Welcome to Episode 392 of The Outdoor Biz Podcast and my conversation with Stephen Baird, Founder and CEO of TrackFly. The evolution of the supply chain has been exclusive to the largest corporations. At TrackFly, they are making the dynamic supply chain accessible to ALL businesses. We live in an age where high technology goes with us everywhere, in our pockets. Yet, for small to medium retailers, the tools to access the digital supply chain are still far out of reach. Forcing them to jump from system to system just to access basic information needed to make their business successful. There is a better way. TrackFly is building the tools to break down those walls and introduce a fully integrated trade network. Empowering brands to SEE their products like never before and retailers to SELL like never before.
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Is there a place in your county or state relatively close where you can go to get your Fish on, so to speak?
There absolutely is. And is any good fly? Fisher Fisherman knows. I won’t tell you all the special ones I know about. One of the things I’ve really gotten into recently is just getting into the high alpine lakes and streams. Kind of chasing more of the bit harder-to-find species, from grayling to brook trout to cutthroat. And that has just been something I’ve absolutely gotten hooked on because you can’t get away to a quick fishery like the Pearla River here in Utah.
Who took you fly fishing for the first time?
It was the old man himself, my dad. It’s something he always did growing up. Um, you know, it was something that he just always was passionate about. And I remember being, and I think, I was probably seven or eight years old. And just begging to go with him to the river.
How has TrackFly expanded beyond its initial industries?
TrackFly has formed a partnership with the fly fishing industry and plans to expand into the cycling industry, ski and snow sports, and outdoor retailers.
What kind of companies has TrackFly collaborated with within these industries?
TrackFly has started collaborating with well-known companies in the cycling, ski, snow sports, and outdoor retail industries.
What is TrackFly view on the importance of independent retailers?
TrackFly believes that independent retailers are in a great position to benefit from their technology and emphasizes the importance of servicing these retailers.
How does TrackFly view the resurgence of physical stores in retail?
TrackFly sees physical stores as the backbone of retail and believes there is a resurgence in their importance.
What is TrackFly’s mission and focus?
TrackFly is excited about the progress and mission of its technology platform for optimizing the movement of goods.
How does TrackFly address data privacy concerns?
Trackfly prioritizes protecting the retailer’s life savings and confidential information. They have been successful in addressing data privacy concerns.
How does TrackFly help retailers in the fly fishing industry?
TrackFly helps retailers navigate the supply chain and ensure they have the right products for customers in the fly fishing industry.
What kind of retailers does TrackFly work with?
TrackFly works with both single-door and multi-door retailers, specifically focusing on independent specialty retailers.
What is the core value of TrackFly and its approach to business?
One of the core values of TrackFly is inclusion, allowing every retailer, including small businesses, to participate and have access to the same technological capabilities as big retailers.
Tell us about your favorite local place to fish; how about somewhere not in UT?
One of my favorite places is actually the coastal rivers up on the Olympic Peninsula. If you’ve been up there, I mean, just fishing in a rainforest, it’s beautiful. It’s green, it’s lush, and one of my favorite species to fish for is steelhead. The steelhead that comes into those rivers is just so fun, and it’s a bit more challenging. You know, you’ve really gotta hunt them down and work hard for it. But if you can hook into a coastal river, steelhead right up there in the Olympic Peninsula, you’ll never wanna leave.
Do you have any suggestions and/or advice for folks wanting to get into fly fishing as an activity?
The best advice I could give is to find somebody, find somebody, you know, that’s done it. If you don’t have somebody, find a local guide. I can’t speak enough to how great there are just so many wonderful fly fishing guides. They’re all over the place, and you’ll be able to go out with them; they’ll be able to tell you about different gear. They’ll be able to tell you about different methods and whatnot. And they’re just; they’re just amazing people.
How about working in the fly fishing business?
The one thing I would say that I’ve seen, that I’ve been so impressed with in the fly fishing industry, is the power of relationships. Building out those partnerships with reps, with brands. And building out that ability to really lean on and rely on each other. Some of the most successful retailers I’ve been able to work with and speak to over the last several months, you talk to them about the relationships that they have, not just with their consumers, but with their brand partners, right, with their reps. And when you can lean on each other and have that level of connection and partnership, it just makes it much better to make those decisions.
And then the second thing I would say is the relationship you have with your customer. Building a community that is what gets those customers into your door. Because you have that community aspect because you have that knowledge and that experience.
What is your favorite fly fishing gear purchase under $100?
There’s a really cool little product that I came across about a year or two years ago. It was kind of right during the pandemic, actually. It’s from South Fork Products. They’re actually based outside of Boise, Idaho. It’s a small little magnetic fly catch. It has the tacky rubber material on it that you can hook a fly into. But it has got this incredibly strong magnet. My fingers are not great at holding these small flies. And I’ll tell you what, I can’t count the number of times I’ve dropped one, and this magnet has just caught it.
How about some of your favorite books?
Let My People Go Surfing, Yvon Chouinard
Gary Paulson’s Hatchet
Is there anything else you want to say or ask of our listeners?
Anyone that reaches out can go to our website at www.trackfly.com; let us know that you heard about Track Fly on the Outdoor Biz podcast here with Rick, and we would love to throw something special your way.
Where can people find you if they’d like to follow up (email, Twitter, Instagram, etc)?
Our website is the best www.trackfly.com