Guest Blog by Alex Adema, COO, DPS Skis
Although ski season has come to a close for most, DPS Skis’ new Salt Lake factory and headquarters are swarming with activity as we enter our 14th year. Operating a seasonal business doesn’t mean work only occurs half of the year. In fact, it might be helpful to have another month or two on our side this summer as we prepare to deliver Fall 2019 products.
As the largest domestic manufacturer of skis (most skis are made in Europe and Asia), the summer months are some of the most important when it comes to production, sales forecasting, and long term planning. It’s a time when most of our team is in our Salt Lake office, instead of on the road, and we can sit down and look to the future.
We all love skiing here at DPS, but unfortunately a love for a sport doesn’t always lead to business success. Even though the single largest contributing factor to sales is snowfall, hard work and solid planning are critical to make up the difference in sales totals during periods of lackluster snowfall (the 2017/18 winter was a prime example). The introduction of additional products helps us deal with lean winters, like our permanent replacement for ski wax known as PHANTOM, but continuous improvement within our core ski lines is paramount to success.
After founding the company in Colorado in 2005, DPS established its headquarters in Utah in 2012. The key factors leading to the decision to move to Utah were affordability, economic incentives, an international travel hub, and an excellent product testing ground in the nearby Wasatch Mountains. DPS has also been the benefactor of other valuable business resources in the community, including the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, Utah Outdoor Association, World Trade Center-Utah, and university collaboration. As we have grown from a respected niche brand to a thriving global company, we more-than-ever see Salt Lake as a great place to call home.
Over recent years innovation-based initiatives have been at the forefront of our business practices. A number of these initiatives came by way of the University of Utah and have helped increase production and reduce waste – both critical factors to sustainable growth. These type of partnerships reinforce the value of working within the growing Salt Lake community.
As we prepare for the future in our headquarters, located in the once forgotten Granary District west of downtown, it is now the efficiencies in our processes and planning that take center stage in the critical “off-season” strategy sessions that keep us busy after the snow melts. Integrating ideas from the business and education centers around us has become part of the yearly cycle that continues to fuel our growth. So, as you see the mountains surrounding Salt Lake turn from white to green this spring don’t think of it as the end of ski season, instead know that it is actually the beginning of next year’s winter down here in the valley at DPS HQ.
About DPS Skis
Located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah, DPS designs the world’s most advanced ski products by fusing space age carbon technology with groundbreaking shapes. DPS is responsible for the world’s first and only pure pre-pregnated carbon fiber sandwich ski, the first 120mm-waisted powder pintail, the first rockered ski with sidecut, the Spoon – a convex three-dimensional shoveled ski with radical edge bevel and PHANTOM, a paradigm-shifting permanent, one time application base-coating that forever eliminates the need for waxing skis and snowboards. DPS products are sold on five continents and are the trusted brand of choice for serious skiers worldwide. For more information visit dpsskis.com or call +1.801.413.1737.
This guest blog is part of our National Small Business Week (NSBW) series. NSBW recognizeS the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. This year the Salt Lake Chamber is honoring the extraordinary accomplishments, determination and dedication of small business owners in Utah. Click here to learn more.