Spanish manufacturer Orbea has launched what it says is the answer to IBDs’ bike stocking conundrum.
‘Just in Time’ will tackle the problem of long lead times for specific models that result in lost sales and – on the other hand – minimising excess inventory headaches for dealers, Orbea said.
Following years of refinement, the manufacturing process sees a new scanning and planning system that ensures the correct components are added to the correct frame, and gives advanced notice of possible component shortages.
“This system allows us respond better to dealers demands all year round,” explained business development manager Ramon Mendiburu. “The dealer can see on our B2B what bikes are built and ready to ship, as well as the exact number of frames available to be built to any required specification. When the dealer places the order for a specific model, the appropriate components are selected and are joined up with the frame at the production line.”
According to Orbea, sales in the UK and Ireland have been growing significantly over the last couple of seasons, with much of the growth being credited to the improved year-round availability.
“Under normal circumstances, almost any model can be delivered to the dealer in two to three weeks and sometimes faster,” Mendiburu. “As with any supply chain, there will be occasional glitches caused by an oversell in a given model, or a delay in a component arriving from a supplier, but they rarely result in a delay of more than a couple of weeks – generally it works pretty well.”
The Just in Time process covers higher value bikes in excess of £1,500. For higher rotation models in the £300 to £500 range, Orbea always keeps a supply always in stock to allow for immediate dispatch.
This system also permits Orbea to offer a custom-build service, with customers able to specify crank lengths, bar widths, wheels, and many more options, with similar lead times to production models.
Orbea has manufacturing and assembly facilities in four countries; at HQ in Mallabia, Spain; another facility in Portugal; in the United States and in Kunshan in China, where they handle distribution into Australasia and South America. “Having a global footprint such as we do means that we can react relatively quickly to demands of specific localised markets,” explained Mendiburu.