Reinventing the wheel
2017 marks 200 years since the bicycle was invented. Since then, technology has put a 21st century spin on conventional bikes, giving rise to the electric bike. The wheels began turning when James Metcalfe, director of Volt, noticed many commuters using electric bikes while travelling in Asia. Formed in 2008, Volt Bikes is committed to manufacturing high-end, stylish and affordable electric bikes.
Volt Bikes started off producing and manufacturing their own electric bikes. Now they’ve risen to be UK’s largest brand of electric bikes. Their bikes are well-suited to a wide array of customers, from daily commuters to leisure riders.
Time for manufacturing business efficiency
Before using Unleashed, Volt Bikes was using basic programs, such as Excel, to manage their stock; they even tried other inventory management software, but none were suitable for what they needed. “Unleashed allowed us to have multiple warehouse locations, which is critical for a company like ours,” explains James.
Volt Bikes work in a unique way where they deliver bikes to their shops, but it isn’t invoiced until the bikes are sold to the end-users. Due to the way they’ve set up their business, inventory transparency and reliability is of huge importance. “It’s critical for us to know where our stock is live, at that time,” adds James.
Since implementing Unleashed, James has found that the business processes are more efficient. They are able to manage all their dealers, and treat each one like a warehouse. With increased business efficiency, they have more time on their hands. Now they finish work at normal business hours, instead of having to stay late just to go through multiple spreadsheets for accuracy. “It’s given us more time to see family after work,” says James.
“When we got Unleashed in place, it just made it a lot easier for us.”
With Unleashed smoothly handling their multiple warehouses, Volt Bikes can continue to scale their business for the future, and can be sure they always have the inventory on hand to meet customer demand.
Unleashed has given a lot more time to us, we finish our work at normal business hours now rather than having to stay late go through multiple spreadsheets, double- check everything, we just know it’s reliable and really, is really given us more time just to see family and stuff afterwards, it’s nice, just relax.
My name is James Metcalfe, I’m a director in Volt Bikes, we are an electric bike manufacturer based in London. About ten years ago, I was traveling in Asia, I saw there’s a lot of electric bikes being used and than I thought, there’s something with these, we brought over here and sort of benefit people in the UK, took about two years sort of formulating the first project from there with produce our own bikes and have been manufacturing since and now we are the UK’s largest brand of electric bike and our target market are really anyone. We have a lot of commuters that buy our bikes, we’ve got, you know, leisure riders, people sort of like that, but really you have to be over fourteen to ride an electrical bike anyway, but anyone really.
Very, very popular in the market sort of 40-plus market people are sort of getting back into cycling, any one of the injuries, you know, it’s a just a new thing, it’s interesting, in Germany 50% of the market is now electric bikes in the UK is a lot smaller, but it’s expanding very rapidly. Before Unleashed we were using programs like Microsoft Excel, just spreadsheet programs and tried some inventory programs from other manufacturers and they just weren’t suitable for what we needed, so when we found Unleashead after a lot of research, we realised that it’s the one for us it allowed us to have multiple warehouse locations which is critical for a company like ourselves, so all our dealers are effectively warehouses for us, so we keep all our stocks at each dealer and for us it means we can manage our stock live and if people ring us saying I need the bike, do you have one in Liverpool? We’re like yeah, let’s just check, we can check the model etc and just see it live there.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.