Biketart was formed in 2008 and is based in Canterbury, Kent, where it employs twelve people and sells a range of bikes, bike parts, accessories and clothing.
The company originates from the selling of clear protective tape to protect bikes from chips and scratches, and the development of a collection of products to ‘tart’ up bikes led to Biketart being formed! As the business grew, in 2010 Biketart moved to larger warehouse premises and opened a new showroom there before opening a second retail-specific store in the centre of Canterbury in 2014.
The business stocks around 7,500 items, predominantly sourced from a range of UK suppliers and recent growth has seen the company handling around 5,000 orders per month. These orders are received through the company’s website, Amazon and eBay channels, retail store and showroom.
Biketart has been using OrderWise since 2015 and here Managing Director Adam Westwood tells us more about how the business is using OrderWise to manage its operations.
Before implementing OrderWise the company was using a limited stock control system, which caused them problems in the early days of their growth. Adam tells us that, “It was inflexible, struggled to cope with our business demands and was laborious to use.”
As the business continued to grow, the lack of functionality became a greater issue with time being wasted and correct warehouse stock levels becoming difficult to maintain.
“There were no features to allow mass data imports/exports or bulk editing, no forecasting functionality and a lack of integration with other systems, all of which were holding us back.”
As an expanding multi-channel retailer, Biketart needed a system that could cope with the company’s growth and offer more in-depth functionality. Therefore the business began looking for a suitable system for managing their day-to-day operations.
Considering the company’s growth, it was important for Biketart to source a software solution that was adaptable and scalable. Adam says:
“We needed a system that was capable of supporting future growth. We wanted something that would last and that we could rely on for a long time to come.”
As a business trading both online and from two retail sites, there was a range of functionality that Biketart required in order to trade efficiently and maximise sales opportunities. Adam tells us that, “We needed a system that supported multiple locations, provided tight integration into our website and allowed face-to-face sales with a proper EPOS function.” Additionally, “Full traceability of all stock was key so that we knew what was coming in from where, and integration to our couriers and SAGE was also essential.”
For any business, access to clear data is crucial and Adam comments that, “A key requirement for us was the ability to provide reporting and proper business intelligence to inform our decision making.” Similarly, increasing efficiency and productivity in any business is vital and Biketart was keen to gain as much functionality to meet this requirement as possible. Adam notes that, “Bulk data editing was important because I like trying to save as much time as possible.”
The features and functionality sought by Biketart led them to discovering OrderWise in their online search. Adam recalls that, “Looking at some of the product videos and case studies on the website showed us how practical OrderWise was, which was important.”
OrderWise has a variety of teams across the business that are involved in the development, sale, implementation, project management and support of each software solution. Adam points out that:
“After speaking with OrderWise, what came across is that, aside from excellent software, they had a proper understanding of the realities of running eCommerce and distribution businesses. It was clear that they’d taken the time previously to look at the companies they sell software to and design it around what those companies actually needed. The ability to tailor the system to our requirement was really important. Anything I suggested, OrderWise had an answer to and I really believed it had the ability to do those things rather than it just being sales chat.”
Providing a comprehensive, modular and scalable system are fundamental elements of OrderWise and, whilst not requiring all that OrderWise could do at the time, Adam comments that, “It was good to know that additional functionality was there so that the system would cope with future growth.”
Implementing & Using OrderWise
Once the decision to implement OrderWise was made, then came the task of moving data from Biketart’s old system and a variety of databases. Adam recalls that, “Data extraction and correlation were very challenging but OrderWise took care of this to give us a complete data set. We were very impressed with the process.”
Adam goes on to say that, “We had a dedicated Project Manager who managed the whole process very well, which included some difficult integration work with our website and third-parties. She was our single point of contact from start-to-finish and we felt looked after the whole way through.”
A key feature of OrderWise implementation is the training provided to customers of the software and Adam tells us that this was, “Tailored to what we needed and using our own data was great as it all made more sense. Also the training with the barcode scanners in their mock warehouse for picking and packing was really good too.”
With OrderWise in place and training undertaken, Biketart has been seeing great enhancements to its everyday business management. Adam highlights that:
“We have a much better handle on stock management and have been able to identify many areas of the business that needed improving. Our efficiency has grown hugely. With clear reporting and forecasting features we’ve been able to spot opportunities that we would have otherwise missed and we have the information we need to make smart purchasing and selling decisions.”
Traceability and company-wide visibility of stock has been an area where Biketart has really benefitted from the use of OrderWise. Adam tells us, “One of the key benefits of OrderWise is that I can literally pick up anything and I can find out who ordered it, when they ordered it, how much it cost, where it’s been through the building, if it’s been transferred between our stock locations, who it’s been sold to and how it was posted.”
As a growing business that handles large quantities of orders, quick and effective despatch processes are vital. Adam says, “We have grown massively in the period since taking on OrderWise but staff are able to achieve much more due to the efficiency of the system. All orders are picked, packed and shipped using the OrderWise barcode scanners which make all of our warehouse activities fast and accurate. They’ve also helped enormously with stock-taking.”
Installing new business software is a big undertaking, but OrderWise always provides both initial support during the implementation process and also ongoing support to customers going forward. Adam tells us that:
“Support has been brilliant. They make good use of remote-access so that we can show any issues to them live. They have a large support team but we have had a small number of different people working with us which means they have built up an understanding of our business and how we use the software. We know that whatever issue we raise it will get resolved.”
After an exciting period of growth, Adam and the team at Biketart are looking forward to further development of the business in the coming years. He tells us that, “2017 will be another year of growth for us as we expand to a larger warehouse and look for other opportunities. The bike industry is changing rapidly and we need to keep nimble to ensure we’re doing the right things. We know that OrderWise will continue to develop their functionality going forward and the knowledge that they have clients many times larger than us gives us confidence that they are the right software supplier for us.”
OrderWise looks forward to further supporting Biketart and we’d like to thank Adam Westwood for taking the time to talk to us.
More information on Biketart can be found at: www.biketart.com