Market Challenges Require Creative Hunting, Fishing & Archery Supply Chain Solutions
Archery, Hunting and Fishing have been three sports that have always cut across generational, economic and geographic lines. Whether it has captured the passion of people for reasons of sustenance or simply for sport, archery, hunting and fishing bring immense enjoyment to millions of people today. Many of us can remember catching our first fish or bagging our first buck. Most importantly, these sports and hobbies help us connect with nature in a way that is in stark contrast to the fast paced urban world in which most of us live. It is this contrast that is the appeal for so many of those who embrace these sports but it is also the conflict that has been dragging down the industry in the last couple of years and requiring that more creative hunting, fishing & archery supply chain solutions be employed.
The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation indicates that hunters spend close to $40 billion on hunting each year. However, since the mid-1990s, participation in hunting, fishing and archery has been trending downward due in large part to the urbanization of America, the aging of the American population, and the declining proportion of the U.S. population that is white/Caucasian.
Pergams and Zaradic (2008) analyzed data on visits to national parks, state parks, and national forests, as well as fishing license data and surveys on camping, hiking, and backpacking, with their conclusion being that the number of participants have declined in most of these activities (the exceptions being a slight rise in backpacking and hiking).
In response to a shrinking market, companies that offer equipment and accessories to these enthusiasts have had to consistently refresh their product offer with new and unique selections. Competition has placed significant pressure on innovation and on cost. Consequently, many companies have had to up the ante in R&D and to compensate for this increased investment, have had to look for creative ways of reducing costs on the high turnover items across their brands. In some instances, companies have had to move production to lower cost alternatives and China has been the beneficiary of much of this transition as brands implement creative and cost effective supply chain solutions.
We can see across the supply chain in China the number of factories that are growing their capabilities in these three sports. New factories are opening and capital investment is on the rise at manufacturers that service archery, fishing and hunting. Yet the decision to shift production from a reliable, long time US supplier to an overseas China factory is not one without its challenges.
Creative Archery Supply Chain Solutions that Make a Difference
At Sertus, we have made a commitment to working with manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers in the outdoor life categories of archery, hunting and fishing. Our team in the United States and China devotes significant resources to researching the latest trends so that we can develop the highest quality products at the best price points and as such offer optimal supply chain solutions for archery, huting and fishing customers. Our clients have access to our extended enterprise and the economies of experience that we have developed over years of dedication to these industries among others. Managing the challenges of dealing with China is our business and we offer our clients a full suite of supply chain solutions that can generally be grouped into three broad categories:
1) Supply Chain Management
As the China Sourcing Experts, Sertus has helped retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers find new manufacturing solutions, improve quality for existing products while at the same time stream lining supply chains through consolidation. The client is able to draw from any or all of our services along the supply chain that can begin with a sourcing alternatives analysis, supplier audits and selections, and run through production management, quality control and delivery. We have broad product experience including soft goods such as bags, slings, and cases to accessories such as knocks, sights, vanes, stabilizers, tackle, and high-end items such as rods, reels, bows, lights, lasers etc.
2) Private Label
Sertus has extensive experience in managing private label programs. We have helped our clients in the Outdoor Life category by taking multiple disparate SKUs and creating uniform designs, packaging and logos while at the same time advising on how best to increase sales through thoughtful development of planograms. This includes taking into account shelf space footprints, licensing, trademark protection and rigorous QA and QC protocols.
3) Contract Manufacturing
Innovation and technological development is very important for wholesalers of archery, fishing and hunting equipment. Being first to market with a new innovation can have a meaningful impact on a Company’s success. Sertus has worked closely with a number of wholesalers, manufacturers and inventors to provide soup-to-nuts service in developing new products. This has included assistance with development of CAD and 3-D drawings, bill of materials, mold manufacturing, contracts, IP, trademark protection, golden samples, manufacturing, QA standards, QC protocols, artwork, packaging, manufacturing and delivery. In the past four years we have helped our clients successfully launch a number of high end products from hunting lights, arrow rests, quivers and innovative, patented fishing equipment.
At Sertus we are not just the China Sourcing Experts but also a Company that is deeply passionate about outdoor sports and has a similar commitment to building lasting hunting, fishing and archery supply chain solutions for our clients. We have brought that passion to help a number of retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers reduce costs, improve innovation, upgrade quality, and from concept to shelf, bring new products to market on time and without exceptions. For a better understanding of the trends in these industries and how to best position yourself for growth, we would refer you to our recent blog Archery & Hunting: Important Trends and How to Stay Ahead of the Competition.