This is the third installment of our Made in the USA blog series this year. We have explored why making product in the USA is good for our economy, why it’s good for our employees and partners, and now we are exploring why manufacturing in the United States is good for our products.
In a 2015 survey by Consumer Reports, nearly 8 in 10 respondents said they prefer to buy American-made products. “Made in the USA” indicates high quality quality, excellent craftsmanship and a superior product. Here at Saris, we are fully committed to manufacturing products right here in the United States. Our business philosophy align with our consumer preferences, but it allows us to make better, higher quality, more innovative products for our consumers. This belief is one we can strongly get behind and share with you, our friends and customers.
Saris CEO Chris Fortune frequently talks about his passion and his commitment to making product here at our headquarters in Madison, WI. Before he and Sara purchased Saris in 1989, their driving consideration was to find a company that could continue to manufacture products in the USA. While not always the easiest path, its always been the right path, and the one that we continue to follow.
So how does this business philosophy translate to our product line and product development? In many ways, it has become just part of our standard operating process, but when we take a moment to break it down, it is the fuel for our healthy approach to product quality and to the future of our product categories.
Proximity is Key
Each Saris employee’s role is intertwined with another’s regardless of the department. Throughout the product development process, the same team developing the product and assessing the risks have a lifetime of experience making our products and are experts in our manufacturing processes. Our engineers work hand in hand with builders who make prototypes all under the same roof.
Not only is our entire manufacturing team here under one roof, but so are our sales and customer support teams. If there are product questions, or if something seems a bit “off”, our team can simply walk from their desk to talk to the people who make the product solving any problems right there, in real time. This step is integral to ensure product integrity and quality.
Fabrication happens just steps away from our engineering and development teams.
This symbiotic relationship helps to deliver the best-in-class products that we are proud to put our name on year after year.
We Are a Living Laboratory
Saris is filled with cyclists of all types and we are our own living laboratory. We are constantly testing, improving and tweaking current and prototype products. Whether it’s a group riding inside together or heading out together to some of Wisconsin’s best mountain bike trails, our employees are constantly talking shop and bouncing ideas off each other. They use, and abuse, our products really well.
And their commitment leads to a lot of Monday-morning conversations that start “so, on Saturday morning while I was riding, I had this new idea...” It’s a beautiful way to keep our products alive and to hear from users on (previously) unmet needs.
Flexibility and Innovation
Our manufacturing and innovation ethos means that nothing is ever “done.” We take customer feedback and use it to learn what can be done to make our products better and because our entire manufacturing system is close by, we can make those improvements quickly and seamlessly. This means that our consumers receive the better products all the time.
While this philosophy is important to us and benefits our products and our customers, its not easy, and its probably never been more difficult. But, its our why. It’s what we do. And we love to share the story and the insight with you. Stop by when you are in Wisconsin – we can show you where your Saris is made (but please call ahead so we can roll out the welcome mat).