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The Michigan Specialty Ski Maker Who Treats Customers Like Family

by:QY Precision      2019-09-19
With the end of the holiday, most people in the United StatesS.
Ready for the end of winter.
However, there are still three or four months of snowfall in Michigan.
This is the fourth and final of my series on how state manufacturers can help winter sports enthusiasts enjoy the cold weather.
Read the first three here, here and here.
Jeff Thompson started making snowboards a few years ago, and a few years ago he and his brother Jonathan were trying to make a ski bike.
They split the skis in the process of making the machine and thought, \"we can do this.
Not only did Thompson start to imitate what they saw, but he also began to improve-making \"a snowboard that is not a nose slug worm \".
\"Financial results are the best measure of such a goal, and it looks like Thompson has succeeded. His ski-
Making business, founded in 2005, has now achieved strong annual growth, ranging from 35% to 42% in the past few years.
They are now entering their third store, producing skis for 12 months of the year.
He had a few things to do from the beginning.
His parents own a construction company that provides him with a complete woodworking workshop.
He also has a family legacy. his great-
Uncle Shaggy Lehto, a rural blacksmith in Kearsarge, Michigan, also dabbled in carpentry and built three hand skis in 1908. (
One of them was handed down by generations and stayed at home today. )
It all made him roll out Shaji\'s Copper Country Skis in Boen, Michigan.
This company is named after his greatness.
Uncle, and the former mining area of Upper Peninsula Michigan where he once lived.
Thompson focuses on things that big ski makers can\'t do, like customization.
\"It\'s not feasible, it\'s not the cost --
\"It works for big men who make 10,000 of the same skiing,\" Thompson said . \".
The company also quickly moved from retail sales to direct sales to consumers, forcing unhealthy price competition with large competitors. The ski-
The production process is simple.
\"It takes 80 processes to make skiing,\" Thompson said . \".
Start with the ski core.
This is made of wood, usually volcanic ash in northern Michigan, which grows straight and brings a \"refreshing\" feature to the completed ski.
According to Thompson, it could also be a more \"fun\" type of poplar for skiing.
This process starts with rough wood. this is the machine.
Cut into strips after completion for lamination-glue different pieces together to ensure symmetrical bending with seven strips per core.
The laminated cores are then machined to the final shape by CNC, which makes them soft at the ski tip and hard at the foot.
The skis are then made up of cores and alternating strips of various materials (plastic, fiberglass, steel, carbon fiber and rubber), all of which are soaked together with epoxy resin.
The materials form the ski base, side and top around the core, and the different materials involved give each type of skis its own features. The built-
Up ski is placed in an aluminum box and heated in the press for about 30 minutes to solidify.
The next step is finishing. Each ski is de-flashed (
Remove excess material)and sanded.
Wiring the chamfer on the side walls reduces the swing weight of the ski while making it more visually attractive and easier to adjust.
Then skiing is wet.
Add \"structure\" to the plastic base with sandpaper and stone grinder \".
Finally, the edge of it
Tune, wax and stamp the serial number on it before packing and shipping.
Shaji\'s target customers are not average skiers.
\"We sell to people who want to do something different,\" Thompson said . \".
Whether it\'s high adventure skiing, deep powder homework, skiing on a tree, or just the conditions for general abuse, they can ski.
\"We made a product and you can do a lot of different things.
The company\'s roots in the Midwest are an advantage.
\"Our products are very strong in bad conditions,\" Thompson said . \".
\"In the West, you don\'t have to ski if it freezes.
You can\'t skip it in the Midwest.
\"Their approach has worked and helped drive the strong business growth mentioned earlier.
However, despite the substantial increase in demand, they took a cautious approach to automation.
\"We are getting some new equipment to improve the efficiency of the skis,\" Thompson said . \".
\"But we are working on it in a measured way.
We don\'t want to be the biggest ski company.
Instead, they focus primarily on quality and customer success.
\"We will take good care of all our customers.
\"They can call us and talk to the people who made the skis,\" Thompson said . \".
\"We will not outsource any process.
We take care of everyone and try to keep them smiling when everyone goes down the mountain.
\"Their plan for the future is to keep focusing on what they do well and what makes them successful.
\"We tried the skis and the long boards for a while,\" Thompson said . \".
\"But in the off season, they are more of a filler and now we focus on skiing for 12 months a year.
\"Instead, they are continuing to look for the right people to help them make snowboards, which is a challenge --
Be product oriented and get more names.
This is also a challenge.
\"In the past 50 years, some big companies have taken control of the market,\" Thompson said . \".
Finally, they left it at home.
Thompson\'s parents are doing business with him now.
\"We are proud of all the difficult decisions we make,\" he concluded . \".
\"I thank God that we build our business in our way every day.
Our whole strategy is to take care of every customer-treat them as family, focus on what they want to buy and help them have fun in the snow.
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