CBWI August 2001 Wilson Antenna, One Year After The Barjan Buyout
A year has passed since Barjan took over the reins at Wilson Antenna. Let’s see what’s happened and how they’ve done. The first thing dealers noticed was the change in salespeople. As you might expect, the sales force didn’t know the product very well. The original Wilson sales force was well trained and very knowledgeable.
This is to be expected, the original Wilson salespeople worked there for many years while the product line grew. The product line was antennas and antenna parts. It was a small company and it was important to provide dealers with personalized help. Dealers could call and ask for a part by description and the salesperson would know the part number off the top of their head. The new sales force came onto the scene with no understanding of CB antennas.
They sold parts by part number. After all, they had a vast variety of inventory at Barjan. Nobody could be expected to have thousands of part numbers on the tip of their tongue. I must say it took a little getting used to. Now the sales force seems more adept at the products and what the dealer expects. They are doing a good job. As the manufacturing was moved to East Moline, IL, there were antenna shortages. The main shortage was the Wilson 5000 baseload antennas.
There must have been a problem in manufacturing because these antennas were not available for many months;. When they wouldn’t take back-orders, I became concerned and questioned whether the antenna line was being dropped. They finally solved the problem. The 5000s have been available ever since. I was disappointed in the price increase earlier this year. The prices were raised by about 4% across the board.
This was the first price hike since the first Wilson mobile antenna was produced. I hope they keep the price down, or they will see some more competition springing up. They have improved the trucker 2000 packaging, although the SW2000 antennas do take up more display space now.
The antennas haven’t changed. They still are of high quality and performance. The technical support isn’t the same. Of course, now that the engineers aren’t on-site you really can’t expect the same level of support. Barjan has a reputation for producing low-quality CB products. Their Diesel line has some really poor quality products. One that comes to mind is the noise-canceling mic with a built-in weight to make the mike feel more substantial.
The audio quality is poor; the tone is all bass and muffled. An $8.00 stock mic has a better frequency response, and I won’t sell these cheep stock mics. Therefore, it was no surprise that all the dealers I spoke to were very skeptical about the future of Wilson Antenna. Well, to my surprise, they’ve done a good job of keeping the Wilson quality in the product line. I sincerely hope it stays that way.