Customer Service is the driving force behind H & H Archery Supply

Archery Business Magazine states
"With impressively strong support from several states, H&H has the unique distinction of being a repeat winner."

Distributor of the Year - 2007

Distributor SPOTLIGHT 2007
H&H Archery Supply traces its roots back to 1967 when Frank and Iris Hogan, along with Iris’ father, Les Hamilton, opened H& H Sport Shop in a new building attached to the family’s convenience store and drive-in operation. The business was an expansion of H&H’s previous bait and tackle shop. But, when Frank moved all the merchandise from the bait and tackle store, he found that it hardly covered one wall. Frank had recently discovered bow hunting and figured that archery equipment was the way to fill up his store. His archery inventory sold quickly, and with each successive order, the archery business took off.

As local interest in archery grew, H&H created an outdoor shooting area and added additional bow and accessory lines. H&H Sport Shop soon became the area’s archery hotspot. In 1972 Frank and Iris bought out Iris’s father, who wanted to retire. In 1979 the couple decided to close the drive-in and restaurant side of their business to concentrate on their growing retail sporting goods operation. The archery department, in particular, continued to prosper. By 1980, H&H was buying archery equipment in larger quantities.

With their now-empty restaurant available for storage, Frank and Iris decided to branch into the distribution business. Although business was slow the first year, the Hogans decided to stick it out. Finally, in August of their second year, the phone began to ring off the hook. H&H Archery Supply has been busy ever since, expanding throughout the Midwest.

The Hogans eventually sold their retail business in 1995 to focus on their distribution. In spring of 1997, the Hogans retired. Their son, Mike Hogan—who had been working in the business since he was 10 years old—took over.

These days H&H operates out of an industrial park. In 2005, the company expanded its facility by adding 5,000 square feet for a total of 20,000 square feet, split between 2,500 in office space and 17,500 in warehouse space.

H&H clearly states its dedication to its dealers on its website: “H & H Archery Supply is committed to placing our dealer-customers first by understanding their needs, expectations, daily issues and concerns. ‘Frank and Iris provided exemplary, professional service for years which influences our staff to always reach for the best,’ says Mike Hogan. ‘We will not accept anything less than superb, out-of-the-ordinary service for our customers. That’s our promise to you!’”

Archery Business: Of all your services, what would you say are your specialties?
Mike Hogan: “Our business specialties are driven by our dealers. It is imperative in today’s market to meet their needs, whether it be pricing, product availability, same-day shipping, special request items, care in packaging, or overall concern for our dealers. These are where we focus our time and energy.”

AB: Any recent changes at H&H? How will these changes benefit dealers?
M.H.: “We are all too familiar with the phrase ‘Time is money.’ To assist our dealers with their time management, for the last several years now, we have offered online shopping. It is no longer necessary to place orders during the busiest time of their day. Dealers can choose what time works best in their schedule for placing their orders. We understand that they need to spend that valuable time with their customers and build their business and reputation. Having online shopping means we are available and ready to meet their needs anytime.”

AB: What specific programs and incentives do you offer dealers?
M.H.: “We continue to offer special incentives throughout the year, like seasonal sale flyers offering special pricing for such items related to bow fishing or turkey hunting. Also, throughout the year, we promote exclusive items that are not available at your local retail chain or through buying groups. Tru-Fire private label releases and Easton Powerflight arrows are a couple of examples.

Again, one of our goals is to enhance our dealers’ inventory and profitability.”

AB:How has your business strategy changed as the Internet has grown?
MH: “The Internet makes today’s market more interesting, yet more challenging. It has allowed us the flexibility to offer online shopping as previously mentioned. It also has piqued our interest in capturing those individuals who ‘surf the Net.’ Instead of becoming low overhead, Internet sales opportunists whose primary [goal is profit], we hope to capture Web surfers and direct them to our dealers. This will give our dealers the opportunity to increase their customer base. We are currently looking at innovative ways to accomplish this goal. We hope to have more information and a system in place in the near future.”

AB: What are some of the challenges of operating your business in today’s market?
M.H.: “One of the biggest challenges of late is finding new and exciting products and providing those products in a timely fashion. Fiber-wrap sights are a good example. There are some new and exciting items in that category, but trying to find the right ones and deliver them has been a challenge. “All one needs to do is listen to the news to become concerned as to where the economy is headed and to wonder what it will mean for us as a nation, as a distributor, as well as our concerns for our dealers. With talk of gas prices   hitting an all-time high, it will be an interesting and possibly a challenging year. After 28 years in the business, we have seen some good times and some tough times and have endured. We will continue to focus on the future and seek new technology to enhance the livelihood of our dealers.”

AB: How does H&H recognize and respond to industry trends?
M.H.: “We keep in touch with our dealers. I don’t think there is a better way to learn than by listening to ideas from the people we are trying to service. Industry magazines, Internet forums, and outdoor television channels are some of the other areas to which we pay close attention. These show us what the consumer is thinking.”

AB: In your discussions with dealers, what services/products do they desire most, and how have you responded?
M.H.: “Dealing with freight charges has always been a concern with everyone. Because of this, we continue to offer a “Free Freight” policy. When a dealer places an order over $275, we ship that order freight-paid.”

AB: What makes H&H stand out from other distributors?
M.H.: “I feel the one thing that makes H & H Archery stand out from the rest of the distributors is our employees. In this day and age when ‘good’ help is hard to find, H&H Archery has been blessed. All our employees are long-term and dedicated individuals. Each and every one has a sense of pride when doing their job. Each of them knows and understands that it takes all of us to be successful. “The sales staff is extremely knowledgeable regarding product information and product availability. Due to Branden Dornquast and Matt Schlink’s longevity with the company and being avid bow hunters, they have acquired friendships along the way with many of our dealers. The individuals who work in our distribution warehouse are conscientious and take pride when picking and packaging each order. Should an error occur, they understand the dealer’s frustration and loss of productivity. At times, the situation may be out of our hands due to mishaps from freight carriers, etc. When at all possible, we try to eliminate any unneeded disruptions for our dealers. Our warehouse personnel keep this as their primary focus at all times. “Our warehouse supervisor, Dave Wangerin, is also a hunting enthusiast and knowledgeable regarding the product we distribute because of his longevity with our company. His primary responsibility is to assure accuracy upon receipt of merchandise and housing the merchandise for distribution. He takes full responsibility for maintaining a clean and safe work environment. “Dennis Dalan, our multi-talented marketing director, has shown time and time again what a valuable asset he is. In addition to being one our primary buyers and helping in the sales area, Dennis produces a fabulous catalog each year that is detailed, yet easy to use. “Judy Stinson brought her accounting background to our company over 11 years ago. Her proficiency in accounting, credit, and as office manager [keep our company running smoothly].”

AB: Any final thoughts you’d like to leave with dealers?
M.H.: “I would like to personally thank each of our dealers for their loyalty. I promise to do my best to continue to provide the best service, the best pricing, and mutual respect to each of our dealers. H&H Archery is only possible due to our wonderful dealers and excellent employees.”