For 3Sixty Sports founder and owner Bruce Davey, cycling and adventure sports have always been a passion. It’s this passion that led him to design his own bicycle lights – Gloworm Lights – and eventually expand into a multi-brand wholesale cycling and adventure gear business.
3Sixty Sports was founded in 2014 by Davey, who had a vision to bring high-quality bikes and cycling parts to the New Zealand community.
Thanks to the success of his Gloworm Lights – which he designed with a business partner from Greece – he had plenty of contacts in the cycling industry and saw the opportunity to provide a more customer-focused service to local bike gear dealers.
He also knew that selling wholesale for the most part was the key to success for 3Sixty Sports, as it allowed a larger throughput of product and a bigger profit. Although selling B2B usually means needing to hold a lot of stock, Davey was able to circumvent this challenge from the outset by working with buyers that enabled him to operate as lean as possible.
Like most businesses, though, there were plenty of challenges in the early days for 3Sixty Sports. For starters, it took some experimenting to find the right range of products:
At first, I stocked products that I knew worked and were priced well, but I realized that customers are very brand-aware. They like to buy brands that they recognize, so I adjusted my product range to incorporate well-known brands that are also high quality.
Davey’s initial approach to inventory management also left a lot to be desired. He started off by memorizing the number of products in his garage (a method that failed pretty quickly!) and then moved to a widely used but outdated inventory management system for his specific industry. When that system just didn’t cut it, he decided to move to QuickBooks Commerce:
A few people actually warned me that I might lose customers if I switched from the old system. I told them I might lose a customer or two, but I’ll gain efficiency.
As it turns out, Davey’s switch to QuickBooks Commerce was a smooth transition. He helped reduce resistance to change by taking his iPad to his buyers’ shops and educating them on how to use the system. He also found that QuickBooks Commerce’s intuitive interface made it easy for many buyers to get started using the B2B eCommerce platform on their own.
Today, 3Sixty Sports services approximately 175 bike shops around New Zealand, selling quality bikes and bike parts. Davey says QuickBooks Commerce's integration with Xero is hugely beneficial for centrally managing invoices and orders from a growing number of buyers:
I especially recommend TradeGecko to other B2B businesses who use Xero. The TradeGecko-Xero integration is one of the big positives for me.
QuickBooks Commerce’s stock management capabilities enable Davey, his one full-time staff member, and three contracted sales reps to monitor stock levels in real time, even while on the road. Because he sells bike parts separately and together, Davey also finds QuickBooks Commerce’s bundles feature useful for accurately tracking stock whether it’s sold individually or bundled.
With QuickBooks Commerce’s suite of wholesale features in tow, Davey plans to grow his business by continuing to focus on boutique bike parts and gear. For 3Sixty Sports, the future is about quality over quantity, but Davey says that QuickBooks Commerce is an invaluable tool for any SME:
I’ve already recommended TradeGecko to other businesses. For a small-to-medium-sized business, it’s the perfect solution. It’s easy to use and easy to integrate.
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