A Quantum Leap #2 - The Warehouse And Offices

Postby Oli on Thu 14/Aug/08 1:10pm

We wandered out of the the boardroom and were shown around to the marketing and design division – a large and spacious open plan area on the first floor of the building that Sheppards have moved into as of February this year. We were shown the closed doors behind which all the devious scheming and plotting of the Avantis of the future is done, but unfortunately we weren’t allowed access upon pain of death!

It was very interesting to note that all of Avanti’s design and marketing, from the frame design, colour schemes, component spec, right down to the catalogues, is all done in house. This means that the finished product is much more homologous than it perhaps would be if different aspects were farmed out.

Next we wandered past Reception and the lovely Courtney, past accounts, through Customer Services with a quick hello to those top blokes, and on to a pair of double doors where we were handed day-glo safety vests.

Stephen opened the doors to reveal the largest, most modern and impressive warehouse I’ve ever been into! From the balcony we stood on we could see a large area that housed the parts and accessories, of which over 1300 are shipped out all over NZ per day!

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Below us was the wheelbuilding area/workshop. As we descended the stairs to the warehouse floor I was able to watch the deft hands of Tich, the 30 year employee of Sheppards, building a Zero wheel from scratch. He looked like he could knock a wheel up blindfold, so relaxed did he seem!

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Eventually, Kim was able to drag me away from here onto the rest of this amazing facility. We moved past dispatch and gaped in awe at the huge towers of shelving above us that store the bikes - 30,000 of which can be stored at any one time. The warehouse is the tallest possible under NZ building regulations at 10.8 metres, and requires special forklifts and the shelf-stackers to be fully harnessed as they go about their work.

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We saw huge piles of bikes of all types in vast arrays of colours, along with mock displays of 2009 Zero accessories, large selections of wheels, all being destined for shops around the country, as well as Australia.

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We left this warehouse and were next shown some of the staff facilities. When making their sizeable investment in this new warehouse, it was determined that staff comfort was to be paramount, as were features designed to make it as easy as possible for the staff to be fit, healthy and happy. With this in mind a sizeable and well appointed gym was built, as were showers and changing rooms, along with ample storage for the many bikes that the staff ride to work.

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A large and light cafeteria is a great place for staff and management to mingle, and it seems they do on a daily basis. Adjoining the cafeteria, a clever seminar room opens out into the gym using folding doors to enable the entire staff to gather for functions or the Wednesday night spin classes led by NZ cycling legend, Paul Leitch. Everyone I spoke to seemed happy and enthusiastic about working at Sheppards, which would be helped by Fitness Thursdays where staff are encouraged with flexible hours to engage in some type of physical activity, whether it be walking, riding or running to work, using the gym or playing a team sport.

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Next we wandered out of the main doors and into the adjoining AvantiPlus Waipuna store. Great for Sheppards to have a store to test various marketing strategies in and fantastic for the store to have the resources of Avanti right there as well. We were shown around briefly, then given a quick demo of Avanti’s A+ Dynamic Fit System by owner Del Woodford. This video based fit system looked like a valuable tool to help ensure riders get the most from their cycling.

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After absorbing this excellent environment it becomes manifestly apparent that Sheppards doesn’t just churn out bikes by the thousand like some sort of commodity – there is a genuine desire there to create a lifestyle that encourages and spreads the cycling word. Of course commercial factors must drive any business, but it’s very nice to see that John and Kim Struthers have a firm held and genuine passion for cycling that has made them want to create surroundings that nurture the passion in others. This passion also translates into their desire to create not just another bike, but bikes that are the equal – if not the better – of any bike in the world, the 2009 Cadent and Quantum.
Oli
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RE: A Quantum Leap #2 - The Warehouse And Offices

Postby Tugboat on Thu 14/Aug/08 3:16pm

Oli wrote: Next we wandered past Reception and the lovely Courtney...


PIXPLSTHXBI!
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Postby jeremyb on Thu 14/Aug/08 3:46pm

Geez I'd love to know what their $$ turnover and profit is!
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Postby Oli on Thu 14/Aug/08 4:07pm

More than $27 and less than $27,000,000,000 I think. :thumbsup:
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Postby Ahad on Thu 14/Aug/08 6:41pm

Thats one f#$k ofa big warehouse!

But in reading the last couple of articles I think thats what its all about. Passion, and a desire for excellence...
Go Avanti!

Thanks for the articles Oli
Ahad
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Postby fraserb on Thu 14/Aug/08 7:26pm

jeremyb wrote: Geez I'd love to know what their $$ turnover and profit is!
hopefully enough to keep them here!!
buy local kids :D
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Postby MattV on Thu 14/Aug/08 9:45pm

Those carbon Zero wheels are crazy.

Nice article Oli.
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Postby mtb_sloth on Thu 14/Aug/08 10:48pm

:lol: Nice to see that they splashed out on an OSH approved cage for the picking duties.....



















or not. Pallet will be fine
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Postby jeremyb on Fri 15/Aug/08 7:59am

mtb_sloth wrote: :lol: Nice to see that they splashed out on an OSH approved cage for the picking duties.....


:lol: at least he's got a harness on but WTF thats so dangerous!!
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Postby Tugboat on Fri 15/Aug/08 9:54am

Any word on the pricing of the Zero wheels yet?
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Postby Spokes on Fri 15/Aug/08 10:17am

jeremyb wrote:
mtb_sloth wrote: :lol: Nice to see that they splashed out on an OSH approved cage for the picking duties.....


:lol: at least he's got a harness on but WTF thats so dangerous!!


Father in Law just started as a manager at a big place like this(its not sheppards). On the first day he found staff doing just this but without a harness on. The day before one staff member ended up falling over and was hanging 6 meters of the ground holding on to the pallet.

He shut the place down for a little while and sorted it out.
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