At Sterndrive Engineering (SEI), we realize that you, the customer, has a choice when it comes to buying marine parts. The marine parts business is actually a rather inefficient industry with multiple layers of distribution. Sterndrive Engineering's mission is to make owning, operating, and maintaining a stern drive more affordable. To accomplish this, the company was designed to eliminate all middlemen within the industry.
A typical marine part bought from a boat dealer or retail boating center passes through many hands before reaching you—each one adding to the cost along the way. For example, a typical aftermarket water pump impeller you buy from a boat dealer made in China or someplace else overseas by a rubber molding company, is sold to an Import/Export Trading company who sells it to a parts supplier such as Sierra or GLM, who then sells it to a regional distributor, which in turn sells it to the boat dealer. This adds up to four levels of distribution of the marine part with each step earning between as little as 10% or as much as 300% mark up. The end result is a marine part that is more expensive than it should be. In today's economy, the large successful mass merchandisers such as Walmart, Home Depot, Office Depot have eliminated such waste and it shows in their ability of offer exceptional pricing.
SEI's business model is to buy directly from the manufacturer and sell directly to the dealer or individual do-it-yourselfer much in the same way as the large retailers. Thus at least two levels of distribution or middlemen have been eliminated. Some of these middlemen can make very large profits and add very little value to the chain.
Using this model, SEI has quickly become the largest supplier of aftermarket stern drives in the world.