Get to know Harris, features Rusty Kucher, Product Category Director at Harris. Rusty shares his approach to product development at Harris.
SHELLEY: Hello everyone, I'm Shelly from Harris and today we're talking to Rusty our Category Director. Hi Rusty nice to see you on the virtual dock.
RUSTY: Hello, how are you?
SHELLEY: Good, so Rusty big question is, I just told everyone you're our category director, But what does that mean? What do you actually do at Harris?
RUSTY: Yeah, so a category director is an interesting role. We, I essentially take together ideas and concepts and marry them with our pontoon portfolio and kind of holistically look across our portfolio of which concepts and ideas best fit with which models and which product and kind of bring that to market and then kind of the second layer to that is to overlay programs and pricing and the development and collaboration with all our teams as is kind of a day to day.
SHELLEY: So basically in layman's terms, you think about what boats do we want to make how are we going to design them? How we're gonna make sure we know we can build them and what's the right price and how do we you know get those into market, does that kinda sum it up?
RUSTY: Yes it does.
SHELLEY: Okay. So my next question, then for you is so what got you into boating? What brought you to Harris?
RUSTY: Yeah great question. So I started my career with about eight years doing nuclear engineering consulting.
SHELLEY: Oh, wow, that's that's very different.
RUSTY: Yeah. It's very different than boats and the nuclear space is highly regulated. It's pretty slow. I worked a lot of great clients, a lot of great teams and people, but I was looking for something that was a little faster and had a tangible product. It wasn't a consulting service. So I went to business school and joined Brunswick and Harris shortly afterwards and I was really excited to be able to work on a more general management more hands on product approach and product job.
SHELLEY: Okay. So what do you most like about your job and your day to day? What do you enjoy?
RUSTY: Yeah my my day-to-day is actually fairly fun. I get to be part of a team that creates ideas and concepts and think about those but then my favorite part is actually interacting with all of our engineers. Our product development team, you know our finance team and kinda bring everybody together. talking through the product. talking through our concepts and ideas and trying to see what's the best way and fastest way we can bring new products to market.
SHELLEY: For our boaters, what should they be looking out for? I mean what features should they think about when you know they're looking at boats and kind of what's the latest and greatest?
RUSTY: Yeah so boating has traditionally been lagging behind the smart home and vehicle segments, and I think some of the things we look at are some of the comforts that we see day-to-day in our homes and in our cars and and as we see consumers purchasing you know cars with large screens and the homes that have wireless chargers everywhere and kind of a digital systems and digital set ups. we look for ways to take that technology and make it in a scale where it's affordable on our boats and our models.
SHELLEY: Okay so, now, I have another question for you if one of our Harris boats matched your personality, what would that be so basically if you were Harris, which would you be and why?
RUSTY: It's really tempting to go for the Crowne because of how sleek and nice it looks, but you know if I was to truly say I personally, I'm not quite that showy. So I'd probably-
SHELLEY: Really? Rusty? Yup. Yup. Okay.
RUSTY: I'd probably go for a solstice. you know it kinda has all the comfort that I like with the seating and the helm and everything else, but it it really fits our family well. It's a fun boat to be on.
SHELLEY: Yeah, I agree. We've heard a lot about the solstice this year and I think it's a team favorite for sure. Okay so Rusty, we really appreciate you stopping by to chat to us. we're, you know talking a lot more to boaters and getting to know Harris and we hope to see you on the virtual dock soon.
RUSTY: Thank you.
SHELLEY: Thanks. Bye.