Exports Keep Rekluse on the Road to Success

“Demand for our products tends to be seasonal; however, since different parts of the world experience seasons at different times, exports allow us to stay busy and retain our employees year-round.”

Rekluse was founded in Boise, Idaho around 2002 when local dirt bike enthusiast, Al Youngwerth, came up with the idea for a more reliable clutch.  Today, the company builds innovative, high-performance clutches for dirt bikes, adventure bikes, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and ATVs at a state-of-the-art production facility in Boise.

Rekluse Marketing & International Sales Manager, Alison Kelsey says the company has been selling overseas since it opened in 2002, but that growth was mainly unplanned. “We sold into 34 countries but we had never had someone dedicated to building a distributor network. A lot of what I did the first two years involved laying the groundwork with distributors so we would be good partners.”

Among the first decisions she made as export manager was to enroll in a mentoring program created by the Idaho District Export Council (DEC) called Export Excellence (known nationally as ExporTech). The program matched newcomers like Kelsey with a DEC “Coach” who was a veteran exporter. Kelsey’s coach was Gerd Uitdewilligen, Director of International Sales with PakSense (now Emerson), a temperature-monitoring system used by shippers. The program also tapped the brainpower of international business school students at Kelsey’s alma mater, Boise State, who provided customized market research.

Over a three-month period, Kelsey met regularly with her coach and students and focused on writing a business plan to expand exports.

“In general, my advice to Alison was to pick one market and try to do it well; don’t try to be everything to everybody,” recalls the Dutch-born professional. “And, make sure all your agreements with distributors are written down.”

Uitdewilligen oversaw the student research efforts, which identified Germany, France, and Italy as top candidates for the investment of attention and resources, based on demographics and recreation trends.

Unlike many business plans, this one was implemented. On Uitdewilligen’s recommendations, Kelsey connected with the Idaho Department of Commerce and received $18,000 in STEP funding that helped finance a pair of overseas marketing missions. The first was to Europe, culminating in a new agreement between Rekluse and a distributor in France, and what Kelsey calls “strengthened relationships” with the company’s other European partners. Kelsey also traveled to South America to research Brazil and Chile’s market potential.

During the first year of implementing the new plan, Rekluse’s export footprint rose to 42 countries from 34, and exports increased to 27 percent of company sales. International sales rose 52 percent—a surge that helped the company earn SBA’s National Exporter of the Year designation. Rekluse received the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

DEC Chair, Alison Kelsey. left, presents a certificate of completion to ExporTech participants.

Kelsey decided to pay it forward. She joined the DEC and mentored others as an Export Excellence Coach. Over the years, Kelsey advanced professionally at Rekluse and at the DEC where she served for several years as the organization’s Chair. 

Exports Keep Rekluse on the Road to Success

Organized by The Utah Aerospace & Defense Association
Presented by Kirton/McConkie

Export Excellence - Rekluse Motor Sports

In today’s globalized world, international trade in sensitive technologies and goods is subject to strict regulations, and understanding these frameworks is crucial for businesses operating in the field of defense, aerospace, and other industries that manufacture and export controlled goods and services.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are two important U.S. export control laws that affect the manufacturing, sales, and distribution of certain technologies, technology products, software, and services.

During this engaging session, you’ll gain valuable insights into the different types of licenses and exemptions available, enabling you to navigate the maze of regulations confidently.

We’ll explore the significance of end-user certificates, their purpose, and their role in verifying the ultimate destination and use of controlled items.

Whether you are a compliance officer, export manager, or business professional involved in international trade, this webinar is a must-attend event. Expand your knowledge, enhance compliance practices, and stay ahead of the curve in today’s evolving regulatory landscape.