Although UK-based Spartan Precision Equipment only started selling their innovative new product this year, they’re well on their way to world domination. With a worldwide patent for a product that revolutionises the hunting industry, their Javelin Bipods are moving towards becoming a staple for the modern hunter.
People dream about creating innovative new products that change the world. As a result, there’s a tendency for small businesses to take on a “if you build it, he will come” approach when bringing products to market.
However, that’s actually a very small part of reaching success. How the idea is executed is a major part in determining whether or not the product will be successful. Your backend system can make or break your business. Here's how Javelin Bipod built a backend system worthy of the wonderful new product that they've brought to market.
We spoke to Simon Wilkinson, Commercial Director of Spartan Precision Equipment to find out more about how the Javelin Bipod came into existence, how the idea was brought to market, and how they plan to move forward.
Disrupting an industry
A bipod is a piece of equipment used to provide a steady plane and a crucial piece of equipment for many hunters.
The story of how Javelin Bipod came into fruition is an interesting one.
In 2010, a professional deer stalker met with two design engineers to discuss a problem. Despite the innovation of rifles and optics, the design of the Bipod was outdated in many respects.
Thus, they embarked on an ambitious plan - to design a Bipod that was lightweight, compact, quiet to use and most importantly, removed and fitted to the rifle in seconds.
It took over 2 and a half year of refinement, design changes, and scoping out manufacturing. 4 years after its initial conception, the Javelin Bipod is well on its way to becoming a must-have tool for the modern hunter.
The ‘how’ of going to market
The Bipod has been on the market since Spring 2014. Assembly happens locally, and Spartan Precision Equipment work with several different UK-based manufacturers.
After securing a global patent on the product, Simon Wilkinson was brought in to turn the idea into a viable business. Having accrued substantial experience in starting businesses, Simon could already see how he would eventually be buried under spreadsheets as the business grew. He decided to look for an inventory management solution before they even began to sell the product.
We had already decided on Shopify for our eCommerce platform and Xero for our backend accounting solution. We were looking for that piece in the middle to secure these ‘two-ends’. For us, TradeGecko was the ideal solution - Simon Wilkinson
The upfront costs associated with the implementation of an ERP system means that it was ruled out as a solution early on. Like many young businesses, committing to a 5 to 6 figure solution just isn’t possible, not to mention the massive training effort involved. It’s difficult to gauge where the business is going to be 6 months from now, not to mention a few years.
From early on, Simon looked for ways to implement systems that could scale up easily alongside the business. A Cloud-based system offers the flexibility required to start a dynamic business.
With fairly seamless integrations, it's saved the business from double entering inventory information twice - once to track the physical stock, and again for accounting.
Where to next?
Now that the business is up and running, the businesses has ambitious expansion plans.
In the UK, the hunting industry is made up of approximately 55,000 hunters. Compare that to the 5 million hunters in Europe and the 10 million hunters in the US however, there's a substantial market out there for the Javelin Bipod.
Using TradeGecko's multi currency tool, Javelin Bipod is well-poised to grow their cross-border business. Long term, they also hope to have warehouses and different facilities in every continent that they sell in, in which case, TradeGecko's multi warehouse function will come in handy.
Down the line, the distribution and potential sales opportunities could change drastically.
For many entrepreneurs, having the game changing product is merely the first step. It's establishing the business that revolves around the product that's the difficult part.
It takes an experienced entrepreneur to not just deal with inefficient processes, but to go so far as to foresee potential issues down the line and avert them by adopting best practice. From conception, Javelin Bipod was promising. Nevertheless, it's the efficient processes by which the product was managed and sold to the end customer that has allowed the business to flourish.