KENT, Wash. — Torklift International today launched its retail product development center (RPDC) in Kent to continue to put escalated emphasis on new product development.
“The RPDC is a separate location from our manufacturing unit,” explained Torklift President Jack Kay. “It houses our engineering, design, marketing and technician teams.
“We actually meet with retail customers in person and talk with them about their various product needs and design custom products for their vehicle or RV,” he added. “We even work with customers to develop all-new product lines that don’t exist on the market, and from there we mass produce them in our manufacturing unit.”
New Product Development Director Darrel Hagglund has been overseeing the RPDC program since last spring. He began with Torklift in 2010 and has worked in various departments including sales and customer service. He was promoted to customer service director and now serves as new product development director.
During his career, he developed the PowerArmor DH which is a locking battery box mass produced by Torklift. The DH stands for Darrel Hagglund. He has been in the RV and automotive industries for more than 30 years.
“The opportunity to imagine a concept, talk it over and ultimately see it come to life each step of the way is the most unique part of heading up new product development at the RPDC,” said Hagglund.
He seeks out solutions to problems that customers encounter with a goal of making sure all new products solve their problems and are simple to install and easy to use.
“Darrel has a unique experience with Torklift that makes him exceptional for his new role,” said Kay. “He has worked one-on-one with customers to develop products and help them solve problems they face at the campsite, and he even developed a successful product line.”
Since executing the RPDC program, several new product lines have been expedited to the market including the Cannon extension, which is a hitch extension that works with a 3-inch receiver opening that comes standard on 2017-19 Ford Super-Duty trucks. There is also a front receiver line is in the works, Kay added.
“What we are most excited about is the retail customer reaction of our RV step offering in the GlowStep Revolution line which is what is ultimately driving OEM adoption of this patented step system,” said Kay.
SOURCE: Torklift press release