Specialized Essay

1030 words - 4 pages

Specialized Bicycle Components was founded in 1974 by Mike Sinyard. A recent college graduate, Mike had spent time traveling Europe and had noticed that European bicycle parts were a much higher quality than those offered in the United States. Mike made contacts while in Europe with parts manufacturers, and returned home to start a business bringing high end European bike components to U.S. bicycle shops.He sold his VW Van for seed money to bring his first order of parts and proceeded to visit shops and sell his new found products with great success. His first purchase was $1200 of small parts… he sold out in two days. For the next two years, concentrating mainly on northern California bike shops, Mike Sinyard sold them parts he was buying from Europe and took notes on products they couldn't get easily from U.S. manufacturers. By this time, these shops needed Mike as bad as he needed them. Throughout the years that followed, Specialized evolved from this "partnership" to become an industry leader in bicycles, components, and accessories.Specialized Bicycle Components is based out of California, with distribution centers in both Columbus, Ohio and Salt Lake City, Utah. Although their specific unit and sales figures are held close, I do know that between U.S. and European sales, Specialized is a $200,000,000 company with year 2000 growth in the range of 20%.(Mattison) This is impressive considering that today's market is flat with few companies showing any real growth. Specialized, along with Trek, seem to be the only truly healthy industry leaders. This is due largely to the fact that other major suppliers are unclear as to what segment of the market they are going to target and approach with regards to Mass Merchants, Mail-order, and Internet sales. Specialized has commited itself to the independent bicycle dealers only. This involves a total commitment to independent dealers with the Specialized Dealer Alliance.(Foster) By ensuring that you can only buy a Specialized bike and equipment from a Specialized Alliance dealer, this makes sure that the service one gets is of the highest quality. Many decisions come into play when purchasing a bicycle, ranging from correct sizing to the intended use and the best bike for your money. This is why Specialized doesn't allow itself or anyone else to offer their bikes through mail order or online.Not all dealerships that carry Specialized bicycles are Specialized Alliance Dealers, though. Examples of some that carry Specialized bicycles in our immediate area are The Pathfinder in Manhattan and Capps Bike Shop in Topeka. Neither of these dealers are Specialized Alliance dealers, but with Specialized's emphasis on the final customer, they are very knowledgable and trustworthy outlets. Overall, Specialized's decision to use this channel of distribution (independent bicycle dealers only) is their best bet for future growth and success in this industry.Specialized offers a wide variety of products; their...

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