The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club (BSMC) in Shoreditch, London is the perfect example of a hobby turned successful business enterprise.
What initially started as a blog written by avid motorcycle enthusiast, Anthony Dutch Van Someren, has evolved from a virtual community to become a club with a 12,000 square foot retail premises in Central London. The BSMC includes a cafe and restaurant, a retail outlet for the Club’s exclusive clothing and accessory range, a barbers shop and events space.
When the cafe was forced to close due to lockdown, the team at the BSMC focused their attention on the retail side of the business, building a new e-commerce website for direct to consumer sales.
However, with plans for expansion, including new premises in LA, getting an e-commerce business off the ground and fulfilling orders was a time-consuming task the team at BSMC could ill afford.
Choosing to outsource
Clare Alexander, Production & Wholesale Manager at BSMC, said: “The business was growing fast and when lockdown hit, we knew if we wanted that growth to continue we’d need to pivot and put more emphasis on e-commerce.
“We had already experienced the challenges of order fulfilment from sending weekly orders to the wholesalers we supply, so we were familiar with the time involved in picking and packing stock and the difficulties of trying to do this in a space that’s open to the public 7 days a week!
“Right from the offset, we knew we’d need to outsource the e-commerce fulfilment, but as a small company experiencing rapid growth, we needed to partner with someone who could handle that and keep up.
“Cloud was recommended to us, but it’s still a daunting idea to hand over something that’s yours to someone else. There were so many things to consider: How much would it cost? How would it work? How would the stock get to the warehouse? How would the systems integrate? These were all questions. However, the team at Cloud were really supportive and together we did it.”
"As a small company experiencing rapid growth, we needed to partner with someone who could handle that and keep up."
Production & Wholesale Manager The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club
The Cloud solution
The process of outsourcing the fulfilment operation seemed like a daunting task to BSMC, but with the help of Cloud’s fulfilment and logistics experts, their stock was successfully transported to the Cloud fulfilment centre in time for the new e-commerce site to go live.
Stock is sent directly from the manufacturer to the Cloud warehouse, where it is checked and securely stored ready for despatch. Using a custom-built Shopify integration, Cloud’s warehouse management system receives orders directly from the BSMC’s online store and directs the fulfilment team to pick, pack and despatch.
“The greatest benefit of outsourcing to a third-party logistics provider like Cloud is the time it saves,” said Clare.
“Order fulfilment is so time-consuming and now we have free time to focus on expansion. We have premises opening in LA and we don’t plan to stop there, so there is a lot to do and it’s great to know that the e-commerce side of the business is taken care of.”