TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN)—WTB will be producing identical rims, tires and wheels in four locations by the end of next year. The company currently produces products in China and Taiwan, and it's scouting locations and moving manufacturing equipment to Europe and the South Pacific.
“We’re motivated solely by just-in-time issues,” said Patrick Seidler, WTB’s president. “We are doing nothing more than bringing the A-Team model (used in Taiwan) to other manufacturing locations,” he added.
WTB’s Peter Ladman and Lorenzo Parini, who head up WTB Europe, will continue to support the company in its sales and marketing effort, and oversee its European manufacturing.
“It’s hard to make a sales call to a bike maker in Europe when our plant is in China; I always have to consider supply chain and delivery issues. With production in Europe this is not a problem,” said Parini, WTB Europe’s sales director.
Seidler said the hardest part of the effort is ensuring identical product from four manufacturing facilities. For example, four different factories will produce WeirWolf tires and cosmetics. Performance and weight should be indistinguishable.
“From a logistics perspective I think four plants will be way easier than how we work now. Local sales offices oversee local production to service local markets according to local timelines. This reduces complexity,” Seidler added.
“Adapting a JIT model lets us send a consistent message to global brands with multiple manufacturing plants. No matter where you are, we have a plant nearby that is waiting to serve,” he said. The company will work to offer 10-day lead times from Europe and the South Pacific like they do to bike builders in China and Taiwan.