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Case study Urban Arrow

Ten years ago, Urban Arrow started building e-cargobikes, and they have since become a familiar sight on European and American streets. The scale-up manufactures cargo bikes for transporting children and goods. In recent years, the ten-year-old company has experienced significant growth. To effectively serve the increasing number of dealers, Emixa and Urban Arrow built a new dealer portal. Thanks to this portal, dealers can better assist their customers and manage expectations more effectively.
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Business Challenges

Urban Arrow is a manufacturer of electric cargo bikes in the premium segment. The company sells bikes to individuals and businesses, including delivery bikes for Coolblue. The company's mission is to make cities more livable with smart logistical solutions. Urban Arrow has established a presence in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. The bikes are distributed in these countries through an extensive dealer network. 

To support these dealers, the company had an outdated dealer portal with limited functionality. Urban Arrow wanted to make the status of orders more transparent for dealers to prevent errors and misunderstandings and provide better support. Erwin Willems, CFO and product owner for the new portal, explains, "We've been around for ten years and have experienced significant growth, especially in recent  years. This means we have dealers selling hundreds of bikes per year. For them, it's crucial to have the right information at their fingertips. Urban Arrow is continuing to grow, so we were looking for a platform that can dynamically grow with the company.

Keys to Success

In their search, the bike company also explored Mendix's low-code capabilities, and the flexibility of this platform ultimately influenced the decision to build the solution on it. The IT department sought a robust integration layer with flexible solutions to adapt to market changes. Urban Arrow has recently implemented a new WMS, and the Exact ERP system will be replaced next year. Willems explains, "With growth, a lot is changing here, which is typical for a scale-up. Mendix ensures that we maintain the flexibility to integrate different systems."
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Results

To familiarize themselves with both the Mendix platform and Emixa, Urban Arrow first conducted a test by building a small-scale app. This app was designed for the company's account managers, allowing them to enter plan orders together with dealers. Previously, these orders were manually entered into the ERP system for each bike. With the app, it became possible to schedule complete batches. The new method of input is much more efficient for account managers,  improving data entry quality and saving them a lot of time. Willems explains that it was a highly successful test. 

The dealer portal was then built in twelve bi-weekly sprints. The portal ensures that sales from the dealer channel are administratively processed in the ERP system. Dealers also gain more insight into product information, delivery times, suitable accessories, and orders and invoices.  Dealers can now modify orders, add references, and see when an order is delayed. Thanks to the customer portal, dealers can better assist their customers and manage expectations more effectively. Additionally, there is less need for communication between dealers and Urban Arrow, as dealers can handle many matters on their own.

The dealer portal integrates with the ERP and PIM systems. The digital asset manager, Cloudinary, is also linked for photography. Urban Arrow understood that the portal had to be customized, and the company couldn't rely on a subscription to standard software. With a personalized and intuitive design, the company logically involves dealers in the process without requiring users to go through complicated manuals. The various data streams, combining payment data, customer data, and orders, have successfully connected in one integrated system. 

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Urban Arrow and Emixa partnership paves the way for enhanced service and future portal developments

Thanks to the collaboration with Emixa, we can once again focus entirely on what we want to do: create excellent bikes and provide fantastic service. In the near future, we plan to further develop the portal. We now have a solid foundation to build new features. For instance, we aim to enable consumers to soon access the portal at the dealer, enhancing our service sharing capabilities with the dealer. 

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Erwin Willems

CFO

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