How Santa Cruz Bicycles Jumps Over Freight Hurdles With Flexport
Suppliers onboard to the Flexport network
Unique parts required to manufacture each bike
Individual parts shipped with Flexport
Santa Cruz Bicycles Sees Efficieny Climb
Based in Santa Cruz, California, Santa Cruz Bicycles is a manufacturer of high-end mountain bikes. With each bicycle hand-assembled to order in their California factory, Santa Cruz strives to continuously push the limits on what goes into making the highest-quality mountain bike.
Santa Cruz faces challenges in managing its procurement timeline to meet its manufacturing timeline. Sourcing pieces from over 100 suppliers worldwide, Santa Cruz had struggled to receive timely updates on the status of parts in transit, making it difficult to keep their team aligned and meet launch schedules.
Flexport brought visibility into the location of each moving part of Santa Cruz’s supply chain. With Flexport’s platform, different members of Santa Cruz’s buying, receiving and finance teams are all able to access the information they need, ensuring timely production of each bicycle through easy collaboration.
As part of the procurement team at Santa Cruz Bicycles, Angela Jensen and her fellow buyers are responsible for purchasing parts from 150 global suppliers to support the assembly of their bikes in their California facility. In addition to procurement, much of their time is also spent ensuring the timely arrival of the many moving components of Santa Cruz’s supply chain.
“We used to have to email our forwarder for an update on a shipment, and then wait for their response,” says Jensen. “It wasn’t in real time and it didn’t fit the speed in which we were moving.” As demand for their product grew, Santa Cruz decided to evaluate forwarders that could provide a better solution.
After doing a trial with Flexport, Santa Cruz decided to switch over 100% of their business. “We simply needed more visibility into where our shipments were,” recalls Jensen. “With Flexport, we save so much time because all the tracking and shipment data we need are updated in real time on the platform.”
Along with their buyers, several Santa Cruz suppliers and its warehouse receiving and accounts payable teams work together on Flexport day-to-day. “We’ve always got Flexport open on a tab at work. We’ve gone from communicating back and forth over email to all staying in sync on the Flexport platform,” says Jensen. “Flexport makes a huge impact on the way our team works because we’re able to collaborate so much more easily.”
One of the greatest benefits of centralized collaboration has been less confusion between teams. “If a shipment is delayed, instead of waiting for an update from us, our warehouse team receives an alert in real-time so they update their schedules. Those time-critical notifications make a huge difference.”
The Flexport Difference
With Flexport, Santa Cruz has also been able to dive deeper into its supply chain. “We’ve started using Flexport’s reporting and analytics feature to pull historical data such as landed cost per SKU and container utilization to make more strategic decisions,” says Jensen.
Beyond the benefits of the platform, Jensen says the best part of working with Flexport has been the account team she works with. “We don’t have a logistics department, and with Flexport, we don’t need one. We have a true partner in our freight forwarding team, and for us that makes all the difference.”
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