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Bike suppliers sign on with Vendor-Link

Published November 30, 2011

PALO ALTO, CA (BRAIN)—Suppliers are signing on to gain access to real-time sell-through and inventory data from Vendor-Link Cycling. Serfas and Cervélo will now be using the reporting service, joining Easton-Bell Sports, the first company that signed up for the service in October.

VLC provides SKU-level, real-time sell-through inventory information and smart reports from participating retailers. This in turn helps vendors improve planning and forecasting, ultimately speeding up fulfillment and reducing lost sales at retail.

“All of the industry suppliers we spoke to are eager to have deeper insight to actual, real-time sell through and inventory data,” said Raz Alon, CEO of Vendor-Link Cycling. “They all speak about the opportunity for the sales teams to be more effective and helpful to dealers and also able to plan, forecast and fulfill significantly better than they have in the past.”

The company launched to the bike market over a year ago and more recently has been working to enroll retailers and suppliers in its program. Its solution is a software install that lets any retailer with a point-of-sale system report their sales.

“In excess of 1,200 dealers have embraced our drive for better service with updated inventory data by adopting our scanning program,” said Ray Kuipers, CEO of Serfas, in a press release. “VLC complements the scanners and is the next step for us. Now with real-time inventory access to our accounts, we can replenish in a timely matter, and assist our dealers by becoming their warehouse, implementing just-in-time ordering.”

Retailers who enroll with VLC to report their sales gain access to analytics from their own store’s POS data. The Retail Dashboard is an online tool that lets them compare their gross profit and margin performance to other retailers nationally. Retailers also can see inventory days on hand, stock outs and total lost sales. VLC unveiled the Dashboard at this year’s Interbike.

In early September, VLC counted about 50 retailers among those supplying sales data. But the company hoped to have several hundred by year’s end.

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