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Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

So You Want Some Free $h!t?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Recently, a company I am friendly with received a request from a guy asking for a sample to test. He wasn’t even picky about the product he was interested in. It just had to be free. The company and the guy went back and forth and eventually it came out that the guy was with a large government agency, who will remain nameless in this article because, in my opinion, his actions did not represent the agency.

I’m sharing this because it is from an industry standpoint and explains their point of view when dealing with the rather frequent requests for “samples”. This is their final response to his request.

“With your initial approach, I was *hoping* that this whole thing was a joke. When your rationale for us sending you a free piece of gear was “a couple of guys with XXX”, I felt sure it was a joke. Since it appears that you’re not kidding, let me lay it out for you.

Gear costs money to make. So anything that we have in stock, it cost us money to get. Particularly our gear which is made in the USA and not marked up very much. So when we send out something “free” for someone to evaluate, we’re actually spending money to do that and we have to believe that there is a good chance for a return on our investment. There are two types of evaluations that we typically send gear out for.

The first type of evaluation is to a journalist of some type. In that case, we look at their reach (how many people are reading their articles) and also their experience base. We want guys evaluating our gear for the public who actually know something about what they’re talking about. And we want to know that they are reaching thousands of people with their opinion. Or at least tens of exactly the right kind of people. When these people approach us they introduce themselves, cover their background, and then go on to talk about what publication they are writing the article for and what that publication’s reach looks like.

The second type of evaluation is an official unit or agency evaluation. This is where a police department or military unit or something like that reaches out and says “I’m so and so with such and such military unit and we are going to be buying 120 patrol packs this year and yours is one of the three we would like to consider”. The language is often quite formal, always comes from a government email address, and includes a signature line so we know exactly who we are dealing with and what their rank and position within their organization is. Usually these are structured in such a way that there is a limited evaluation period and they return the gear after evaluation.

That pretty much covers it. And I’ll give you another hint — the highest level most legitimate users of our products never reach out and ask for a free evaluation. They buy them off the shelf at no discount and we don’t even find out about it until we notice a spate of similar orders all going to addresses in the same military town. Or until a supply guy reaches out and says “hey, we’ve been testing your gear and now we need a quote for 20 of such and such”. Many journalists also follow a personal policy of paying full retail for items to avoid conflict of interest. So a whole lot of people who could be getting free gear — choose not to.

I hope you can see the difference between these very legitimate requests for evaluation and yours — both in the approach and in the rationale.

Good luck in your future endeavors.”

INVISIO interim report January–June 2016: Continued profitable growth and strong order book

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Stockholm, August 18, 2016

INVISIO (IVSO) has today published its interim report for the period January–June 2016. The company continues to grow with good profitability. Both sales and operating profit rose in the first six months of the year compared with the corresponding period in 2015. At the same time a new order from the US army contributed to a strong order book at the close of the period.

CEO comment
“All in all we have made several important advances in the first half year. We have received orders both from new and existing customers while showing that we have the capacity required to deliver greater volumes in pace with our customers’ wishes”, says Lars Højgård Hansen, CEO of INVISIO.

(Figures for the same period the previous year are given in brackets)
January-June 2016

  • Revenue: SEK 163.1 m (125.4)
  • Gross profit: SEK 85.4 m (66.4)
  • Gross margin: 52.4 % (53.0)
  • EBITDA: SEK 48.3 m (33.4)
  • Operating profit/loss: SEK 45.7 m (30.4)
  • Operating margin: 28.0 % (24.2)
  • Profit/loss for the period: SEK 45.6 m (27.4)
  • Earnings per share: SEK 1.07 (0.65)

    April-June 2016

  • Revenue: SEK 83.6 m (68.2)
  • Gross profit: SEK 43.2 m (34.1)
  • Gross margin: 51,7 % (50.1)
  • EBITDA: SEK 23.4 m (18.4)
  • Operating profit/loss: SEK 22.2 m (16.2)
  • Operating margin: 26.6 % (23.7)
  • Profit/loss for the period: SEK 22.2 m (13.5)
  • Earnings per share: SEK 0.52 (0.32)

    Important events during the quarter

  • INVISIO received an order of about SEK 100 million from the American army’s modernization program TCAPS. Deliveries will be made on an ongoing basis in the period July 2016–June 2017.
  • Two orders were received from the French defence forces totalling SEK 18 million, to be delivered in 2016.
  • One of INVISIO’s oldest army customers ordered systems for SEK 6.5 million.
  • The order book at the close of the quarter was SEK 187.4 million (67.1).
  • The product portfolio was extended with INVISIO V20 for users connected to a single team radio.

    invisio.com

  • DV8 Sports Launches $3.5 Million Offering for Private Investors

    Thursday, August 18th, 2016

    DV8 Sports and EPEC – Golf without obstacles, a game-changing full set of golf clubs in a liberating, life styled backpack, and an upgradeable junior golf solution that eliminates the need for costly new clubs each time a child grows a few inches.

    Atlanta, GA, August 4, 2016 – Sepia Products, LLC dba DV8 Sports announced its $3.5 million Regulation D 506(c) private offering today to accredited investors throughout the USA.

    DV8 has engaged VeteranCrowd to serve as exclusive financial advisor during this offering. The securities are being offered through WealthForge Securities, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC.

    DV8 Sports is a golf equipment company dedicated to golf’s next generation of millennial and junior golfers. By way of innovative products and forward-thinking solutions for both adults and kids, DV8 is building brands to reflect the attitudes and aspirations of these younger players. With golf in the midst of a generational change, DV8 Sports is at the forefront of this movement; from new forms of the games we call “golf” to where they are played and the equipment players use, every aspect of this 300 year-old activity is being challenged. Many traditional manufacturers see these changes as disruptive whereas DV8 Sports has the products, the vision and the experience to turn this disruption into opportunity.

    Point in fact—as reported recently, one of the world’s most respected sporting goods brands announced it is exiting golf equipment. While some assume this exit to be a reflection of the woes of the golf industry in general, a different view is the brand was simply unsuccessful at connecting with either of golf’s major demographics—older affluent golfers who prefer more traditional brands or millennials and juniors who happen to make up nearly 50% of all participants. None of golf’s major brands are focusing on these younger players which is exactly why DV8 will. To that end, funds from this raise will fuel marketing and branding, new product development and inventory purchases for both DV8 and EPEC product lines specifically focused on younger players.

    One of the first uses of proceeds from this private offering will be a direct response (DR) advertising campaign on NBC/Golf Channel that will begin airing this fall. Headlined by famed PGA Tour instructor Rick Smith, a DV8 Sports ambassador, the campaign will promote the EPEC Upgradeable Junior Golf Set, the industry’s first and only upgradeable junior product. With real kids urging parents and grandparents to “DO THE MATH”, the spots will illustrate the demonstrable financial benefits of an upgradeable product as compared to parents being forced to buy entirely new sets of clubs every 12 to 18 months as kids grow. EPEC promises to save parents as much as 50-60% compared to other premium fit by height brands. Not only with the EPEC DR campaign get the company’s innovative equipment into the hands of thousands of kids, it will dramatically increase awareness of the brand and make EPEC a household name in golf.

    EPEC products are distributed at a growing number of retailers such as Worldwide Golf, Golf Town (Canada) and PGA Tour Superstores, online, and through golf shops and country clubs nationwide. Go to www.epecgolf.com to see participating golf shops.

    You’ve probably read that and said to yourself, “I don’t even like golf, why the heck did SSD share that?” Well, here’s why. VeteranCrowd, LLC is an online platform facilitating private placements for veteran led businesses. It’s what they specilize in. So if you’re a veteran looking to raise capital, now you know tyere’s someone you can talk to about it. Securities are offered through WealthForge Securities, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC.

    Team Wendy Updates Website

    Monday, August 15th, 2016

    Team Wendy hrecently launched an update to their website. First off, you’ll notice that they’ve broken out their customer base into Military, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue and a new one called Adventure. Apparently, they’re planning on once again offering a Ski helmet. For those of you who know the origin story of Team Wendy, this is a cool move.

    Other than a new look, you’ll also find a new blog area which will be updated weekly with various posts about their industry partners, charity organizations they support, new products, and the science and technology behind what they do. There is also a section to identify authorized dealers/sales agents worldwide.

    Check it out.

    www.teamwendy.com

    SPARTANAT – Gear Made in Germany: Zentauron

    Sunday, August 14th, 2016

    INTERVIEW ZENTAURON

    Zentauron1

    ZENTAURON is popular with the regular German Army (Bundeswehr) and Police. They also produce some civilian outdoor gear. Situated in Northern Germany they are a growing company producing all their gear locally, „Made in Germany“.

    Zentauron 2

    SPARTANAT: Paul, Zentauron has produced tactical equipment for several years. For which customers are your products intended?

    Zentauron 3

    ZENTAURON: We build mostly tactical gear for military and police as well as in the field of tactical emergency medicine and special rescue services such as high-altitude rescue or for the offshore industries, but we have become more and more robust for the outdoor sector since it has its fans.

    Zentauron 4

    SPARTANAT: How did you get into producing equipment???

    Zentauron 5

    ZENTAURON: Since I’ve had interest for bags and backpacks in particular since my childhood, it was obvious to me that this is we here I was headed. At 12 years of age, I sewed my first bag out of a green sheet; then my mother bought me a sewing machine and on it went. During my military service I made some modifications to my equipment and that of my comrades. Initially, the sewing was only a hobby and in various forums my work found more and more attention, so I decided to try it in order to abandon my initial livelihood. Luckily, I found Adrian was mad enough to support me and to realize this dream with me. It began with a sewing machine in my basement where I developed and produced the gear and Adrian ran the sales and storefront. Today, after 6 years, there are 20 industrial sewing machines and 12 employees who help us manufacture all our products.

    Zentauron 6

    SPARTANAT: You have a large customer in the Bundeswehr, but also to the police. What are the most sought after Zentauron products???

    Zentauron 7

    ZENTAURON: In relation to the government, we are participating in the tender process where we have only limited influence on issued equipment. But, there are often special products that are not manufactured in very large quantities from us. The large part are customers who want to equip themselves well for their service with protective vests, backpacks and plate carriers as well as small belt pouches from us and our trading partners . In addition, there are services in prototyping and production of product lines for other brands.

    Zenatoron 8

    SPARTANAT: Many international companies produce gear and are serving the German market. How is it to operate as a German company???

    ZENTAURON: I think the German market is very difficult. The requirements in the relevant local sector are very high and decisions such as innovation need a lot of time considering the many isolated applications and regulations of the police and military. Here we have the advantage of being able to keep the lines short and to work together with the customer on projects and quickly get them into their hands without the need to cross language barriers and national borders.

    SPARTANAT: Production costs are very high in Germany. Why have you ever considered producing in neighboring countries or Asia?

    ZENTAURON: I do not think that we can maintain this forever. There are essentially two reasons which I see: capacities in Germany are very limited, and there are not enough young people in the textile sector. The first reason is why my partner and I have made us want to offer as much product value as possible in our country. We want to live in a functioning state and I also want my kids have opportunity. The main components of our products even here are from our region, where the straps come from Gütersloh and the Cordura from Bielefeld. We can’t locally source all of our materials, unfortunately that does not work, but we will try as much as possible.

    The second reason is purely economic. We have – if we add all colors, sizes and colors – around 3700 products which we produce here locally. Often in quantities of less than 500. This product variety requires a highly flexible production and just isn’t possible even in neighboring because the logistics would simply be too complex.

    One can also imagine that we can not keep all of these products in stock , and of course Murphy’s Law dictates what will be ordered is always what we don’t have in stock . Nevertheless, we try to provide the products always just in time to the customer. With the move to our new location, we have doubled the warehouse space and try to gradually deliver a larger part of the orders „from stock“.

    Paul

    SPARTANAT: A special message to your customers???

    ZENTAURON: Yes, I want to thank those who accompanied us on our way with words and deeds, forbearance and pressure. Our success is only possible because of our customers, partners and supporters.

    Website: www.zentauron.de
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zentauron

    SPARTANAT: www.spartanat.com

    Q Is Alive And Well

    Saturday, August 13th, 2016

    Breakthrough Clean Technologies Adds More All-Star Brands to OEM Line-up

    Friday, August 12th, 2016

    August 11th, 2016: Breakthrough Clean Technologies® is proud to announce their partnership with firearms manufacturers, Innovative Gun Fighter Solutions ®, Rebel Arms Corp. ®, & Viking Armament ®. These great brands will be offering Breakthrough Clean Technologies® products with every firearm sold. All three brands have also implemented Breakthrough’s solvent, and lubricants to their manufacturing/ production process.

    “As our presence grows in the industry people have taken note, and have approached us for partnerships. We are completely humbled, and thankful for these great opportunities that we have been given. Our goal is to keep pushing hard, and show folks THE DIFFERENCE IS CLEAR.” said Erick Navarro, CEO of Breakthrough Clean.

    ZEV Technologies Now a Leupold Approved Partner

    Friday, August 12th, 2016

    Oxnard, CA – August 12th 2017 – ZEV Technologies, manufacturer of components and accessories for GLOCK® pistols, is proud to announce it has been named as an approved Leupold partner for the Delta Point PRO.

    ”The Delta Point PRO has changed the playing field when it comes to mounting a red dot on a pistol and becoming one of their first approved partners is a great honor” stated Dave Roberts, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for ZEV Technologies. “This partnership will enhance our product offerings available for the Leupold DPP, allowing us to work directly with their product design team to create the best Delta Point PRO mounting solutions available for GLOCK handguns.”

    While other approaches mount an optic on top of a Glock slide, ZEV’s slide cut actually seats the optic in the slide with ZEV’s patented thread mounting system that provides more contact points and double the threaded surface area to ensure stability and reliability.

    “ZEV Technologies commitment to quality and innovation reflect the same values we hold at Leupold & Stevens,” said Shane Meisel, marketing manager for Leupold & Stevens. “We are very proud to partner with such an inspirational and like-minded company.”