving the Environment.
Sales Growth (Year to Year): Double digit CAGR (compound annual growth rate)
Product/Business Categories: Pet supplies
Product/Business Lines: Pet bedding, pet apparel, grooming accessories, dog waste management, cat litter management, soft sided pet carriers, soft sided pet homes, pet ramps, pet steps
The Dallas Manufacturing Company also has a new Comfort Walker leash coming out, complete with waste bag dispenser, available in three sizes and three accent colors; a collection of cat litter management products that includes the Litter Butler and Litter Caddy systems for more convenience when cleaning up the litterbox; soft-sided pet carriers for travel; Smart Space soft-sided pet homes that offer "Flex Room,” which provides 74-percent more space for a pet when needed; pet steps with removable and washable cover; pet ramps; and a new line of pet bedding designs and styles, according to the company.
With this new blizzard of pet items on the way, Morgan said Dallas is primed for a prosperous future.
"With [the company’s] expansion into new bedding products and a wide variety of [other] new products in 2010, the company expects strong growth,” he said. "The pet industry continues to be strong, and Dallas Manufacturing Company expects to exceed the industry growth rates.”
Even with the recent economic downturn, Morgan said, the pet bedding segment of Brinkmann’s business has performed well.
"While the growth trajectories were not as steep as they had been in previous years, the overall strength of the category was good,” he noted.
"We did see a trend to lower-priced bedding, but have recently seen sales pick up as ‘point of sale’ activity improved in general, in late 2009 into 2010. Mid- to higher-priced beds are once again moving off the shelves,” Morgan added.
Brinkmann, which has been churning out products related to outdoor living for more than 30 years, bought Dallas about 20 years ago. Dallas Manufacturing Company is, not surprisingly, based in Dallas, as is the parent company, but it boasts a one million-square-foot facility in Athens, Texas, for manufacturing, fiber filling, shipping, packing and distribution.
The company has the physical capability to produce new lines of pet goods to go along with camping, lighting, cooking and other outdoor essentials. Now, however, comes the task of getting the word out that Dallas Manufacturing Company is now marketing its products under the Brinkmann Pet brand. It wants to make sure the family dog or cat is being attended to with the utmost care and efficiency while the family is indulging in the recreational activities made possible in part by Brinkmann products.
To that end, Morgan said Dallas Manufacturing is gearing up for an eventful 2010 in terms of making a sales and marketing push.
|The Dallas Manufacturing Company launched its rebranding and pet product expansion at the 2010 Global Pet Expo, held this past March in Orlando, Fla.|
"The company will launch all new sales tools in early 2010, as the company is launching an all-new brand—Brinkmann Pet—to anchor its new product offers,” he said. "The new brand has an all new ‘style guide’ to consistently present the Brinkmann Pet products across different categories.”
Some of that effort is already underway, as many in the pet industry may already be aware.
"The new logo and style guide was launched and on display at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando in late March,” Morgan said. "At the same time, the company introduced an all-new, full-color catalog for its expanding product line and an all-new website.”
So when Rover reclines on his new decorative pet bed, he now conceivably could get up, go for a walk with his new leash, have his deposit taken care of, reside in a new abode, traipse up new steps or a ramp onto mom and dad’s bed, and have his scent neutralized—all under the same burgeoning brand: Brinkmann Pet. <HOME>
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