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3T's new program comes 'Just-In-Time' during industry challenges

Published July 19, 2023

BERGAMO, Italy (BRAIN) — A few days before Eurobike commenced, 3T announced a new program to give select dealers the option to reserve production capacity for the next year. No longer needing to pre-order bikes and estimate specs' and colors, dealers attending Eurobike welcomed the news, 3T CEO Rene Wiertz said.

"What we see is that retailers really want to partner with the brands they carry, but they feel it's often a one-way street where they have to make a huge commitment early on," Wiertz told BRAIN after Eurobike concluded. "And if their needs change, they are stuck with the wrong product or even worse, the brands keep shipping even more stuff they don't need. With our production slot program, they can make a commitment to 3T while staying 100% flexible to get the models, colors, and sizes they need throughout the season. And at the same time, they know that 3T is committing to them."

The Just-In-Time Delivery program is open only to 3T Experience Center dealers, of which there are 30. Wiertz said there's been an increase of 3T Authorized Dealers becoming Experience Center dealers to join the program. These dealers can now reserve 5,000 production slots for 2024 and make the final decision on which model, color, size, and spec' six weeks before delivery.

3T has about 100 North American retailers, and despite the economic headwinds, Wiertz said the brand continues to receive dealer applications worldwide. "We may be biased, but we think (the program) is very important for retailers and brands. This program ensures the stores get the right product, so they have less inventory risk and don't lose heaps of margin trying to correct their inventory through discounting. At the same time, the brand image doesn't get damaged by such discounting, and the brand gets a much better insight into the retailers' needs and in market shifts."

Wiertz said he was surprised to receive "very serious requests from some significant brands" at Eurobike to produce frames at their Italian in-house carbon factory. "Of course, our focus is on producing the 5,000 3T frames first, but because of the low labor requirements in the process, we can scale up quickly if there is demand from other brands."

While Italian production is the current focus, Wiertz said plans are underway for additional production facilities elsewhere globally, including the U.S. and Asia/Pacific.

"We will already deliver quickly to our U.S. retailers with the Italian production, but for cost and sustainability reasons, it will be nice to do that in the future without requiring flying these frames across the ocean."

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