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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do the Research and Buy a Crossbow

If only it was that easy. Two years ago, we were attending various trade events and were amazed at the performance of a unique crossbow manufactured by a leading crossbow brand name at the time.
That's Chuck Matasic at the NRA Show with a Kodabow in Desert Digital. 
We weren’t so impressed with the bow’s shooting performance as much as how the sales guy would periodically excuse himself and trot out to his truck and get a new bow when the one he was shooting came apart. That company is no longer in business. Today, you can’t obtain parts should you own one of these crossbows.  The product comparison charts showing feet per second (fps) and Kinetic Energy (KE) are still around but a lot of those bows ended up shooting ZERO fps.  The comparison chart didn’t disclose that ---- and sometimes these charts are like the MPG sticker on a new car anyway. Impressive miles per gallon but never seen in the real world. At that moment in time, that particular crossbow might have seemed like a good bet. It was covered by a Lifetime Warranty. There were glowing articles in many outdoor magazines about the crossbow and  slick advertising could make a hunter think that the product was one click away from a being a Photon Torpedo from Star Trek. In the end, it was all BS because many of the crossbows didn’t work, failed prematurely and were plagued with problems. The manufacturer acknowledged this after going out of business. Bows were being returned at a high rate and the big box stores finally returned their inventory because of customer service issues. Sometimes, that is how an industry works. Marketing gets way ahead of the actual product. It still remains a bit of a mystery to a degree --- how could so many not observe what we could easily see at a trade event or at a sales counter and not have it reported down the line to consumers. Maybe everyone from retailers, dealers and magazines were too heavily invested to bring down the illusion. Implosion eventually came. This unique scenario didn’t turn out well for irate customers lined up at the sales counters with crossbows that looked like spaghetti.
At Kodabow, we have a different story. Our focus is making a very reliable and accurate crossbow.  A consumer can pick up the phone and talk with us. Our expectation is that we hear from customers when they send us a few photos after a successful hunting trip. One of the actions of that failed company was a strategic decision to source products overseas. Initially, it probably made sense on the accounting ledger. However, there is a lot of manufacturing detail required to successfully get a crossbow out the door and trusting someone thousands of miles away you might not know so well requires close coordination that can be difficult to achieve.  We understand global business --- but there is no substitute for looking your US supplier in the eye and it helps when they understand hunting as much as they understand manufacturing and accounting. We continually receive inquiries that begin like this.  (Actual Letter – “This is Susan from XXXX Overseas Crossbow Co.  Our factory has been manufacturing crossbows and bows for several Top US manufacturers. We would like to supply your products.” 
This is not the Kodabow story. When you spend $899.00 for one of our crossbows, rest assured – you are purchasing the absolute best that we can deliver with the backing of our material suppliers in a close knit supply chain. We test fire every crossbow that leaves our facility and include a range target that was used that details your bow serial number and arrow serial number used. That’s our story and it’s a good one!  My best --- Chuck at Kodabow