CELL Bikes Realises 60% Growth with Omnichannel Systems Upgrade

CELL Bikes first set up shop in a physical storefront in Sydney’s Rockdale, circa 2002. Since then, the once-humble retailer has rapidly increased its technological capabilities, transforming into one of the countries leading cycle brands.

The key to CELL Bikes growing success has been its e-commerce website. First launched in 2006, growing revenues from the online channel have been consistently reinvested to ensure online stays ahead of the curve.

This strategy resulted in a key technology partnership being formed in 2009 when NetSuite was brought onboard to to recreate and integrate CELL Bikes’ front-end and back-end systems into a holistic, SaaS-based e-commerce platform. As a result, the brand has witnessed high revenue growth, to the tune of 38 percent in 2009-2010 – yielding a place in BRW‘s Fast 100 ranks.

In order to find out more about how CELL Bikes went about integrating its accounting, POS, CRM and website software in just a few months, join us for our upcoming webinar on the topic, presented by CELL Bikes and NetSuite, on Thursday, February 27 at 12:30pm AEDT.

CELL Bikes
CELL Bikes has increased its range and growth rate as a result of omnichannel replatforming.

Overcoming the Challenges of Disparate Systems

From shipping, inventory management, POS and marketing initiatives, CELL Bikes had quickly realised the true cost of doing business online without a fully-integrated back-end.

Moreover, the level of resources required to manage these systems and treat the various lines of data in and out of the business was considered intensive and even wasteful, as staff were required to perform duplicate data entry tasks.

“After deploying NetSuite, we were able to reallocate that personnel budget into revenue-generating tasks such as direct sales, customer service, online marketing and promotions,” says Michael Simms, COO of CELL Bikes.

The retailer was previously using MYOB and MYOB POS, as well as a custom e-commerce platform built on open source software. The back end of which had simple order management and fulfilment capabilities. The big problem with this set up is that each system contain discrete data sets, which could quickly become misaligned if they weren’t kept constantly up to date, leaving CELL Bikes with what as essentially a manual inventory control system.

“I would estimate we were expending the equivalent of two full-time resources in firefighting, manual data updates and duplicate order entry,” says Simms. “That’s $120,000 per year in salaries that, after deploying NetSuite, we were able to allocate to more valuable tasks.”

Beyond that, CELL Bikes’ processes were also more efficient and faster after the project was executed, with a dramatic decrease in the time taken from the receipt of an order to completed fulfilment.

The Pros and Cons of SaaS-based Platforms

Retailers have the option of using cloud-based, on-demand software suites versus those managed on an in-house server bank. Some may even take a hybrid approach to the way they host these systems, however there are pros and cons in each direction.

When taking a SaaS-based approach, the obvious benefit to the retailer is the availability and accessibility of the system. Changes can be made on the fly from any location – and just about any device – in the world. By comparison, the only real downside exists where the system is integrated with any custom or third-party softwares, making these processes a little slower and more difficult to manage or upgrade. However, overall the benefits yielded by a SaaS technology, or even a hybrid solution, far outweigh this downside.

The Results of CELL Bikes Partnership with NetSuite

By integrating and automating many of CELL Bikes’ back-end needs, the retailer has been able to significantly grow its product range from 2,500 SKUs to 8,000. At the same time, held-inventory has also increased from $1 million to $3 million in the same timeframe.

More results:

  • Order to complete fulfilment time has reduced by 75%
  • Improved inventory efficiency has increased inventory turnover by 30%
  • CELLBikes can now ship more than 600 orders per day, whereas this number was previously 150
  • Customer behaviour analytics are saving the retailer $5,000 per month in custom program development costs
  • The company itself has grown by 60% in the time since replatforming, while staffing resources have grown just 10%

In order to find out more about how CELL Bikes went about integrating its accounting, POS, CRM and website software in just a few months, join us for our upcoming webinar on the topic, presented by CELL Bikes and NetSuite, on Thursday, February 27 at 12:30pm AEDT.

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