The My Bike Shop Story
My Bike Shop started as many great businesses do, in a garage. Originally operating as a side hobby to earn extra cash in 2012, the business originated as a secondhand bicycle buy-sell marketplace.
As the business grew, My Bike Shop transitioned to selling new, premium bicycles and parts online. The business continued to grow and in 2017, moved into an expanded warehouse space. But without the right tech stack in place – one that combined powerful warehouse management, store, and shipping – employees and now-President Logan Moreau relied on one another to locate products in the warehouse and get them out the door efficiently. “Somebody knew where everything was at all times,” said Moreau.
The shop’s inventory “wasn’t connected to anything. It was all off paper. There was no barcode scanning,” says Moreau. “You kind of had to know what the item was. It could have been new. It could have been used. Everything had a story… that wasn’t recorded.”
In 2020, COVID hit. Moreau says it was “the bike boom, and we [had] way more traffic, orders, and shipments than we could physically handle without having the right tools in place. “ As My Bike Shop grew, quality control became more difficult. Customers who received the wrong products would leave bad reviews online. “If you can’t save that customer, then you’re also spending time via phone or email trying to rectify the issue. And then, not only are you spending time, but then you’re starting to spend money.”
J. Todd Smith, Director of Growth and Innovation at Intellimar, says the inefficiencies were hurting the business.” We just couldn’t do things fast enough. Not knowing where every item in the building was, we were digging through boxes for orders to try to find the item.”
Moreau says, “A lot of things were kind of crashing and colliding and forcing change. We had to re-evaluate again, OK – how do we stop selling stuff we don’t have and can’t get?”
Initially, they added more employees, but it soon became clear they couldn’t staff their way out of the challenges they were facing. Smith says, “At some point, you couldn’t throw people at it anymore because inventory is not going to shrink.”
My Bike Shop Today
My Bike Shop began working with SkuVault, BigCommerce, and ShipStation to streamline their warehouse operations, reduce mis-ships, and increase their productivity and the speed with which they could get orders out the door.
Here’s how My Bike Shop’s advanced eCommerce tech stack changed their business :
- Target inefficiencies to fill orders more quickly and accurately
They were astounded when the MBS team initially went through the SkuVault onboarding process. “We did a pick and pack, and it took seven minutes. And TK [from SkuVault said,] ‘You shouldn’t be over three.’ And I’m going, seven is twice as long. It’s over twice as long. So, just knowing that we could do – We could literally do twice as many orders. That gives me confidence in knowing that we can scale up orders, scale up the number of items, and be faster at the same time.
- Introduce a barcode system to reduce mis-ships, increase order accuracy, and improve customer service
KC Hill says, “Our error rate is down to .9 percent…we are within industry standard officially.”
- Lower labor costs, and create a system where employees didn’t need to be bike experts to fill orders
Dallas Knocke says, “From a management perspective…we could pull anyone in off the street and [say], ‘B042A, B042B – this is how the grid system works.’ Now, people don’t need to know anything about bikes to pick orders.”
“We have the average number of orders, and we have two guys – and it should just only take 25% of the day. We [can] calculate that every morning,” says Moreau. “Previously, the company tried to hire its way through inefficiencies. But, now we know, OK, this is what one person can do, and this is the volume. This is the point where we add another employee. So we’ve taken it to where we would have needed more people. And now we don’t.”
- Introduce inventory zones and wave picking in combination with paper picking to improve efficiency
“[We] didn’t have previous warehousing experience. And [SkuVault] brought that to the table. [They told us] this is where you guys have massive inefficiencies – but when you’re in it day to day, you can’t really see that. We have [SkuVault] here because [they] know how to do this well.”
- Integrate multiple platforms, including BigCommerce, ShipStation, and eBay
Moreau says, “The fact that they’re integrated is the biggest benefit – the fact that we’re able to connect the systems, or, you know, make the spider web of everything kind of talk to each other. The more we can automate, the more we can decrease human errors. Having that as the baseline, I think is big for anyone looking to scale.”
- Begin shifting from paid ads to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with Big Commerce
Smith says, “Paid [digital advertising] is getting a bit more difficult. As with most brands, it’s our biggest acquisition channel. We’ve got this multi-stage plan, and as we segment inventory and get our inventory really clean, we’ve started also making investments in SEO… Big Commerce has been fantastic when it comes to SEO – and we’re seeing growth in that channel.”
“Getting our inventory straight was really the first step to be able to do that.”
- Made improvements in shipping processes
Prior to using the SkuVault, Big Commerce, ShipStation integration, MBS printed individual orders every morning and put them in a manilla folder to be filled. Now, Moreau says, “We use ShipStation, which is integrated into Big Commerce. [Before] without the integratuion, you could have somebody cancel an order and somebody would be working on [packing] something and they would have to go put it back on the shelf. But now we use ShipStation…When the order comes through… all the order data is in there. We also use the ShipStation tagging system – it’s kind of like our breadcrumb trail if there’s an issue with an order. We use a lot of the functions within ship station to track getting the order out.
- Ensure inventory is always up to date
Return On Investment
Partnering with SkuVault, Big Commerce, and ShipStation hasn’t just increased My Bike Shop’s productivity, decreased their error rate, and saved them money – it’s improved company morale as well.
“SkuVault has been so good for our mental health back here [in the warehouse]. All the numbers have obviously proved a lot of great things about you guys – but also just being able to take pride in increasing those numbers – and there’s far less anxiety about trying to figure out where something is. [We] feel so capable now… it’s so easy now, and it feels so good,” says Dallas Knocke.
Moreau sums it up this way, “I think the what, where and how many are kind of the biggest descriptors. If those are your problems, [SkuVault] is the solution.”