Digital Collaboration for Data Sharing Started in Germany
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany – Four service providers for the bike sector in Germany have started a consortium named Bidex which is aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of dealer-shops against e-commerce and the continued growth of webshops. Eurobike organizer Messe Friedrichshafen is one of the founders.
The as an interest group organized consortium is founded by Messe Friedrichshafen, management consultancy LBU, Internet service provider Röttger Internet Marketing (RIM) as well as B2B publisher Fritsch&Wetzstein better known as Velobiz.
Bike Data Exchange
Under the umbrella of Bidex (stands for Bike Data Exchange) improved standards for data exchange between market players in the bicycle industry are to be introduced. The initial focus is on establishing product-groups in which all currently traded products are to be classified. Based on these key product groups the second step in the development process of Bidex is to extend the functional scope of the existing Veloconnect interface. This has been developed by the German dealer association VSF.
With Veloconnect the standards for communication between inventory management systems of suppliers as well as shop automation systems of dealers have already been defined. The Bidex consortium aims at advancing this further. In the near future it must be made possible to online exchange enhanced product features and electronic documents through Veloconnect.
Database with 53,000 bike models
Third pillar of the Bidex consortium is a database in which all bicycle models offered at dealers are logged complete with specifications, images and marketing information as well as supplier data. This database already exists for several years and is managed by Röttger Internet Marketing, RIM GmbH. It is providing primarily content for the online marketing of bicycle dealers. Under the umbrella of Bidex other market players will be enabled to use this database. Currently the database holds some 53,000 bike models from over 280 brands.
‘What’s not online, does not exist’
According to the Bidex consortium the future of the dealershops above all depends on how they are presented on the Internet. “What’s not online, does not exist.” This is the current consumer belief. Bidex presents dealers the necessary equipment to be able to compete with new forms of distribution and e-commerce.”
Next to that Bidex claims that there’s a big need for enhanced standards for data exchange in order to, for example, “Check online the availability of certain bicycle models in specialist shops. Even the bike manufacturer cannot say at which dealers the desired model in the wanted colour and frame size is available for interested consumers. With that many sales opportunities goes to waste and is also to the benefit of webshops.”
On why the Eurobike organizers are participating in the Bidex consortium, says Messe Friedrichshafen, “The future of a healthy retailers landscape in Europe is of vital importance to the future success of our Eurobike show. Therefore it was not a difficult decision for us when we were asked if we want to contribute with our know-how as a leading trade show organizer to the success of Bidex. In addition, we see Eurobike increasingly as a platform where all market players, regardless of time and place, can exchange information. Bidex provides a crucial base for new and exciting services that we will be presenting the bike market in the coming years,” explains Dirk Heidrich, Eurobike show manager at Messe Friedrichshafen.
Editor note: In the Netherlands an initiative for digital collaboration was started years ago. This is called DST (‘Digitale Samenwerking Tweewielerbranche’). Currently all major players, all premium bike brands as well as P&A importers and distributors are participating in DST. The standards and productcodes that are to be developed and introduced by Bidex have already been defined by DST as well as other functions. A collaboration between DST and Bidex seems obvious.