Update Strategy 2018-2022
On 9 March 2018, we announced our new, refined strategy - 'Lead global. Win local' - with six new strategic thrusts. The execution of the strategy and the associated transition of Accell Group are on schedule. We launched a variety of initiatives within all six thrusts, some of which have been completed and some of which are work in progress.
- As of July 2018, we operate under a new organisational structure with a centralised commercial, supply chain and IT function. We have also created six new regions for the bicycle segment, all of which focus on excellent execution of commercial plans.
- As of 1 January 2018, the Chief Supply Chain Officer is responsible for a global supply chain, including production facilities and planning. On 1 March 2018, we appointed a Chief Commercial Officer, who is responsible for innovation, marketing, e-commerce and retail. Our new Chief Financial Officer started on 1 November 2018.
- We strengthened the senior management team in the period May-September and created a new, strong mix of our own people with the right experience and new commercial and e-commerce talents from outside the company.
- In the second half of 2018, we started preparations for the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system (Infor) and for the launch of a new Customer Relationship Management system (Salesforce).
- In December 2018, we decided to focus on our European activities and continue the loss-making North American activities as a separate non-core business, for which we are currently assessing all options.
- We selected Babboe, Batavus, Diamondback, Ghost, Haibike, Koga, Lapierre, Raleigh, Sparta and Winora as our 10 strategic bicycle brands. For each individual region, we have established an appropriate strategic brand portfolio with refined brand positioning (on the basis of research among 7,500 consumers in various regions), which provides clear direction in terms of innovation, communication and distribution.
- In each region, we will work with dealers on the basis of selective distribution contracts. In mid-2019, we want to be working in this way in every region, to create win-wins, to prevent channel and price conflicts to enable both Accell group and its dealers to achieve their shared goals even more effectively (satisfied and loyal customers).
- Every region will focus on the perfect execution of plans without daily distractions from their own local innovation funnels, their own production facilities or their own export strategies.
- With a clear focus on consumers and e-bikes, we have drawn up a three-track omnichannel distribution model, which we will implement in 2019.
- Construction of webshop and e-commerce platforms to attract consumers and generate better leads for our dealers. In the first half of the year, we will launch a new, centrally operated e-commerce platform for webshops that will replace each of our individual brand websites in Europe. Subsequently, we will also introduce a multi-brand e-commerce platform.
- Set-up of experience centres in 2019, in cooperation with (large) dealers, where consumers can primarily test e-bikes.
- Roll-out of a mobile bicycle service that improves customer journeys and customer experience, while at the same time offering dealers the opportunity to earn money from online sales via order and service handling, maintenance and repair options. To this end, we will introduce North American Beeline (acquired in March 2018) to dealers as Software as a Service (SaaS). We will introduce the mobile bike service in Europe in the second half of 2019.
- Most major innovations have been delayed and postponed from the second half of 2018 to the first half of 2019 due to our streamlining of the innovation process and quality requirements.
- In 2019 we will introduce the Haibike Flyon and Lapierre’s eZesty and e-Xelius. All three bikes are innovative products with potentially high turnover and high margins. The same is true for the Koga Pace, which was introduced November 2018. We used the Winora platform as a basis for numerous other brands, to introduce new models and stock keeping units.
- For the connected bikes, we have identified technology partners we want to work with to gain experience in the field of the Internet of Things and to develop technological innovations. We intend to use these innovations to augment the bicycle experience and convince more consumers to get cycling, both for health reasons and sustainable mobility purposes.
- On the urban mobility front, we are working hard with Velosophy on e-cargo bike innovations. Velosophy (known for Babboe and other e-cargo bikes and acquired in July 2018) recorded strong turnover growth in the B2C market in 2018 and plans to enter the B2B market in 2019.
- We are also innovating and experimenting in areas such as re-use, minimising material use and end-of-life solutions. We minimise the use of plastic in our packaging.
- We centralised the activities in the field of bicycle parts and accessories under a single management as of May 2018, to create the right conditions and synergies that will help us realise continued profitable growth in this segment.
- The bicycle parts and accessories business have been effectively integrated with our bicycle business at a regional and local level in the second quarter of 2018. This will make it easier for us to offer dealers and consumers the best combination of bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories.
- Our own, rapidly growing, XLC brand with higher margins, an improved competitive edge in logistics, smart cross-selling following the launch of our brands’ new webshops and the multi-brand e-commerce platform, and the addition of more brands and products to our portfolio of bicycle parts and accessories are all strong growth and profit drivers.
- With ‘Fit to compete’, we are targeting the realisation of more than € 60 million (2022 versus 2017) in savings in our supply chain. These savings will be driven primarily by three concrete initiatives, and this will make a positive contribution primarily to our added value:
- Reduction in complexity. In the second quarter of 2018, we launched a process to reduce the complexity in bicycle parts, models and stock keeping units by some 40% by year-end 2019. At the end of 2018, we had inventoried around 30% of these units and have started the phase-out operation.
- Standardisation of product platforms (including bicycle frames) geared towards lifestyle and e-bike sports. We are currently creating standard product platforms for brands / regions and submarkets.
- Rationalisation of the supply chain footprint and business complexity in general.
- We have earmarked the savings we want to realise for the period 2019-2022 and all projects are now in progress. We realised almost € 12 million in savings in 2018, and half of these saving made an immediate contribution to our result. In 2019, we expect to realise additional savings of € 10 - € 12 million, with a comparable immediate contribution to our result. This includes savings we have earmarked in expenditures that are not directly product-related, such as travel expenses, third-party hiring and IT systems.
- We want to work in a socially responsible manner in this supply chain. This will include frequent audits of suppliers on social and environmental aspects, based on our risk profile and the interests of Accell Group with attention devoted to more efficient energy use and a transition to more sustainable energy sources.
Value creation model
The value creation model below shows how we use our business model to create added value and for which stakeholders (including society as a whole).