Article: Forbes.com Mastering the Pickleball Supply Chain with Franklin Sports
Securing The Pickleball Supply Chain
Steve Banker | Contributor | I cover logistics and supply chain management.
Franklin Sports, founded in 1946, is a third-generation business. The company, headquartered in Stoughton Massachusetts, is now headed by Adam Franklin. Mr. Franklin’s goal is to grow the business substantially.
To achieve that, Franklin Sports supply chain needed to be improved significantly. Sporting Goods companies must be able to support dramatic changes in demand and fast-growing new business lines. For example, pickleball has been the fastest growing sport in America for 3 years. Over that span the sport has grown by almost 160% per year. Without an efficient supply chain, a company can’t meet the demand that exists, and competitors swoop in and grab market share. Or, alternatively, a company carries too much inventory, storage for excess inventory must be purchased, and cash flows become tight. A fast-growing line for Franklin Sports is pickleball.
Franklin Sports sells branded products as well as coming up with new branding concepts. Many Franklin Sports products carry official sports logos – MLB, NHL, NFL, MLS logos, and of course USAP (USA Pickleball). An example of a branding concept involves the work the company did with Kerri Walsh Jennings. Ms. Jennings is an American professional beach volleyball player and three-time Olympic gold medalist. They are selling 4 different volleyballs that are stamped with Ms. Jennings’ name.
The Franklin Sports Supply Chain
A large part of their kitting business involves the sale of basketballs, footballs, soccer, or playground balls. The finished products are then ready to be shipped to big box retailers like Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart. They also ship to Amazon to support ecommerce sales.
40% of the finished goods are shipped directly to retail clients by their contract manufacturers. The rest flow into their distribution and kitting center. This warehouse provides inventory storage for goods not yet ordered that will ship later.
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