This story starts in a motorcycle shop in St Paul MN. Where Fred Snyder was operating as Silverback Performance Motorcycles. Fred was known in the motorcycle world as the go to guy for fine tuning motorcycles and particularly Ducati Motorcycles. Bike enthusiasts would bring their bikes to the shop to be tuned and supped up. His work simply elevates the Motorcycle Ownership Experience.
Tim Parker a writer and lifelong bike enthusiast was a client of Fred’s for some 10 years. After getting his bike worked on he offered to help Fred, sweep the floor clean up whatever Fred needed. Tim recognized Fred had a magical touch for his craft.
Merril Ferguson became a client of Fred’s shop in 2004 and in the process of getting his motorcycle worked on became friends with Fred.
For some time Ducati had struggled with developing a MPLS dealer. They wanted someone who understood their products, had a track record of success, and was a reliable, and honest businessman.
Silverback Racing came up many times in their search. Upon contacting Fred with an interest in partnering to create a new Ducati dealership, Tim and Merrill immediately wanted to help Fred. They recognized that continuing the business model Fred had created was paramount in the formation of the new business. Weaving this customer centric model into the new dealership was the only way they could operate.
During this time I was introduced to the group as a potential construction partner. My companies experience with Startup companies was a natural fit. Over several months a location was chosen, lease negotiated, and construction plans initiated. Meritus recruited architect Dan O’brien of www.komainc.com onto the design team to help form the basic outline of the new Ducati Dealership. We had many meetings with Fred’s team to discern the needs of the repair shop, retail space, and functional aspects of the new center. After testing a few different floor plans the Team agreed on one which met their needs and Construction Started.
In the new Space there is a retail showroom, a 4 stall bike repair shop and most interestingly a Dyno which allows the tuning of motorcycle engines at running RPM’s. This was a most exciting transformation and as the new bikes arrived the show room came to life with the amazing and artful form of Ducati Motorcycles.
A observational note:
During every construction project an IS MAP and SHOULD MAP are created. The short list of best practices and things which make a business successful are moved forward into the new location, with design enhancing the attributes. We noticed how intently each mechanic worked on each customer’s bike. How every client was invited to be part of the process of their bike. How the dealer experience was deliberately holistic in nature. Client Centric and aimed toward total satisfaction achieved by Value, Quality, Expertise. This shop elevates the biking experience by how they work on their customers bikes. As Fred Snyder said “ Each bike and each customer has a distinct personality, we look toward understanding this and improving the whole riding experience to the highest level”