04.10.2018

How Santa Cruz Bicycles jumps over freight hurdles with Flexport

Ela Lasić

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Based in Santa Cruz, California, Santa Cruz Bicycles is a manufacturer of high-performance 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 struggled to receive timely updates on the status of parts in transit, making it difficult for their team to stay aligned and meet launch schedules.

Flexport’s solution

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.

“We’ve gone from communicating back and forth over email to all staying in sync on the platform. Flexport makes a huge impact on the way our team works because we’re able to collaborate so much more easily.”
‒ Angela Jensen, Buyer at Santa Cruz Bicycles

  • 57 Santa Cruz suppliers onboarded to the Flexport network
  • 60 unique parts required to manufacture each bicycle
  • 3.36 million individual parts shipped with Flexport

Getting started

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 in search of a better solution.

Streamlined collaboration

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 for 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 their 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.”

For more information as to how Flexport can bring visibility to your supply chain, contact us here or at (855) FLEX-123.

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