TEMECULA, CA (BRAIN)—Intense Cycles has hired industry veteran Chris Allen (pictured) and lean manufacturing expert Jeff Moates to prepare for the next stage of growth.
“Just in the last couple of months we’ve brought Chris Allen on board to sharpen us and get us all tight and shiny. Prior to that we hired Jeff Moates to switch us over to a lean manufacturing process that we’ve implemented throughout the whole company,” said Jeff Steber, company founder and president.
Allen joined Intense in December as its general manager. He has worked for GT and Shimano during his 35 years in the industry and most recently spent two years at Crankbrothers. He said although he absolutely adored the Crankbrothers brand, he was thrilled to return to a bike company with in-house manufacturing.
“My great lost love in life was in Santa Ana at GT. To come in every day and hear and smell the factory, that was the high point,” said Allen, speaking from his new office with the din of Intense’s in-house factory in the background.
Allen became familiar with Intense doing a final project to earn his MBA at San Diego State. “We did a workup and saw a lot of potential. These guys had this attitude that they wanted to do it themselves,” he said, referring to Steber and his business partner Marv Strand.
Steber will continue to design Intense products and Strand will remain involved in running business operations. Allen will bring his business savvy to help them further develop the business and create a long-term vision for the company.
“Now we’re bringing in the hired guns. We can’t be in denial of what we can do or where we can take the company,” said Steber.
Steber said he sees a huge opportunity for Intense to grow this year as it increases its output and efficiency, thanks to workflow improvements Moates has made. Since joining the company in July, Moates has revamped the production department and introduced lean manufacturing principles.
Moates spent two and a half years at Carlisle implementing lean manufacturing practices in its factories across North America before joining Intense as its production manager. “Before, I was more like a consultant; I wanted to be somewhere where I was influencing the process, building teams and influencing leaders within the company,” Moates said.
Although Moates admits there is work still to be done, his efforts have already helped Intense to increase output and reduce turnaround time.
For a tour of Intense’s revamped production area, Click on above link.