2020 was undoubtedly an unorthodox year, with independents, brands and distributors alike feeling the inevitable effects of a turbulent period for businesses the world over. BikeBiz caught up with seven UK distributors to reflect on a bizarre yet successful period for the cycling industry.
Today, we hear from Rob Haycock, CEO of ZyroFisher
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to adapt to what is a rapidly changing market. During this time, ZyroFisher has implemented a number of changes to its operational structure and service delivery to enable us to better serve our dealer base.
Sales have definitely seen a boost due to the pandemic. This has been widespread across most of our categories, with only selected products not seeing a positive uplift – such as travel bags with reduced international travel throughout the year.
We’re delighted to have added some amazing brands to our portfolio this year: Niner, Red Bull, Walberg, Continental, Rascal and Cpreme. Niner and Rascal have both been added to our bike division, broadening our offering into the gravel, MTB and kids categories, all of which have seen significant growth this year.
The addition of Walberg e-scooters has allowed us to move further into the e-mobility market and expand our appeal to new retailers. With Continental tyres, we are able to offer the IBD marketing a further range of products to complement our existing offering.
Behind the scenes
I suppose one of the biggest developments is that I joined the business, as CEO, in the middle of a pandemic! My experience covers both distribution and brand development, and I was most recently CEO of Pure Radio after spending 12 years at Kondor. As a very keen club cyclist, I have a genuine enthusiasm for both the ZyroFisher business as well as the wider industry.
Secondly, we have implemented significant changes in the warehouse. A new replenishment model has resulted in a 60% increase in productivity. In order to meet immediate demand, the operations team developed a new pick and pack routine, allowing the business to drive efficiency and respond to increased order volumes.
This adaptation has now been permanently built into our IT systems, meaning that these efficiencies are now an ongoing benefit to all of our customers. The warehouse has also moved to a paperless dispatch model, which again increases efficiency and also adds to our growing list of environmentally friendly changes that have been implemented over the last 12 months.
Most recently, we have united all of our brands under one larger portfolio managed by Jon Sherwood and his team. Jon has a wealth of experience, having run the ZyroFisher marketing team from 2012-2017. Since January, Jon has assumed the position of brand director for the Zyro portfolio as well as more recently leading the marketing function.
We have always championed the IBD cause, both internally and to our brands. With our own IBD sales director Andy Budd, who has over 30 years of experience within the industry, we always ensure the IBD channel is at the forefront of what we do.
We ensured that the IBD channel had sales team contacts throughout the pandemic to enable them to place orders, raise queries and receive the best service throughout the year. Retailers have experienced the busiest trading in living memory, and our support teams have been committed to offering them the support they need.
2021 and beyond
We are already working on a number of exciting developments for 2021, but as I’m sure you can appreciate it’s hard to say too much at this stage! Our focus is always to make sure we move with the market. We aim to be the partner of choice for brands, as well as ensuring we have all the necessary brands and services to be the preferred supplier for our customers.
We will continue to invest throughout the business, not least in our infrastructure and operational capabilities but as we all move into an ever-increasingly digital world, we will ensure we focus resources in areas that allow us to better serve the market.