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Trek Bikes' Orchestrator Use Case: Promoting Wellness and Improving Efficiency

Trek-Bikes-Orchestrator

As part of Quest’s 2019 JD Edwards Orchestrator Week, Tom Spoke from Trek Bikes presented on how Trek Bikes was able to leverage the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Orchestrator to help foster the company’s culture of employee health and wellness by helping employees track their personal bike and parts/accessory orders from the distribution center to Trek Bikes’ headquarters. This Orchestrator use case helped both promote wellness and improve efficiency within the workplace.

About Trek Bikes

Trek is a world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of bicycles and cycling products. They are a global organization with distribution in 90+ countries, legal entities in 30 countries, and an annual revenue of $1 billion. The company is growing rapidly – enjoying partnerships with 10,000 independent bicycle dealers (IBDs) and owning 150+ direct retail locations worldwide. Trek Bikes also offers a B2C eCommerce platform in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Trek-Bikes-Locations

Trek Bikes’ product offerings include all things bicycle and bicycle accessory. Their main products are racing bikes and accessories; however, e-bikes have surged in recent years – bringing in 20 percent of last year’s revenue.

The company has acquired a brand in California called Electra, which specializes in Cruiser bikes. They also own a large brand in Germany called Diamont. Diamont is the nation’s primary brand and a great addition to Trek Bikes’ brand offering. Bontrager accessories also along belong to Trek. Additionally, Trek owns multiple ride-share companies – BCycle and BCycle Electric. Another Trek facet is their IT company and a point of sell called Ascend with retail management solution software and services for the bicycle industry.

Trek Bikes has created a corporate culture with employees’ health and wellness as a top priority. Their location in Waterloo, Wisconsin offers several roads for riding bikes. Trek Bikes also offer fitness classes, fitness centers, and creative workspaces within their facility. They even take organized group rides to encourage employees to stay fit and have fun. The company places a high emphasis on a healthy work-life balance and recently received certification as a “Great Place to Work.” At that time, the company had roughly 2,600 employees, and 25 percent of them had a tenure longer than six years. In fact, 10 percent of employees had been at Trek Bikes for at least 16 years.

Orchestrator Use Case #1: Tracking Employee Shipments

Trek Bikes was the very first JD Edwards customer to implement an Internet of Things use case into production. They started with the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Orchestrator when it was called the IoT Orchestrator in 2015 and were able to move from the discussion of utilizing IoT to implementation in three months. They began discussing ideas in August and were at full implementation in October.

The Problem

The main issue that Trek Bikes wanted to address was employee orders. As a company that attracts athletes and supports employee wellness, a large number of employee orders were entered every single day. When an employee placed an order, it would be fulfilled in the warehouse that was 30 miles away and then shipped to headquarters. There was no efficient form of communication to notify employees when their orders had arrived at the headquarters.

Problems arose as employees went to the mailroom multiple times per day to check on their orders. This slowed productivity for both the employees waiting on orders and for the mailroom workers as they answered questions from coworkers. There was also an issue with orders being left in the mailroom. Mailroom workers would call and email to no avail. The mailroom became overflowed, which caused space constraints. Trek needed to reduce overall traffic to and from the mailroom in order to increase employee productivity.

The Solution

Trek’s IT team saw the opportunity to solve the problem with automation. They decided to build the functionality in JD Edwards so that they could leverage IoT and hardware devices to send certain calls to JD Edwards. These calls would then kick off various business functions and processes to detect whether the employee orders had departed the warehouse or arrived at headquarters.

It was standard practice to transfer orders from the warehouse to headquarters in the blue bins pictured below.

Blue-Bins

The team placed one IoT sensor in the warehouse near the bins and another in the mailroom, where bins were delivered each day. Order flow revealed that orders were being placed, picked by the warehouse, and staged for shipping. As the blue bins filled with employee orders were wheeled away from the sensor in the warehouse, the connection was lost. This would show that the item was being shipped and would send a shipping notification to the purchaser’s inbox.

In IT, it looked like this:

The first command comes in > Insert an SHP to an interactive custom program built in-house > Auto-click the “Send Notification” button > Batch job runs and collects all of the effected order lines at that status, moves it to the next status, and sends an email

Orchestrator-Batch-Job

Employees knew to expect their orders in approximately 30 minutes. As the bin was wheeled into the mailroom at headquarters, it would re-establish the connection – catalyzing a receiving function to send an order arrival email.

Email-Notification

Once the employee received an email saying that their order had arrived in the mailroom, he or she could go straight to the mailroom to pick it up. In many cases, eager employees would arrive before orders were even organized onto the receiving shelf, which saved mailroom workers time and labor. Additionally, mailroom workers were relieved not to man phones and emails for the purpose of notifying employees of order arrivals.

The project was incredibly successful, and four years later, this system is still in use.

The Benefits

Some of the major benefits of Trek Bike’s Orchestrator use case include:

  • Employee productivity
    • No more needless runs to the mailroom to check for employee orders
  • Mailroom productivity
    • No more human-generated emails regarding employee orders
    • No more having to answer questions about arrival time
    • Less time needed for transferring employee orders to the receiving rack
  • Mailroom organization
  • Employee exposure to the concept of IoT
    • See how JD Edwards is able to interact with IoT devices
  • Employee satisfaction across all levels of the organization

Orchestrator Use Case #2: Auto-Creating Purchase Orders

The second Orchestrator use case that Trek Bikes came up with was the auto-creation of non-stock purchase orders in JD Edwards.

The Problem

Operators were manually checking bins for decal levers, and pickers were notifying buyers of decal shortages via email. This presented a risk of missing a reorder print, and there were long lead times for decals.

The Solution

The goals for this Orchestrator use case were to:

  • Automate the purchase order entry process
  • Reduce the risk of missing a reorder point with IoT
  • Eliminate manual checks of bin levels by using sensors instead
  • Notify buyers of the auto-generated purchase order

The Benefits

Some of the benefits of this Orchestrator use case included:

  • The repurposing of time to check non-stock items with other value-added work
  • Reducing order time to the supplier
  • Improving communication between the pickers and buyers
  • Improving inventory levels within the bins
  • Generating the purchase order for the buyer
  • Building bikes faster

The Lessons Learned

Throughout these Orchestrator use cases, Trek Bikes came up with a few lessons learned:

  • Additional skill sets are needed in Trek Bikes’ tech team
  • Try out sensors before deciding on one
  • Get the business involved early on
  • Devices were chattier than anticipated on the network
  • Raspberry Pi 2.0 Wireless is unreliable
  • Develop a change management process surrounding IoT

To learn more about Trek Bikes’ Orchestrator use cases, check out the full Orchestrator Week presentation attached below. To access all of the session recordings from JD Edwards Orchestrator Week 2019, check out the Orchestrator Week landing page.

Additional Resources

COLLABORATE 20 will take place April 19-23, 2020 at the Mandala Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada! Don’t miss this chance to share inspiration, insights, and solutions with your peers, vendors, and the Oracle team! Register before March 6, 2020, to take advantage of Early Bird pricing.

Save the date for Quest Experience Week! This free, four-day event is jam-packed with digital education designed to provide both strategic insight and how-to-education for Oracle users of all levels. Each day is dedicated to a different product and begins with a keynote followed by afternoon breakout sessions. Join us November 12-15, 2019, for conference-quality education from the comfort of your desk!

  • Cloud Day: November 12
  • Database Day: November 13
  • PeopleSoft Day: November 14
  • JD Edwards Day: November 15

If you’re looking for more JD Edwards content, join us next year at INFOCUS 20, the premier deep-dive JD Edwards focused event of the year! The event will take place August 25-27, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. Keep an eye out for more information on this event!