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Raleigh Shifts up a Gear with Anthesis

Bike leader carves competitive edge and drives growth with Managed Services from Infor’s largest M3 partner


About Raleigh

One of the world’s best known bike brands, Raleigh was established in 1887 in Nottingham. Renowned for iconic bikes such as the Burner, Grifter and Chopper, as well as cutting-edge bikes like TI-Raleigh Tour-de-France-winning 753 steel frames, its design and wheel building still takes place at its Nottingham headquarters, while manufacturing operations are offshored.

Now part of the Accell Group, a European-based company which owns a collection of Bicycle and Accessory brands throughout Europe, Raleigh remains focused on innovating across its brands to deliver the best possible product for its customers.

Evolving demands

With a business comprising both bikes and parts & accessories, Raleigh’s biggest challenges are to keep pace with evolving demands from its customers, build competitive advantage and to expand market share.

Against this backdrop, Raleigh invested in Infor’s Movex (now Infor M3) ERP capabilities in 2003 to support the integration of business processes, establish an e-commerce model and boost productivity. One of the key drivers of the deployment was to integrate its two distinct bikes and accessories divisions into one.

Selecting a partner for growth

As the business evolved, so did its system needs, and in 2010, Raleigh turned to Infor’s largest M3 partner, Anthesis, for support.

“With 2000 trade customers, our business rarely stays still for long. We realised that in order to carve out new routes to market and deliver a competitive online retail experience, we needed to work with a trusted partner,” comments Barrie Timson, Business Systems Manager, Raleigh. “Anthesis stood out from all of the providers we engaged with, offering high level consultancy, deep skillsets and flexibility, compared with the fairly rigid support models provided by the majority of organisations in this space.

“Anthesis genuinely listened to us, took time to fully understand our business model and processes, and scoped out a flexible managed services contract which could scale to meet Raleigh’s specific requirements at any point. A combination of access to the team’s in-depth expertise and experience, while being able turn services on and off according to business demands, made the decision to work with them an easy one.”

Unlocking value

As well as access to managed services skills on an ongoing basis, Anthesis has been crucial in a number of flagship projects at Raleigh.

In a market where competition exists from both web giants and more specialist outlets, getting Raleigh’s online retail experience right is absolutely crucial.

In creating a web platform which would support high levels of service and prompt fulfilment, particularly when it comes to parts and accessories, Raleigh worked with Anthesis to integrate back office systems and facilitate the right interfaces with Infor M3.

With expertise across numerous peripheral Movex/M3 products, Anthesis worked with Raleigh to deliver a solution using the integration capabilities of Infor M3 Enterprise Collaborator (MeC). This solution was invaluable in facilitating the right web solution to support a superior web experience, which in turn allows customers to navigate products easily and place orders in just a couple of clicks.

Extending this capability further, Raleigh looked at ways in which it could optimise its fulfilment to boost market share. In a move unique to its industry, the bike specialist launched an ‘order before 9pm for next day delivery’ service to the 2000 trade customers it serves.

To facilitate this fulfilment proposition, Raleigh required not only development work to the core system, but greater visibility and efficiency in its warehouse. With 20,000 SKUs and 1,100 different bikes, picking & packing efficiency was crucial to Raleigh’s business strategy, and the team worked closely with Anthesis during the project, providing support services which contributed to a successful implementation of a voice picking solution.

The new system meant that as well as being able to locate and dispatch products quickly, easily and accurately, the intuitiveness of the software removed the need for extensive training, expediting the whole process. In an area where temporary staff are prevalent, this deployment saved inordinate amounts of time to drive efficiencies and get products out of the door in a timely manner.

“Ultimately, the ROI we have seen from our partnership with Anthesis resides in our agility to react to market changes, new opportunities and challenges quickly,” Barrie concludes. “As well as great leadership and integrity, the team connects us to an unparalleled network of solutions and support and is a genuine business partner in Raleigh’s quest to become a market leader.”

Going the extra mile

“As we move into the next stage of our business growth we have every confidence that we’re in the best shape to capitalise on opportunities, and indeed mitigate risk. We have access to the very best skills, and a team which continuously goes the extra mile to help us boost business performance – all without needing to increase our IT footprint.”