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An Interview with Scott Alread, Business Development manager Crosman Archery


After we reviewed the new, intriguing, crossbow from Crosman Archery (
read it here) we had a chance to talk to Scott Alread.
Scott is the Business Development manager at Crosman Archery, a newly formed division of Crosman, he is a well known and respected professional in the archery business, coming from the Escalade Sports (Bear Archery).
He was the right person to bring the new crossbows product line to market fast.


 

Good morning Scott and welcome on Crossbow-Review, can you just spend a couple of words to introduce yourself? 

Scott A. :  Sure, thank you for having us on for the interview, I really appreciate the opportunity.  I joined Crosman in May of 2007 after spending close to 4 years managing the bow line for Escalade Sports, which owns the Bear Archery brand.  Prior to Escalade, I was with Motorola, working with their TalkAbout two-way radios designed for the sporting goods and hunting market place.  All told, I have spent close to 10 years in the hunting / outdoor industry working in product development and sales.  I am really excited about what we are doing at Crosman, as Crosman has been a leader in the shooting sports for nearly 80 years and is not about to back down now in regards to new innovations, and product development.

 

You are leading a new division (Crosman Archery) that is part of a large organization with lots of experience in a similar field (Air Guns) , did Crosman insist on certain consolidated features or you were free to start from scratch?

Scott A. :  Once the objectives and the strategies were agreed upon, myself and other key individuals tasked to development the crossbow line were given a blank canvas to work from on design, features and function. 

 

How much did help the possibility to choose components produced or already used from other sister companies?

Scott A. :  Actually, the accessories we are using in our kits were developed with our crossbow line in mind.  It did help that the folks responsible for those accessory categories were in our building, but we still went through the normal development process and testing.  It did help to cut lead times down and communications were seamless, which is always a big factor in new product development.

 

How are the new crossbows selling?

Scott A. :  Not bad, we are pleased at this point, but like most companies we are looking for much greater retail placement this coming season.  Last year kind of turned into a “soft launch” for us as we did some fine tuning of the units throughout the sales process.  The retail partners that supported us out of the gate have reported good sell through and are excited about the upcoming selling season.

 

We have been impressed by the scope, clear and sharp edge to edge…

Scott A. :  The optics was definitely an area we knew we could improve on vs. our competitors.  The CenterPoint line is still relatively young, having been introduced just about 3 years ago, but very wise when it comes to features consumers are demanding, without breaking the bank.  The CenterPoint line fit in well with our overall strategy of providing greater performance for a better value. 

 

During the review of the Teton, using the crossbow and accessories we got the impression that Crosman Archery tried to produce a solid value package

Scott A. :  No question.  Our strategy is to be the performance to value leader at any price point we choose to attack.  Meaning that we will beat our competitors in some fashion of performance at the existing price point we are attacking.  That could mean in speed, function or extremely deep accessory items included with each crossbow.  I wanted hunters to be ready to hit the woods running with our kits.  I believe we have accomplished that feat, as more and more buyers are seeing the value in our crossbow kits. 

 

We really appreciated the addition of the “addendum to archery course” booklet it goes a great length in helping people gaining the necessary background on crossbow safety and usage.

Scott A. :  We agree, and did not hesitate to give that booklet away with each crossbow shipped.  Crosman has been, and continues to be the leader in teaching shooting sports safely, while providing the most information on tips, technique and overall safety in the industry.  We wanted every crossbow shooter to know as much as possible about the product, the sport and the necessary safety tips needed to fully enjoy crossbow shooting and hunting.

 

What do you think of the current trend “my crossbow is faster than your”…

Scott A. :  Coming from the compound bow side of the fence, I have become a big believer in balance, low noise and minimal vibration as key features vs. flat out speed.  To gain speed, you typically have to do so at the expense of noise, vibration or loss of balance.  I think entry level shooters need to have a product in their hands that deliver on those key criteria, while providing respectable speeds.  Our Teton shoots around 315 to 320 FPS, while minimizing the issues I have raised.  I think that is plenty fast to harvest big game animals while providing a crossbow that is easy on the senses to shoot.  That doesn’t mean we won’t produce a faster crossbow in future, but we wanted to first develop the technology to control those key features. 

Commercial crossbows are, generally, a consolidated machine with a somewhat conservative design we have however seen recently some companies daring something different (Armcross Leopro, Horton ReCon, Swiss Twinbow , Bowtech Desert Striker) is the market ready for something different?

Scott A. :  I think so, but it will take time.  Once you deviate from the “norm” in design, it will take some time for consumers to adopt the new looks.  The other thing that will slow down is sales, as most new looks come with much higher prices.  As states expand, a lot of the crossbow sales are going to first time users that may not be comfortable paying much higher prices for a unit that looks completely different from anything they have seen before.  

The Teton is at the moment the top model but it sports somewhat conservative features such as eccentric wheels, are we going to see a cam, and possibly faster, model?

Scott A. :  Absolutely, we are currently designing a new cam system that will allow for greater speeds without bringing in additional noise and vibration.  We will also be working on our overall design, getting a little bit more technical in our look.

Are you going to offer any other color than camo? Camo is hot in the US but there are many other countries where hunting is not allowed and other colors than camo would be considered less “intimidating”.

Scott A. :  I think down the road we will look to add a classic wood stock, with the appropriate finish that may not be in camo, but still designed to look like a hunting rig. 

Can you disclose anything on what’s coming next from Crosman ?

Scott A. :  Without going into detail, I will say that we have signed an exclusive agreement on some new technology that will definitely separate Crosman Archery, as no other crossbow company will have this feature.  We hope to have this out late 2009. 

 

Tanks Scott for your time and for sharing your insights with us and our readers.

Ed.

   
       
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