By Shari LeGate
Standing up for what we believe and who we are is something the shooting sports industry is used to. We accept challenges thrown at us and find a way to overcome them. Recently another obstacle was put in our path: A large, well-known business software company changed their policy and advised retailer customers who use their software to stop selling a certain range of firearms or risk losing the use of the software. In essence, instead of going after the firearms industry directly, they went after our customers.
Industry trade associations and pro-gun organizations expressed the proper outrage, fired off press releases condemning the policy and a few days later everything calmed down and it was back to business as usual … but was it?
The software company kept the policy in place forcing retailers who use their software to make a choice: Let a third party determine what products are “acceptable” and how to run their business or to take a stand and walk away. A tough choice for any business. As one retailer explained, it would cost them thousands of dollars (and months) to switch to a new software program that tracks their inventory and sales.
Perhaps it’s time for the shooting sports industry, as a whole, to take a stand and help those retailers. Let’s push back and walk away from companies who feel they can attack our industry using virtue signaling to force our customers into a corner.
Capstone Precision Group, manufacturers of Berger Bullets and distributors for Lapua, Vihtavuori and SK products did just that. A customer of the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software platform offered by this particular software company, Capstone took a stand by saying if a company doesn’t support the firearms industry, they were not going to support it, and immediately severed ties with the company.
Bill Gravatt, Capstone president, explained, “We would rather communicate with our customers by phone, email and handwritten notes before supporting software providers that grandstand in the name of political correctness.”
Capstone made the choice and started looking for companies that want to do business with the shooting sports industry. And there are plenty out there.
Fresh Pursuit Of The Industry
Tegrous Consulting is one such company. Instead of running away from the firearm industry, they’re running toward it. Shawn Tibbitts, president of Tegrous Consulting, is a firearms owner and proud Second Amendment supporter.
“We decided to take the step and make an investment in the shooting sports industry, developing a specific package for it called Tegrous OneShot,” he explained. “We want to help this industry become more resilient with a software system that can survive these onslaughts, and in the process help make their businesses more efficient. We’re not here to merely sell software; we’re a consulting firm that takes a very holistic approach to business transformation. For us, it’s people, process and technology.”
Tegrous OneShot, powered by SAP Business One and Tegrous Consulting, provides a software solution designed for small-to-medium-sized businesses.
“As an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, we’re able to come in and implement SAP Business One to help companies run better from end to end,” said Laura Honeycutt, channel manager for SAP Business One, North America. “There are many segments of the software, from shipping and receiving to a CRM that helps the sales team manage their leads, to order processing and management done right out of the box.”
The firearms industry is well acquainted
with bullies and when one tries to throw their
weight around, it will find alternatives.
Paul Killingsworth, head of customer relations and solution experts for SAP Business One North America described it further, “This is the next step after QuickBooks. You can figure out QuickBooks on your own, you don’t need help. A lot of our customers are coming from a solution like QuickBooks and have outgrown it. Their businesses are now more complex; they have more transactions and more users in the system so an off-the-shelf solution doesn’t fit their needs anymore. Yes, SAP Business One does require some assistance, but that’s where Tegrous Consulting comes in. As a partner, they’ll help find the solution, implement it and help you learn it.”
Correlating with its expansion to a new market, Tegrous Consulting hired a director with extensive experience in the industry.
“Having worked with various companies within the shooting industry for the past 20-plus years, I know how important an ERP software system is to a business to keep it running smoothly,” said Travis Noteboom, Tegrous Consulting director, firearms/outdoor industries. “A vendor browbeating their customers with threats so the vendor is controlling their business is unacceptable. The industry is the client and should be treated as such. We developed Tegrous OneShot as a specific software and implementation solution to address the nuances of the shooting and outdoor industry. There are companies that want to work with the firearms industry with no strings attached and we’re one of them.”
Beth Walters, SAP America senior director, North America sales, added, “Tegrous Consulting has firearms expertise, industry experience and software systems insight. They understand the industry and what companies selling firearms face and need in their business. There haven’t been many solutions offered specifically for the firearms industry. We put Business One together with Tegrous Consulting’s industry expertise and it became a perfect fit.”
Finding A Better Solution
The firearms industry is well acquainted with bullies and when one tries to throw their weight around, it will find alternatives. Another solution will be found and, more times than not, it turns out to be better than the first one.
Capstone Director of Marketing Geoff Esterline concluded, “We’re working off Excel spreadsheets right now as we search for another software company, but we know we made the right decision. And we’ll continue to work off those spreadsheets until we find the right partner who supports our customers and our industry.”