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A Tour of ROSE

When the smallest bicycle shop of Bocholt saw the light of day in 1907, no one could have imagined that this was the beginning of a true success story. The sales area of 30 square metres has grown to a factory area of 32 000 square metres full of state-of-the-art logistics systems and technology. Today, 300 well trained employees are to 100 % at the customers' service, whose customer satisfaction is the number-one priority of the bike giant that modestly describes itself as a traditional family business.

 The customer’s satisfaction is and has always been our number-one priority – whether online, in our catalogue or in our Biketown stores. 

Thorsten Heckrath-Rose, managing director

Design and Catalogue

Since 2011, all bikes of the manufacturer from Bocholt have borne the brand name ROSE which reflects the company’s philosophy and its high quality standards. From the development to the assembly everything is in one hand – and nothing is left to chance: Computer simulations, prototyping, strictly controlled tests, cooperation with universities of applied sciences, an attractive design, a production by leading carbon experts in Taiwan, and thousands of race kilometres of their teams and young cyclists speak for themselves. Constant top positions and test victories with regards to technology, riding qualities and price/performance confirm the effort made by the bicycle manufacturer.

The ROSE catalogue and the new customer magazine Cycle Stories, as well as the contents of the website and the configurator are all done in-house. Photos, and texts in four different languages and graphics – everything is done under one roof.

Configuration and Ordering

Whether it’s a road bike, a MTB, or a trekking bike and whether it is bought via the internet or in one of their Biketown stores – almost without exception, all bikes are custom-made and specifically tailored to the individual preferences of the customer. With the online configurator, the customers can freely choose the components of their bike at home and create a preview of their dream bikes on screen. We ourselves were delighted about this modern tool, in fact almost stunned, because of the technological progress that has occurred in the past years with regard to configurators. A high quality of service is guaranteed by email and telephone support through numerous specialists or by personal advice in one of the Biketown stores.

After conclusion of the sales contract, the custom bike is accurately assembled by hand without additional costs for the exchange of components or for the workload, and dispatched by a shipping agent or made ready for the pick-up in Biketown.

 No bikes off-the-shelf, but individual ones that are tailored to the customer’s wishes without additional costs. 

Tour of the logistics centre - receiving department

As a layman, you would think it’s quite simple: ROSE dispatches items customers order online, by phone or by catalogue. In fact, that’s basically it. However, 120 warehouse employees and 180.000 different storage areas on a total area of 20.000 square metres require optimal coordination.

Every day, huge numbers of parcels of different suppliers are unloaded, controlled, picked and packed. Each item is unpacked and packed into cardboard boxes especially designed for the ROSE warehouse. This makes the processing significantly easier and saves storage space.

In the same department, specially trained employees process customer returns and do their best to complete the return processing and to refund the amount of the return to the customer’s account within 24 hours. The remaining original cardboard boxes are put into the paper press and recycled separately afterwards.

Supply and reserve warehouse

On the first floor of the logistics centre, directly above the receiving and outgoing goods department, is the supply and reserve warehouse that was only completed in 2013. A 700 metre long conveyor belt transports newly packed items from the receiving department to the respective aisles where they are stored until they are needed.

Production

Using the space of 2,000 square metres, almost 60 bicycle mechanics are simultaneously working on the core of the company – the bikes. However, important preparations are already made in the receiving department long before the actual assembly. Apart from a visual inspection and a weight control, the measurements of the received frames as well as the tolerances for headset and bottom bracket are checked. If necessary, threads are recut and disc brake mounts re-milled. A random sample of frames is taken from each delivery and checked for stiffness, comfort and dimensional accuracy in the R&D department. Afterwards, the frames undergo an endurance test that goes far beyond European standards.

As soon as an individually configured customer order has been forwarded to the production, all components required – such as fork, headset, stem and rear shock – are picked and screwed to the frame at one of the workplaces. In the meantime, other employees put all other components into a blue box and build the wheels. Afterwards, the frame, the wheels and the box are packed onto a mobile assembly stand and handed over for pre-assembly.

On eight workstations, the components are then checked (e.g. crankset, shifting system and handlebar) and mounted on the frame together with the wheels. The routing of the cables, the adjustment of the chain and the correct connection and setup of all components is done in the final assembly by about 25 mechanics. With this process, between 50 and 100 bikes can be assembled per day. The exact number strongly depends on the types of bikes that have to be assembled.

Before the bikes are packed into the cardboard box and shipped to the customer, they undergo a final inspection where they are put through their paces. The result is written down on a piece of paper. In the end, the customers only have to take their bike out of the box and straighten the handlebar - the customer can even see who assembled the bike and what parts were checked.

Order picking

This department has its own warehouse with approx. 60,000 items, including top sellers and all products for present-day dispatch. All other products are waiting in the reserve warehouse and are only brought here when needed.

Between 10 and 20 employees armed with state-of-the-art technology and large trolleys are walking through the aisles, picking the items ordered by customers and putting them into the appropriate compartment of their order picking trolley. The chaotic warehouse policy makes their task even more difficult. This means that the items are not grouped by product category, but that they're scattered in no particular order in the warehouse. Only the computer knows exactly where which article is stored. That’s why the order pickers work with a scanner that chooses the shortest route and the right compartment of the trolley. To double-check, they always scan the product as well as the respective storage area. As soon as all parcels are picked, the employees take the trolley to one of the packing stations.

 Here in the warehouse, there’s the so-called ‘coordinated chaos’ 

Packaging and shipping

There's a lot going on in the dispatch area. At 18 packing stations in total, employees are busy packing clothing, components and accessories including delivery notes into appropriate cardboard boxes. The aim is clear: Each order placed before midnight is supposed to be shipped to the customer by the next working day – except complete bikes and wheel sets that have to be individually assembled and thus require more time.

Completely packed parcels are put onto a conveyor belt, closed with straps and transported to a lorry bridge – fully automatically.

ROSE is currently developing a software system that allows for a same-day delivery of the orders under certain conditions.

 In peak times, we dispatch up to 7,000 parcels per day. Over the course of the year, the average is 2,500 parcels per day.  

Support

If the new bike is picked up in one of the Biketown stores, the customer will get help and advice from a member of the staff, who will also explain all the important characteristics and features of the bike. All other customers can seek expert advice via the order hotline or the hotline for bike service, repair and maintenance. Calls from Germany and the European landline are free. Of course, customers are also free to ask for advice via email.

ROSE offers a 2 year guarantee on all components without limitations, a 5 year guarantee on frame breakage, a 5 year crash replacement guarantee on frames in case of an accident or fall, and a 10 year guarantee on spoke breakage. In case of guarantee claims, servicing or repair orders, ROSE organises the pick-up of the bike from the customer's location. Of course, bikes can also be handed over in the Biketown stores in Bocholt or Munich.