Sunday, April 15, 2012

Corporate responsibility in the ff world today...models of behavior

Heading home tomorrow from the Orvis Guide Rendezvous here in Missoula. A couple hundred folks showed up for some great networking and a few days of some invaluable industry education. Despite what the masses might thing, it's not one big Orvis ra ra party. The company puts a lot of time and money into this event to both bring new products and recognize various organizations for a job well done. They also provide education to retailers and outfitters like myself in the areas of marketing and business tools that would simply be inaccessible to me if it weren't for the resources that a 300 million dollar company can offer. They do this not only for the ROI, but also because they want to make the sport more accessible to more folks and to provide folks like us with a means of reaching those folks. They stand behind us so that we can help anglers get more out of their time on the water and have fun doing it. I've seen Orvis at its worst and it's best in terms of corporate responsibility. If the companies, I work with, there's non more important to my business and brand than the Big O. Through the years, one thing that has always made no sense is the misconceptions that so many in the angling world have in regards to Orvis commitment to fly-fishing. The folks at the company actually fish a lot and a few, like Tom Rosenbauer, fall into that 1% of the fisheiest people there are. These folks actually fish and fish a lot..and have a great time doing it. There is a genuine desire to build the best in class products not only for the ROI and bottom line but also out of a sense of responsibility that they take very seriously to provide their customers with the best gear for their needs. They might never make the absolute best of everything, but I've noticed over the years that they are trying very hard to do just that. New waders on the way, a revolutionary new wading boot sole is on its way, and what might just be the finest fly rod ever made is also on its way. Just out the old ideas aside for a bit, look into the company on your own, and check out their products. It's hard to change ideas and preconceived notions. I've personally carried a " grudge" for years against the flat brim era and bro braks that have polluted my favorite waters with boom boxes in their boats, Teeny lines and brain pincers. But, I've started to come around the last 6 months or so that maybe it's me that's wrong to judge. We're all on the same road, just driving different cars so I might as well pull over and wave to some of these guys having fun as they pass me by. Want some more perceptions on the state of the industry? It seems to be popular with folks that follow my blog. One thing about blog anyway...I use it is a way to communicate my thoughts, perceptions, and experiences. Usually these things relate to fishing. Im not looking to educate or shape opinions when I go off topic from the various mental and emotional rambling of my life on the water, I just make statements and trust you to decide for yourself if you agree or disagree. I don't judge those that disagree but accept the fact that I'm often judged by my opinions. On the other hand, I put it out there as that's just who I am and if you don't like what I say or's no big deal to me. We all have our opinions and some, especially, mine are based in nothing but unsubstantiated paranoia at times. One of my favorite shops has recently come under the gun of one of the industries big dogs of the day. As with all things of this nature....there is much more to the story that any of us will find on the web. I'm not sure what to make of the whole thing from where I sit, but it's a tale that's worth a read if you're into industry gossip.I've never done bis with Simms and its been a complex issue for me over the years. As an outsider looking in I've always though that I'd like to carry their products as they make gear that works and they are a valuable employer in my community. My little actual experiences with the company have all been very good. In this case, I wonder what exactly happened as it just doesn't seem like the company I know or maybe it's the shop that I don't know as well as I thought. Anyway, read Jerry's take on the ordeal and decide for yourself. There's probably a little bit of truth on both sides but you never like to see someone that really worked hard to help grow something just end up being the hand that got bit while putting food it he proverbial bowl

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