LOOKING AHEAD TO 2021
Read Matt’s end of year round up for an insight into how this year has impacted our business and the cycling industry as a whole, and how we’re preparing for 2021...
Hello, it’s Matt here.
It’s been an interesting year for all of us but in particular, those who have been working in the bicycle world. I’ve put together some words to summarise some key moments throughout 2020 and some alternative perspectives on how this year has affected our business.
The year started relatively normally, with a typical New Year lull, appalling weather and preparation for the start of our busy season in the spring. Of course, none of us had any idea what was around the corner…
As the world started to react to news of the virus, it seemed as if bicycle companies would be hit badly. However, after a few weeks, as people began to adjust to this new lockdown life, we started to see a growing demand for bicycles. People were after bikes for a number of reasons, from wanting a safe way to get around, to a way to enjoy a local summer holiday. This has been a truly important moment for cycling in general, with more people than ever getting into cycling, and those in the industry referring to it as a new ‘Golden Era’. It’s clear now that cycling is going to be an important contribution to the global, green revolution.
If you’ve been trying to get hold of a bike from anywhere this year, you’ve probably experienced the same thing… A long wait. As much as we don’t want this to be the case, there are multiple factors outside anyone’s control which have contributed to this challenging landscape. The bicycle industry is extremely international, relying on the movement of materials and components across the globe. To operate our businesses, we rely on consistent production times, consistent transit times and consistent pricing. We make our bikes with parts from over 20 different suppliers, and each and every one has been stretched to their limit; with each of the variables listed above increasing wildly. On top of this, in the last few months, we’ve seen shipping prices soar, with enormous tailbacks at ports and vast delays.
Despite this, we’ve been able to be accurate with the wait times for 95% of our customers and deliver bikes on time as promised, which is something we’re enormously proud of given the circumstances. For those in the 5% who have experienced un-planned delays with their orders, we can only apologise, and can’t thank you enough for sticking with us and being so understanding.
We’re close with many other bike businesses. We share info and insights, we help each other out and learn from our collective experience. We’re all dedicated to making the right decisions for our customers and our employees, and I’m confident that this crisis will only make us better, stronger and more resilient. We’ve had to learn to adapt to the changing landscape, coordinating a plethora of extra tasks in the fields of customer service, supply chain management, production and logistics. Those who are close to us have seen how much extra workload we’ve all taken on this summer to keep making and delivering our bikes to the highest quality.
While we weren’t able to launch our Temple Rideouts this year (more on that in 2021 so stay tuned), we were so happy to see and hear about all of our customers who were out and about, using their bikes to the full. We’re honoured to have provided the means for such enjoyment, and a valuable mode of transport for so many.
From what we’ve seen, bike packing, touring, or whatever you want to call it, has been getting pretty damn popular this year. More of you than ever are packing your essentials, strapping some bags to your bikes and heading out into the wilderness for multi-day adventures. Keep it up!
While it doesn’t look like 2021 is going to be in any way normal, we are excited to see what it will bring. We’d like to thank you all for your support and would like to wish you all a happy Christmas, wherever you may be.
All the best,
Matt & the Temple Team