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Bryan at Pelican Parts's Avatar
 
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Pelican Parts and ECS Tuning- here's what you should know

Hi all,

Some of you may know me already from e-mails, Coffee & Cars or just when you visited Pelican Parts. I thought this would be good time to introduce myself to the entire community. I have been with Pelican for almost 5 years where Wayne and I put together a team to carry on Pelican with the same spirit and enthusiasm Wayne and Tom brought to the business when they founded it over 20 years ago. That same team is here today, along with all the employees of Pelican Parts that have made us who we are over the past 20 years. We have been and continue to be a passionate group of automotive enthusiasts. We are committed to providing content, community and parts for the do-it-yourselfer.

Some years ago, Wayne decided he wanted to spend more time with his family and side projects (books, cars, doing what he loves...) and started working towards a day when Pelican could manage without him. That day came in September, 2017 when Pelican Parts was added to Bertramís portfolio alongside ECS Tuning and Turner Motorsports. Shortly after the sale I think Wayne said it well, ďThe reality is that after 20+ years of sweat, writing five books, and numerous skinned knuckles, I have been transitioning my roles in order to spend more time with my family. This is a process that has been going on over the past five years, and I don't expect any significant changes to Pelican or the great community that we have all built here.Ē

Since the purchase of the company we have maintained who we are and have always been at Pelican Parts with support from ECSís new CEO Imran Jooma who joined them late last year. Pelican has an excellent group of employees who care deeply about the company and our customer. The sale of the company has not created any change of employment for any of the Pelican employees. Wayne continues to support the business with his attendance at Coffee and Cars events and most recently represented Pelican in an episode of Wheeler Dealers on the Velocity channel. All of the team members at Pelican are dedicated to serving our customers and continue to strive to meet the needs of the auto enthusiast and that will never change. We appreciate your ongoing support of our community.


Bryan Handlen
CEO of Pelican Parts
Old 07-02-2018, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan at Pelican Parts View Post
Hi all,



Some of you may know me already from e-mails, Coffee & Cars or just when you visited Pelican Parts. I thought this would be good time to introduce myself to the entire community. I have been with Pelican for almost 5 years where Wayne and I put together a team to carry on Pelican with the same spirit and enthusiasm Wayne and Tom brought to the business when they founded it over 20 years ago. That same team is here today, along with all the employees of Pelican Parts that have made us who we are over the past 20 years. We have been and continue to be a passionate group of automotive enthusiasts. We are committed to providing content, community and parts for the do-it-yourselfer.



Some years ago, Wayne decided he wanted to spend more time with his family and side projects (books, cars, doing what he loves...) and started working towards a day when Pelican could manage without him. That day came in September, 2017 when Pelican Parts was added to Bertramís portfolio alongside ECS Tuning and Turner Motorsports. Shortly after the sale I think Wayne said it well, ďThe reality is that after 20+ years of sweat, writing five books, and numerous skinned knuckles, I have been transitioning my roles in order to spend more time with my family. This is a process that has been going on over the past five years, and I don't expect any significant changes to Pelican or the great community that we have all built here.Ē



Since the purchase of the company we have maintained who we are and have always been at Pelican Parts with support from ECSís new CEO Imran Jooma who joined them late last year. Pelican has an excellent group of employees who care deeply about the company and our customer. The sale of the company has not created any change of employment for any of the Pelican employees. Wayne continues to support the business with his attendance at Coffee and Cars events and most recently represented Pelican in an episode of Wheeler Dealers on the Velocity channel. All of the team members at Pelican are dedicated to serving our customers and continue to strive to meet the needs of the auto enthusiast and that will never change. We appreciate your ongoing support of our community.





Bryan Handlen

CEO of Pelican Parts


It is hard to reconcile these two views, can you clarify what will prevent what happened at Turner from happening at Pelican.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/turner-motorsports-and-pelican-parts-bought-out-by/141044/page1/


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Old 07-02-2018, 03:19 PM
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Horrido - it has been almost a year since the purchase and Pelican has been left to operate independently. Having not been around for what happened with Turner I can only speak for the experience of Pelican and its team. We have a great group of employees who I am proud to work with every day and we have had great support from Bertram and the ECS team.
Old 07-02-2018, 03:40 PM
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I think change is a good thing.I hope they don't change to the point where everyone is turned off.I enjoy the forums and visit them almost on a daily basis.I hope whatever change you guys are thinking will not effect us little guys.Haha

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Old 07-02-2018, 04:48 PM
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Btw,i am not sire i believe you with only 4 posts.Hahaha

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Old 07-02-2018, 04:51 PM
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In all fairness, I have not noticed any change in the way Pelican Parts has handled my orders in the last year. Keep it up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan at Pelican Parts View Post
Horrido - it has been almost a year since the purchase and Pelican has been left to operate independently. Having not been around for what happened with Turner I can only speak for the experience of Pelican and its team. We have a great group of employees who I am proud to work with every day and we have had great support from Bertram and the ECS team.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:11 AM
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With all due respect Bryan, why did it take the recent negative content regarding ECS on a couple different social media platforms before this was shared here? I mean I know, but it would have been nice to hear from you on this before ECS was painted in such a bad light. this seems like strictly damage control now.

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Old 07-03-2018, 07:38 AM
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juanbenae - fair question and comment. I think that this transaction was completely different and enough time has gone by that it is easy to now say that nothing has changed with Pelican. Not sure there would have been the same reaction had we announced this almost a year ago. When Pelican was purchased or when any company is purchased you have the anxiety of all the employees as well. We were being told nothing would change and we would be allowed to operate independently. This has proven out over the past year and we have had great support from Bertram and ECS to do what we do well. Obviously the longer between the purchase of the company and us saying anything the easier it is to show we are still the same. I hope this helps.

kevinbodman930 - with this post I just increased my total post by 25% -- thanks for the support
Old 07-03-2018, 08:20 AM
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From a customer standpoint I have always had good experiences shopping and buying from ECS in the last nine years and am curious to see these two worlds merge over time (again from a customer perspective). ECS has always had a user-friendly website layout with ACTUAL clear photos of oem parts from many angles and is the benchmark for online parts stores in that regard.

Maybe over time, some corporate transparency will help people put a "face" on the ECS entity?!
Old 07-03-2018, 09:14 PM
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ECS tuning has been known to be a pretty horrible company for many years especially in the vw and audi world.

I was pretty surprised that they bought pelican and there was no news about that until recently.

I will continue on the fourm but will now be looking elsewhere for purchases.
Old 07-03-2018, 09:39 PM
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I didn't know this at the time, but I recently had issues with PP orders that have already caused me to start looking elsewhere for my porsche parts. Now that I read this, it makes more sense. I don't agree nothing has changed, the shipping policy was modified with no outward notice, resulting in very poor customer experience due to ridiculously slow delivery even though I'm only one state away.

Funny this thread came up here after the sale was publicly outed in other locations. I hope things turn out differently at PP, but the lack of transparency is not a great start.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:38 AM
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I did notice a change in customer support. One of my orders clearly stated the things that were supposed to be in the box was not. I contacted CS and even gave the link to the product and wrote what was missing. Basically I was told what you get is what you get. Needless to say that was my LAST order from Pelican. Will I spend money here again, maybe.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:25 AM
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First post - longtime lurker - just the way it is!

Funny topic and CEO letter, he takes solace in the fact it's been 10 months (not 1 year) since ECS acquired PP and no changes have been made. Wow...Turner changes made after six months - will there really be a material difference once Pelican house is cleaned in the coming months? Add-on acquisitions to a PE deal aren't made to leave running on their own. The shift can take different forms, but the end result is the same.

The only thing PE guys like to talk about more than their deals is themselves - always in a very humble manner of course. While piloting their private aircraft to visit their next "partner". Or while sipping some vino on their estate that cost you an extra $5-6 million after they attempted to screw their contractor. Life's little speed bumps.
Old 07-05-2018, 05:50 AM
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Hi everyone, Wayne here. I read Danís posts regarding Turner, and although I donít have first-hand knowledge of Turnerís situation, from what Iíve heard from other people involved, his summary is probably a fair assessment of what happened with Turner. I was aware of this during negotiations and it was a very large concern of mine at the time. The last time I spoke with Dan, he mentioned he was working for an unnamed competitor, so Iím not sure of the exact motivations for his recent postings.

Having said that, it does appear as if the parent company (Bertram Capital) has made some good moves to reverse some past mistakes. They made some major management changes, hired a new CEO, ripped out all the cameras, and have been working hard to undo a lot of the company culture issues that seemed to exist at ECS. I really respect people and organizations that self-correct - itís the only way to implement constant process improvement. I ran Pelican this way for twenty years, and trust me, I made lots of mistakes that I learned from.

Indeed - I believe that none of these culture issues exist at Pelican - as Bryan has said, nothing at Pelican really has changed. Proof positive of this is the fact that only two people have left Pelican since the sale of the company - and both left to pursue their dream jobs in other fields.

What has changed at Pelican has been operational and behind the scenes. As an independent, small company, we looked to the future and realized that we were too small to negotiate well with our suppliers and shipping companies. Since the combination, weíve been able to negotiate better terms, which translates into the long-term survival of the company and the continuation of our legendary customer support. Unfortunately, the realities of actually running a real business is often completely hidden from customers, and they are often shocked or surprised to learn if the challenges we face. Indeed, Turner was much smaller than Pelican and I suspect they may have suffered from Ďsmall company headwindsí if they had gone it alone.

So there you have it. As I said months ago, I donít see much changing at Pelican, and that has proven itself to be an accurate statement based upon the past nine months.

Thanks for everyoneís continued support!

Wayne
Old 07-05-2018, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne 962 View Post
Hi everyone, Wayne here. I read Danís posts regarding Turner, and although I donít have first-hand knowledge of Turnerís situation, from what Iíve heard from other people involved, his summary is probably a fair assessment of what happened with Turner. I was aware of this during negotiations and it was a very large concern of mine at the time. The last time I spoke with Dan, he mentioned he was working for an unnamed competitor, so Iím not sure of the exact motivations for his recent postings.

Having said that, it does appear as if the parent company (Bertram Capital) has made some good moves to reverse some past mistakes. They made some major management changes, hired a new CEO, ripped out all the cameras, and have been working hard to undo a lot of the company culture issues that seemed to exist at ECS. I really respect people and organizations that self-correct - itís the only way to implement constant process improvement. I ran Pelican this way for twenty years, and trust me, I made lots of mistakes that I learned from.

Indeed - I believe that none of these culture issues exist at Pelican - as Bryan has said, nothing at Pelican really has changed. Proof positive of this is the fact that only two people have left Pelican since the sale of the company - and both left to pursue their dream jobs in other fields.

What has changed at Pelican has been operational and behind the scenes. As an independent, small company, we looked to the future and realized that we were too small to negotiate well with our suppliers and shipping companies. Since the combination, weíve been able to negotiate better terms, which translates into the long-term survival of the company and the continuation of our legendary customer support. Unfortunately, the realities of actually running a real business is often completely hidden from customers, and they are often shocked or surprised to learn if the challenges we face. Indeed, Turner was much smaller than Pelican and I suspect they may have suffered from Ďsmall company headwindsí if they had gone it alone.

So there you have it. As I said months ago, I donít see much changing at Pelican, and that has proven itself to be an accurate statement based upon the past nine months.

Thanks for everyoneís continued support!

Wayne
Thanks for chiming in Wayne. And thanks for this forum. It has helped me tremendously over the years. Enjoy your new found freedom .
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:29 AM
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Thanks for finally addressing this Bryan and Wayne.

Couple follow up questions and suggestions though....

-Why did it take this long for this announcement to be made? You say it was better you guys waited to make this announcement but this is hurting open transparency which ECS has been notorious about for years.

-Why is this "official" announcement ONLY posted to the forum and in a very bizarre sub group (not sure what this topic has to do with 911 technical discussions aside from more viewers than some other sub groups). This would have been better served being posted on your actual page if you wanted it to sound more genuine. Imran made a fake facebook profile to make his announcement to the facebook group that went viral and the backlash over how insincere that also "official" open letter was backfired. That fake profile was then deleted due to obvious violation of FB TOS and the ECS Media Rep blamed FB users for reporting it instead of them taking responsibility for purposely violating TOS so that they didn't have to make a post from an account that had "weight" behind it. Honestly to me and others making the announcement hidden here also seems insincere and frankly...... unprofessional but at least better than Imran's attempt.

-If there wasn't a social media page/post going viral, would you have continued to hide this acquisition by Bertram Capital and just continue to keep it under the radar and silence any small chatter and "rumors" that may pop up about the deal as has been done up to this point?

-Bertram Capital makes no official mention of this acquisition aside from a single LinkedIn profile so it's no wonder why the "rumors" were spreading but no one knew what was actually happening. Will there be some sort of actual announcement of this deal like there was with Turner (which was plastered all over Bertram's site, many business news outlets, and appears in their public portfolio while Pelican is not shown at all)?

As I've said on the page we run, our goal is not to see any company fail, any employees lose their jobs, or some mob of angry customers go after employees or their upper management. Our goal is to see you (less extend you more so ECS) address LEGITIMATE concerns people have had for years from order fulfillment which already seems to be an issue for your customers now too after the acquisition, data protection and subsequent hiding of breaches, and the ever important area of customer service because we all understand that no company is perfect. It's how you handle the issues when they arise that make or break a company. If you don't treat them with respect or ignore their legitimate grievances (when they do happen), they will take their money to someone who does care.

My main point with these questions however is please try to be more transparent with what is going on. Hiding something that ECS employees claim was "public information" and thus no reason to even hide it and only coming out AFTER a social media uproar and then doing so in a very bizarre and unprofessional looking manner, does not help with the transparency. Please do not continue to be like ECS in that regard. You even claim to be "very proud" to be working with the ECS/Bertram team so why not share this excitement? "Pelican Parts!!! Now a part of the ECS Team!!" Could have even made that the title of this thread. Seems odd if you're so proud of it but you hide it despite it not being a "secret". If you guys are indeed allowed to operate as a separate entity, which many people are hoping for, please do not fall into the habits that ECS has been doing because so far it seems like you're already picking up on some of those habits and losing trust makes it very difficult to get even long time customers to return.

Thanks for your time and best wishes with future operations. Many customers have relied on you guys, hopefully they will still be able to.

-Matt
Old 07-05-2018, 01:12 PM
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It never ceases to amaze me that the owners/buyers decide to keep things hush/hush when fact the information is out for public consumption. Then, after the word reaches the street the pedaling begins. The race to justify keeping, what is public information quiet, is simply delusional. Like it or not, we your customer base, get pissed when you treat us as children, to be seen and not heard!

Please act accordingly because very few small companies survive a major upset from poor business decisions.
Old 07-05-2018, 04:28 PM
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My concerns are two-fold:

1. This forum and its future. There is simply no better car forum out there. The wealth of information here is staggering, and losing it would damage the 911 community beyond words.

2. The cottage industry of at home part/solution makers that this forum has created and fostered over the years. You can find everything from new engine wiring harnesses to valve adjustment tools to O2 sensor plugs made by members here. Losing them would also be a huge blow to vintage 911 owners.


If these two things stay around unchanged and unhindered, I will remain a customer.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:23 AM
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I used to use ECS to balance out some of my Porsche parts spending, and also since I live in Ohio, the stock items would reach my house MUCH faster than things from Pelican in CA. Recently EVERY SINGLE 80s PORSCHE PART that I've looked for at ECS has been out of stock, and I have been able to get them faster from Pelican. Maybe they're just planning on shuttering the Porsche arm of their business in Ohio? It was honestly never very good, and the Pelican website blows ECS out of the water. I just read the grassroots link above, and it is eye opening. Best of luck to the current Pelican employees!
Old 07-09-2018, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for giving us the best Porsche forum, hell...car forum in the world Wayne. I don't fault you for moving on after all these years.

That Grassroots link is pretty scary if even if only part of it is true. I guess time will tell what happens around here.
Old 07-09-2018, 08:25 PM
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