Friday, May 05, 2006

Yes, we're still alive...

It's that time of year, for many of us in the bike industry, when it is very hard to keep your head above water. It feels like you are just barely staying afloat some days (for some of us that is the feeling nearly every day). Maybe you are a Brand Manager, scrambling feverishly to complete your product line, finish graphics, work on a catalog, figure out budget planning for next year and still find time in the schedule to travel and sell. Maybe you are trying to cover the racing scene. Maybe you have lots of travel and seminars to attend, presentations to make and people to talk to. Or, maybe, you have a new child and are reveling in parenthood and are missing a little sleep. Right now, for many of us, this is about at "bad" as it gets. (For the record, none of us are complaining because we know we've got it good.)

With that said, please don't give up on the Krew. We're here. We still have ideas. We still want to talk and share and keep the dialog going. On behalf of my fellow contributors, I'd like to assure you that we haven't gone anywhere. On top of that, some big things are on the horizon that you will not want to miss. You just have to trust me when I say that things are going to just get better around here.

So please bare with us as we all struggle with deadlines and hectic schedules. We'll be back bigger, badder and better than ever.

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 8:56 PM

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 10:18 PM  
    I know what you mean about it being difficult to keep your head above water this time of year. On the front line of the bike industry, the sales floor, we struggle to find time to display new stock (or even order it!) and the mechanics haven't got time to build new bikes which is frustrating at a time when demand is highest.

    What has this got to do with bike marketing? Well, the other day a rep was asking me how the new brand of shoe that he had got us to stock was selling. I replied in all honesty that I hadn't had time to put them out on display and he just stood there with his order pad wanting to know if I wanted to order any more.

    Anyone sales rep in that position should have grabbed the shoe boxes and be putting them out on display...he'd have been doing me a favour and increasing sales for the both of us.

    We have a small number of staff in our shop so a lot of times we will have to leave reps to serve customers. I've never known a clothing rep (for example) to go over to the display and check stock levels, remove empty hangers, move stock around, put out catalogues etc.

    There's only one rep I know who used to come along with his own duster so he could dust his stock and make his stand look the best it could to appeal to customers.

    Maybe sales reps need to change to sales and marketing reps. And give them a duster to use instead of drinking coffee when the shop staff are busy :)
  2. Anonymous Phil posted at 11:03 PM  
    That's a fair comment Anon and I agree. When I used to work the road there were many times I also sold bikes for my retailers rather than standing around, I know they really appreciated it......and I had some fun doing it.

    AS a big city shop, there are many times where we're so busy that it's difficult to talk to a rep when they show for their appointment, usually we just tell 'em to come back next time and place the order ourselves.

    Increasingly we have more reps do the refill ordering while we work away doing our thing - when they're done we take a good look at the quantities entered in the order sheets or laptop. I highly recommend vendor refills highly if you're strapped for time and staff, if they have a good handle on your numbers, a good rep should be able to do this in their sleep.

    The other thing of note is most of our key reps are now connected to their B2B backend and they do the order right there so we don't have to.

    Additionally' we're now doing quite a few orders B2B with our big suppliers.
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