Naperville, IL –-(Ammoland.com)- National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesaler’s InSight recently sat down with the new President and industry veteran, Mark Kresser to talk about what’s happening at his company and what’s he sees coming for the future of both the industry and his firm.
Mark Kresser, President
InSight: Tell us a little about your company.
Mark: Taurus was founded in 1939 and produced its first-ever revolver in 1941. Currently, there are approximately 4,000 employees serving the global market.
InSight: How competitive do you feel the current market is compared to 5 years ago and how has it affected your company?
Mark: Indeed the market is vastly different than 5 years ago. There has been a sharp increase in overall business and volume it has been a good recipe for growth. I feel the competitiveness going forward will be on attracting and retaining the “new” customers that have recently been introduced to the shooting sports; this is where you can add incremental growth and loyal, new customers.
InSight: With your recent appointment as President, Taurus has made some significant changes. Care to comment on any of these initiatives?
Mark: Going forward, our focus will be based on continuous improvement in the areas of quality, customer service, and new innovative products. The one constant that continually needs and deserves our immediate attention is the customer.
InSight: How does your company stay viable and thrive during this period of constant change?
Mark: Staying viable and thriving during constant change is much easier if you are flexible and don’t resist the adjustments. Embrace them and work hard to make them beneficial for your business and for your customers.
InSight: What do you believe to be the biggest challenges facing the shooting sporting goods industry?
Mark: Regulation, unknown legislation, and individual state mandates will be some of the biggest challenges we all face in the future.
InSight: Do you feel that the relationships between manufacturers and wholesalers have improved or declined in recent years. If so, how?
Mark: Personally I feel the relationship between wholesalers and manufacturers has gotten stronger. The consistency that exists in dealing with the sporting goods wholesaler today is extremely helpful in building great trusting relationships that last a lifetime. Simply put, working with today’s sporting goods wholesalers is personal.
InSight: How can we (NASGW) improve our relationship with manufacturing partners and two-step distribution?
Mark: The relationships we have with our current two-step distribution partners are fantastic.
InSight: Your company makes use of the internet and if so, how and where do you see the market for sporting goods going online?
Mark: In my opinion, it is clear that more and more customers and potential future customers are receiving their information online. That being said it will be a large focus for us here at Taurus.
InSight: How do you use the NASGW Expo as part of your business sales and marketing strategy and plans?
Mark: The annual NASGW Expo is a great opportunity for us to meet with our customers and review past and future business. If I could recommend one item to be reviewed it would be the timing of the Expo. With the addition of countless dealer shows happening at the first of the year, it has forced everyone to plan better and earlier in the year. Typically the NASGW Expo has been the forcing function for many manufacturers to formalize their programs, pricing, and even new products. Early to mid-November is simply too late. It would take one year to re-set the clock and calibrate the timing better for everyone. Much of the planning and preparation for the shows take place during the late summer with early fall visits to the manufacturers by the distributors.
InSight: Would you please complete this sentence: “If I could change just one thing (practice) about this industry it would be:
Mark: Timing, coordination, and expense of all industry shows throughout the year.
InSight: Thanks, Mark.
About National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers
The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers is a trade association representing the leading wholesale distributors in the hunting, fishing and shooting sports industry. Membership in NASGW also includes manufacturers, representatives, and media of sporting goods products and services. The Association promotes and supports the common interest of the sporting goods industry and encourages the highest standards of merchandising practices.