"Some days, I wouldn't have known what our sales were or who was in, and who was off, I didn't have the data to know how we were doing. As soon as you've linked the apps on 9 Spokes, you can easily move things around to see your top eight indicators on one screen."
Alex Cooper, Owner
World of Cycles, Dundee, Scotland
Serving the Scottish cycling community
World of Cycles is a busy independent shop in Dundee, which stocks a range of bicycles and accessories for all levels of cyclists. They offer bike hire, servicing, and repairs, with free collection and return across Dundee, Fife, Perthshire and Aberdeen. Their ethos is to help customers enjoy cycling as much as their team do!
As the sole director, Alex Cooper faces the challenges of training and managing staff, tracking shop inventory, retail sales and marketing, and all other aspects of running the business. He says,"One of my aims when I opened the bike shop was to be a little bit different: making things current by using online software."
At management level, he was using multiple cloud-based apps to help manage World of Cycles' finances, sales and marketing, and people management. But like most business owners, hes busy; consolidating the key performance numbers for his accountant or bank manager was a time-consuming job. Alex felt he was struggling with connecting the data, and he ended up with lots of Internet browser tabs open and a complicated spreadsheet. On a day-to-day basis, Alex didn't have access to sales and marketing information while running his shop. If someone didn't turn up for work, he had to log into the office system to find out who should be there.
How the 9 Spokes dashboard helps
After talking to 9 Spokes at QuickBooks Connect in London (the name naturally caught his interest), Alex immediately realised the business dashboard would solve a lot of his daily challenges. The next day, he quickly set up his dashboard, connected his apps and could immediately see all his key metrics for World of Cycles on one screen.
"It's a really easy interface to work with; you can move everything around to view your top eight indicators on your screen. I can open my 9 Spokes dashboard on my iPad, phone or laptop and see what I need to see. Whether I'm speaking to my suppliers or customers or my accountant, I can find what I need instantly."
Having World of Cycles' key business metrics showing in his 9 Spokes dashboard has saved Alex a lot of admin time and given him greater insight into his finance, sales and marketing data. "The minute I signed up, it was like night and day," Alex says. "I could see the key data from the e-commerce side of things, particularly with Shopify, Vend and QuickBooks Online apps working together - I knew it would help me."
The connected apps in Alex's retail dashboard
- QuickBooks [CS2] Online - Alex's accounting app for all of his financial information
- Vend - point of sale (POS) app to manage sales through his retail store
- Shopify - to manage his online e-commerce needs
- Deputy - an employee management system for easy scheduling and tracking of his staff
- Twitter - to connect with his community, including potential and existing customers and partners
- Google Analytics - to track and analyse his website metrics
- Mailchimp - to manage emails to his customers
Through Alex's connected apps in 9 Spokes, he can monitor daily sales and gross profit, business growth, website goal conversions, and booked annual leave for the team on a single screen. It's also simple and fast to view other data points, or widgets, through his connected apps when needed. His business insights are available instantly on his iPad or phone, or on his laptop in the office, so he can access his key data from anywhere.
"It takes a lot of weight off your shoulders, knowing you can find crucial data within a few clicks. It's gone from taking hours to do things, to taking literally minutes. As soon as you've linked the apps to your 9 Spokes dashboard, you can easily move things around to see your top indicators all on your screen."