Iron Valley Is More Than a New Name

Distributor takes a new approach to high-level service for the shooting sports industry.
Iron Valley Is More Than a New Name

From candy and sundries to firearms and ammunition, Iron Valley Supply has a long history of successful distribution. 

In a recent conversation with Brent Wouters, CEO of Iron Valley Supply, Shooting Sports Retailer had a chance to hear about the company’s recent rebrand and the goals that go along with it. Iron Valley Supply is working to expand their shooting sports lineup as well as their service and relationship with dealers. 

The brand has heavily invested in technological, operational and marketing improvements to better serve retailers across the U.S. 

SSR: How did it all begin for Iron Valley Supply? Tell me a little bit about your history. 

Wouters: In 1923, the business was primarily a candy and sundries distributor. The location in the iron valley of Birmingham meant the staff enjoyed the outdoor adventures unique to the area and decided to put their distribution skills to work serving retailers in the shooting sports category.

By the mid-1980s, the candy and sundry division was sold, and the shooting sports business was its own entity. Several of our current staff have been with us since the 1980s. These legacy employees provide a great deal of knowledge for our company, and when you add a newer generation of outdoor enthusiasts, Iron Valley provides a unique and insightful team for our dealers.


SSR: The company has almost 100 years in the industry. What has kept the brand successful over all those years?

Wouters: Our brand is successful because we are intent on helping our dealers win. Today’s retail customers are internet savvy, shop with smartphones and tablets, look for well-produced sales content, and do research prior to purchase. We pay attention to how our dealers’ customers purchase products, what questions their customers ask, and how we can help sell more products at retail.  

Iron Valley now focuses on offering a world-class website for our dealers with rich product information and videos to help educate dealers and their customers about products. We are completely transforming the business top to bottom with technology to better serve the dealers, and in today’s world, that means great digital information and fast service to continue to serve independent shooting sports retailers. 

Brands with long-lasting legacies must balance between honoring their history and embracing change, and Iron Valley Supply Co. is compelled to adapt and help our dealers win, while remaining grounded in our roots.

SSR: What did the recent rebrand from Bangers USA to Iron Valley Supply involve, and what will it offer retailers?

Wouters: Our name was an impediment to our goal to serve shooting sports retailers across the U.S., and we took the company through a complete rebranding. Rebranding encompasses more than a new name, fancy logo or even a website. It’s an intentional cultural shift in how we approach operations, marketing and serving our customers.  

We overhauled almost every department, added new technology, expanded our warehouse and our operations, added staff, increased our sales team, and built an in-house production studio. Our rebrand is more about changing the culture and mindset of the organization to put our dealers’ interests first. We are investing in new people and processes, new technologies, and new disciplines about decision-making and performance.  

We are building a culture of trust, energy, empowerment, risk-taking and failure in order to rapidly transform the business from a small distributor into a nationwide leader in shooting sports. We still have tremendous work to complete, but we have created a very strong foundation for our expansion.


SSR: What is the ultimate end goal for the rebrand? 

Wouters: We want to become the Adventure Culture’s Storehouse. We want to expand our shooting sports lines of products and add new complementary product categories that balance out the cyclical firearms business, and we want to become a top-three distributor that is the easiest to do business with. Our goal is for our dealers to win and want to continue to win, even when the inevitable slow periods arrive. We intend to continue increasing our dealer network and adding sales offices across the United States.


SSR: Currently, the shooting sports industry is flourishing. How has Iron Valley kept up with the changes? 

Wouters: Process and technology discipline. Iron Valley has implemented an entirely new warehouse layout with automated conveyors and a lean organization. We designed and implemented customer shipping stations for greater efficiency, deployed new handheld technology and installed new software to receive, store and retrieve inventory more quickly. We reduced the number of package touches from a minimum of seven touches to a maximum of two and revamped all our processes around packaging to ensure product arrives intact and quickly. Through a partnership with UPS, we redesigned our shipping process and interaction with the UPS depot to expedite delivery of all packages. No process has been spared. And now we are embarking on company-wide technology implementations for better information, e-commerce and warehouse performance. 


SSR: What new products should retailers be looking for in the coming year? 

Wouters: We expect to broaden the SKUs from existing vendors and add new vendors in gun cases, cameras, lights, knives, optics and perhaps expanding to new categories beyond.


SSR: What are your biggest challenges in today’s shooting sports industry? 

Wouters: Supply and demand. We are in an unprecedented cycle of growth with high demand but limited supply of many of the most popular guns and ammunition, so finding ways to address that gap and providing our retailers with the products they want in a timely fashion is a challenge that we are meeting and overcoming daily. We are breaking daily sales records and constantly increasing our output of products through our warehouse. Creating and maintaining relationships with our vendors, logistics service providers, listening to our warehouse staff for ways to improve their operations, and committing to best practice standards is imperative to that end.


SSR: Beyond the rebrand, what does the future look like? Anything else you are especially excited for? 

Wouters: One of the most exciting developments will be our complete technology transformation over the next year to deploy the most advanced optical scanning technology, robotics, storage systems, and shipping applications. I can’t wait to see what we look like in 12 months with this new technology and our new product categories.


SSR: What is the relationship like between Iron Valley Supply, its brands, and the retailers that stock and sell your products? 

Wouters: Since the rebrand our dealers and vendors have been very receptive and complimentary of the changes. 

We are our dealers’ partner, first and foremost, and want to help them sell as much product as possible. To that end we invested in new technology for sales, are overhauling our website and the customer interface and committed to our role as business partner by building an in-house multi-camera production studio with LED screens and satellite access enabling our customers to receive real-time product information from vendors, merchandising assistance, and the ability to engage in interactive trainings and townhalls.

The excitement surrounding the studio as a sales tool for our dealers has been fantastic. It’s enabled us to work with our vendors and dealers in a new and exciting way not usually seen by a distributor. It’s been a great addition to our sales and marketing operations.


SSR: How can dealers get involved and set up with Iron Valley Supply? 

Wouters: They can visit our website at and click on the “Become a Dealer” tab to register. If they’re a current dealer and want to be involved in our studio, or any of the programs we have in process, they can reach out to their salesperson, or email us with any questions.



Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.