It’s hard to believe 2013 is nearly over — as we get older the years seem to mysteriously turn over much faster than those of our unabashed youth.  Nonetheless, it was a great one for Stuttgart Studios and hopefully for our clients as well.  We are already planning for 2014, but before we close out 2013 completely it’s the perfect time to look back on the past year and go over the details.

First and foremost, 2013 was our best sales year, with many coming from prior client referrals.  While we promote our products through the Web, at events, and advertise on sites such as Planet-9, referrals are still our most important sales tool. Why?  Because a satisfied client lends more credibility to a prospective new client than Stuttgart Studios standing on a soapbox and talking superlatives.  Every business believes their products are outstanding, service impeccable, and reputation unchallenged, but the truth is just as many businesses are getting it wrong as there are companies going out of their way to get it right.  When one of our clients tells a Porsche® buddy to check us out, that means our customers are standing behind us as well.  In a small but meaningful way, we’ve earned a roving salesperson to speak highly of the work we do — without the threat of bribes or torture.  We’re car people too.  We get it. Within the subculture word gets around on those businesses cutting the mustard and those slipping on banana peels. It is with sincerest gratitude that we thank those of you that have recommended and continue to recommend Stuttgart Studios to fellow Porsche® owners.

A lot of window stickers flew out the door in 2013. Our oldest completed vehicle was a 1972 911T while the newest was a 2014 Cayenne.  In between were several Slantnoses, GT3 RSs, a bevy of 3.2 Carreras, a 1994 Speedster, and even a Carrera GT. Late in the year we added the 2014 Porsche® model year window sticker design to our master artwork files, ushering in a new group of owners with recently-purchased vehicles but also recently-missing window stickers.

Our conversion success rate — the percentage of fulfilled orders that were created and shipped based on the overall number of requests — was 94.7%.  In other words, in less than 6% of the cases were we unable to complete a window sticker and fulfill a request.  In some cases we did not have the sticker information in our archives. In other cases the owner was unable to provide the necessary information pertinent to their vehicle.

We spent 2013 working diligently to grow our dealer/reseller network and continue to make significant strides.  There are many high-line sports- and performance-car dealers, wholesalers, and consignment agencies throughout the country that specialize in selling Porsche®, and we’ve made it a focus to provide additional options, pricing structures, and benefits for those businesses to ensure they have the tools they need to accurately display and represent their vehicles for sale.

Perhaps most important, it was a good year from a logistics standpoint, and that means we were able to become more efficient at gathering vehicle information from the client, taking payment, printing, and mailing.  Turnaround times for vehicles with readily-known information has been cut to as little as two days from payment to shipment. Some vehicles obviously take longer, but we even managed to ship a few window stickers with a one-day turnaround — especially vehicles we do on a regular basis such as 3.2 Carreras.

Last but certainly not least, I’d like to acknowledge the 2013 loss of a true juggernaut of the Porsche® community, but more importantly a good friend. John Dixon was a local Porsche® nut that spent the last 15 years amassing one of the finest private Porsche® collections in the country. Some of his cars were so rare they were lusted after by the Porsche Museum, while others were just personal favorites with a sentimental, humorous twist. John housed his collection in downtown Dayton at a place he called the Taj Ma Garaj, and used the facility to raise money and awareness for many worthwhile charities. “JD” lost his battle with cancer this fall but even in his last days was still the kind, unpretentious, outgoing, just-one-of-the-guys type of guys every car nut wanted to befriend. The photo in this blog was John’s way of making fun of himself on one of his museum’s garage doors.

Looking ahead to 2014, some additional Web site enhancements are planned, perhaps a monthly newsletter, and an increased focus on tethering our social media channels to gain additional throughput to prospective clients.

One thing will remain the same however: our uncompromising commitment to customer service.  Every Stuttgart Studios client deserves to be treated in a first-class manner. Your time is no less valuable than our time.  We aim to exceed your expectations and perform our duties in a manner we’d wish ourselves to be treated.

Happy New Year.