The future of the mobile mechanic

Technology has encompassed every area of the cycling industry, but could an online platform be the future of the mobile mechanic?

The future of the mobile mechanic

If someone had told me ten years ago that the cycling industry of the future would include electric motors hidden in the frames, or rentable bikes left on my street corner, I wouldn’t have believed it. Such is the unrelenting progression and innovation in our sector.

When a brand thinks outside of the box and packages up a new device or bike that achieves the unthinkable, the excitement that surrounds it is infectious and palpable. Now more than ever, we live in an age in which the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation is no longer limited to the consumer.

We implement technology to accurately fit bikes, we implement technology to repair them, and we implement technology to sell them, but at the heart of all of these means are the individuals with the knowledge to implement the vision.

Dockless firms have realised the potential of building a mutually-beneficial relationship with local bike shops, tasking them with regular maintenance on their gigantic fleets. The core of the bike fit is the professional helping you to translate the in-depth data into results, and if you’re reading this, I don’t need to tell you how important the cycle mechanic is to the industry.

People working hand-in-hand with technology is our future, and Simon Bone, creator of new start-up BikeUp, believes he’s crafted the perfect tool to bring the audience and the mechanic together. The key, he believes, is in the conversation.

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SAP – why drones have a key role to play in the future of procurement

The drone explosion seems to have been on the cusp for a while now, and although the adoption of the technology has increased slightly over the past few years, it hasn’t quite happened in the exponential fashion that many industry insiders were expecting. One such individual is Shivani Govil, VP, AI and Cognitive Products at SAP Ariba, who has two decades’ worth of experience in the enterprise software sector, including working extensively with drones as well as mobile applications.

Speaking to Supply Chain Digital from her base in San Francisco’s Bay Area in the US, Govil expresses genuine surprise that the adoption of drones by procurement organisations hasn’t happened more widely up until this point, but says it’s still something that’s ‘coming down the pipeline’.

‘When I was working very, very actively on this topic a couple of years ago, I actually thought that we would see drones proliferating all over the place,’ she says. ‘I have to admit it hasn’t taken off as quickly as I expected it to. I think there is a lot of interest in what drones can do, if you think about how they are affecting the industry; there are a lot of projects going on and there are some companies which are adopting them on a much bigger scale, but I would say that in the mainstream it’s probably not as prolific.

‘If I talk to the CPOs today they don’t come to me saying ‘drones is a really important space, what do you think is going to happen there?’ I think there are forward-thinking CPOs that are starting to look at how drones impact them, and how they can have a more important role in the space ‘ and they are exploring the actual procurement of drones and the impacts that they can have on things like shipping, logistics and delivery.

‘I do see a lot of work happening in this space. I see both the investments that companies and the drone manufacturers are putting in, as well as the beginnings of momentum building up from a consumer perspective. I would say in the next five to10 years we will see this much more broadly adopted and in play across procurement.’

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