Behind the Scenes With Quality Archery Designs

Kevin Fry, vice president of Quality Archery Designs in Virginia, offers insight on working with dealers and the company’s new Integrate Mounting System.

Behind the Scenes With Quality Archery Designs

Quality Archery Designs, known as QAD, has created trusted, reliable archery accessories for almost three decades. Bowhunters and competitive shooters know about QAD’s arrow rests, nocks, metal release loops and broadheads. Among the hot items is QAD’s Integrate Mounting System, which allows an arrow rest to be mounted to the bow riser via a dovetail mount.

QAD vice president, Kevin Fry, filled Archery Business in on the latest with the company, what’s been going on and what to expect in the future.


AB: For those retailers who may not be QAD dealers, tell us a little bit about the company, its products and how you work with dealers.

KF: The company was founded in 1992 by our current president and owner, Dan Summers. Dan was a machinist by trade. When he decided to better his own archery experience by designing and machining some products for himself, he was encouraged by dealers to sell the product. Dan listened to the dealers. Since then, QAD has grown into a leader in the industry and has gained worldwide recognition primarily for arrow rests and broadheads. The company remains in Virginia to this day and we continue to design and manufacture — from start to finish — products in our own facilities.

The business started with Dan listening to what dealers had to say. We continue that philosophy today. We recognize and appreciate how much dealers play a role in what our company has become. We strive to listen to what they have to say. No matter how large we become, we will make sure they have a personal relationship with someone that works directly for and inside our own office right here in Virginia.


AB: Archers and bowhunters have many options to choose from, with new products arriving each year. How does QAD set itself apart to customers?

KF: We believe when a customer chooses to take his hard-earned money and spend it with us, he deserves to get the best. We do that by continuing to lead the way in innovation and by designing and manufacturing our products in our own facilities so we can demand and control the highest levels of quality control. We are not owned and run by investors who have never picked up a bow, but by Americans passionate about bowhunting and with a desire to give our customers the best experience. We understand what it feels like for someone to take your money and leave you hanging. We will not do that. We offer a level of customer service that is hard to find these days. If you have any issues, we guarantee you will talk directly to someone in our office and we will work hard to take care of you.


AB: In that same regard, how does QAD set itself apart to retailers? Do you have special pricing or other incentive programs?

KF: Retailers are our priority, and our goal is to have a personal relationship with each of our retailers. Yes, we offer aggressive packages, competitive margins, special tier pricing and several other things. We make sure we are always covering those items on a competitive level. What we have that some retailers may not experience with other manufacturers is genuine care and concern for them and their shops.

We strive to build a relationship and work one-on-one to cater to each shop’s needs. We make sure they get to work directly with someone inside our office that is hands-on with the entire company to give them the best possible customer service. We work with our dealers through the hard times and the good times. If they have any issues, we get them what they need immediately to offer the best customer service in their shops. We listen to what they have to say, and we recognize and appreciate their loyalty to QAD. Our dealers are like family to us, and we hope they feel like they are a part of the QAD family.


AB: 2020 was a crazy year, to say the least. How did QAD manage all the changes regarding manufacturing, shipping, staying in touch with dealers, etc.?

KF: Yes, it has been a crazy year, and no one could have predicted or had ever experienced this before. We try to take the approach that we can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to it. When faced with these challenges, we took it day by day like we do anything else. We take the best information we have, make the best decisions based on that information, put in as much wisdom and hard work as we can towards doing the right thing and leave the rest in God’s hands. We made some decisions, such as deciding to stay open, that have helped us not be in further backorder through the unexpected, large demand we saw in June and August. While many shops were closed, we made sure we were here and available to them if they needed us. In March and April, like everyone else, we were down and concerned about how bad it would get. So, to see a complete turnaround, and even better, we are just beyond thankful. We are hoping and praying that everyone else can pull through from the damage of the downtime as well.

AB: I’m a dealer: What are your top sellers and why should I carry them?

KF: I work for QAD, so I feel you should carry them because they are the best (big grin). Seriously, though, there are many reasons to carry our products, and several were mentioned in the above questions. Carry our products because we want to make it beneficial for everyone involved all the way down to the consumer, so everyone wins. We will work with everyone involved to continue to provide the best product and best customer service and will always be willing to listen and improve. We will continue to innovate and hold a reputation that creates a strong demand for our products in your shops. We will continue to grow with you while maintaining a small business relationship. We will keep our products made in the USA. We will make sure you are taken care of if you have any issues and we will listen to you and work through things together.


AB: Tell us about the new Integrate MXT rest. How did it come to be, how does it work, what bows will it work with and what kind of response has QAD received?

KF: The Integrate MXT arrow rest was designed to mount to the Integrate Mounting System (IMS) that we designed. It can now be found as a better mounting option on several bows. We are always looking to improve or make products better. The Berger button mount has been around for a long time, but Dan was convinced there was a better way to mount arrow rests. That’s why he came up with the IMS, which uses a dovetail rail machined into the bow riser and a clamping system to mount the rest rather than the bolt and hole. There are many advantages to the new system — too many to list. Currently, you can find the system on new Mathews and Hoyt bows, and several more are coming. We have seen an overwhelming response, and most people are just asking when the other bow companies will have it. It is quickly becoming the new standard. Buying a new bow without the Integrate Mounting System will be like buying a new car with a cassette player.

QAD Integrate MXT arrow rest
QAD Integrate MXT arrow rest

AB: The Integrate seems to be a product that, at first glance, almost anyone would say, “Why hasn’t that been done before?” Decades of “That’s how it’s always been done” are now changed forever, right?

KF: Exactly. It’s been used and proven as much better in other applications for years, so we asked the same thing but decided to do something about it. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Why not change to the best way?

The design isn’t just a better and more secure way to mount the rest using this mounting system. It actually allowed us to design an even better arrow rest with more features and yet it’s lighter than before and compatible with more bows without extra spacers and parts to make it work. It is the new way. If your bow doesn’t have it, you will not be able to take advantage of all the new, and better arrow rests models that will mount using this method.


AB: What can dealers expect from QAD over the next few years?

KF: Our customers and dealers have requested a target rest from us for years, and we are finally delivering. Last October, we launched our new target rest. We aren’t going anywhere, and we will continue to take our products to the next level. You just never know what might be next.


AB: Anything else you’d like to add about QAD that dealers should know?

KF: Yeah, we just want to say a final thank you to all the dealers out there. We know hard you work to keep your shops open and help people, and we are thankful to be a part of it. We appreciate 28 years of doing business with us. You are a huge part of who we are today, and we feel blessed and thank the Lord to get to be a part of a great industry and know so many great people.


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