Case Study

Reshoring Helps Home Fitness Company Meet Consumer Demand

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A U.S.-based fitness equipment manufacturer localized three new assembly and manufacturing lines, as well as a majority of its parts and component supply chain. Ballooning consumer demand for at-home  exercise accessories strained its off-short supply chain. Partnering with Waupaca Foundry as its casting supplier allows the company to save money and streamline assembly processes within the United States.

Situation

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, personal lifestyles drastically changed. Instead of working out in gyms or meeting friends at group fitness classes, consumers began investing in their own equipment and tuning into online instructors. 

This quickly led to a shortage in popular workout accessories, including weights, kettlebells, treadmills, and exercise bikes. One American company, which was already enjoying a prepandemic rise in popularity, soon faced significant delays in receiving its assembled products from overseas. Consumers were frustrated. The company’s reputation began to suffer.

The company sought to not only partner with domestic suppliers, but also strategically localize its assembly and manufacturing to three new stateside facilities for its most popular fitness equipment, including spin bikes.

Solution

A 30-pound wheel is the heaviest individual component on a spin bike. Because this component is expensive to source and ship from overseas, the fitness manufacturer sourced the work to Waupaca Foundry. Waupaca Foundry produces the casting and manages the machining and painting processes for the inertia wheel — all within 100 miles of its Wisconsin-based gray iron foundry. After the gray iron inertia wheels are cast, machined, powder coated and assembled, they are shipped to one of several new facilities in the United States for final assembly. By keeping the logistics close to home, the customer saves a significant amount of money and improves its supply chain. The customer’s “total cost of ownership” analysis, which includes not only the component cost but the freight cost, tariffs, and foreign risks, revealed that onshoring was the smart choice.

Win Win

Waupaca Foundry’s reliable reputation for gray iron castings and ability to quickly ramp up capacity makes it the perfect partner for supplying these flywheels. The partnership between the American fitness company and Waupaca Foundry results in:

  • Reduced supply chain risk with localized supply and manufacturing
  • Restocked empty warehouses and assembly plants
  • Responsiveness to high consumer demand.

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