My friends at OGIO asked me to come and check out their facility. I jumped at this great opportunity, literally and figuratively.
A little OGIO history
Most of us golfers probably think OGIO makes golf bags and accessories and that’s it. Not the case. In fact, OGIO didn’t even start out making golf gear. They started out making bags and accessories for much more extreme sports like motocross, snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX etc. They’re currently a huge market leader in those areas. Later OGIO did begin making golf bags as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for the likes of Callaway. The Callaway relationship is not good now. Though there are some companies out there who’s bags are OEMed by OGIO, OGIO’s focus is on their own brand now.
OGIO has two large buildings. In the first building can be found their top secret research and design center. This is where amazing technological breakthroughs occur on a daily basis. Amazing inventions like the Shling, the Woode and other soon to be announced industry revolutions are born here. Inside the R&D center there are more brain cells per square inch than you’ll find in a high end Ivy League physics class.
Brain cells are only part of the equation though. Somehow the OGIO developers manage to work elegance, simplicity and superb functionality into their products. It must be the coffee they drink. That’s the only thing I can think of. When nobody was looking I snagged some of the OGIO R&D team’s used coffee grinds and I’ve submitted them to a lab for testing. The secret may lie in those results.
In the video below, my buddy Rocky Harris guides us through the OGIO design process:
While in the R&D facility I was allowed to take pictures only when certain items in development were hidden. I also had to promise not to divulge many of the super cool prototypes of bags and other technologies I saw. All I can say is, just wait until you see what is coming down the line. Just wait.
I toured the corporate offices and met many of the employees, sales people, and reacquainted myself with CEOs, CFOs, COOs and the like. OGIO’s corporate atmosphere is just like I thought it would be, efficient, progressive and not overly “corporate.” Strewn about the offices were samples of their gear and pictures of their products in action.
OGIO’s employees were all very nice and up for a chat. Many had known about me because apparently the CEO occasionally turns on the house PA system and recites some of my OGIO quotes, like “if OGIO made toilet paper I’d get rid of the Charmin.” Hey that’s quite an honor!
Perhaps the most stunning and impressive part of OGIO’s facility is the warehouse. Walking inside this mammoth building is a jaw dropping experience. The size and scope of what is going on in there makes you realize just how impressive OGIO is. I’m no judge of square footage, but this thing must be somewhere around 150-200,000 square feet.
There are hundreds of rows of products. These rows are stacked to the ceiling, and that ceiling is several stories. I saw sections of boxed golf bags stacked so large, the structures the stacks produced were larger, wider and taller than my house.
Products come in to the warehouse on the South end. Many of OGIO’s products are built in China and arrive at the warehouse via railroad. Before you overly patriotic “Americans” throw a fit about that, put yourself in a position where you can save millions of dollars a year by doing so. I’d do the same. I’d be willing to bet that 95% or more of the golf market’s products are made in China.
Products are stored on the hundreds of gigantic shelves. When orders are assembled, they’re taking off the shelves by hand or forklift and put on the longest conveyor belt I’ve ever seen. Seriously, this conveyor belt is several hundred yards long! Not only is it that long, there are THREE sections. Orders are assembled and shipped out the North end of the building via semis or other carriers.
Below is a short video from inside the OGIO warehouse:
Indoor skate & motocross park
The last and funnest part of my OGIO tour was the unbelievable indoor skate park. Yes you read correctly. OGIO has a large (they don’t seem to do anything small) facility with numerous half pipes, jumps, ramps and whatever else skate rats call those structures they regularly break bones on. OGIO regularly hosts competitions in the park and also provides their “athletes” a practice facility. I put “athletes” in quotes, but perhaps I should just zip it. These guys are probably much more athletic than us golfers.
In the video below, my pal Chad Robinson gives us a little information on the indoor skate park:
As a guest of the OGIO indoor skate park I was indoctrinated by jumping into the “giant vat of thousands of 1×1 square foot foam things.” This is where the skaters or BMXers (is that a word?) perform aerials and land softly. In the video below I do my jump.
I have more photos of the OGIO facility as a sub album of the HOG OGIO gallery. Those photos can be found here or by clicking on any of the photos in this article.
In conclusion I’d like to thank my good friends at OGIO for hosting me and taking time out of their busy day to show me around the facility. The entire experience was amazing, impressive and an eye opening experience from a business standpoint.
I wish OGIO the best and I’ll continue to do my tiny part to help promote their golf endeavors!