The Rider Firm: accelerating business with automation

Loft created a system to keep thousands of products up to date, and an automation hub to consolidate business processes.


Over the course of a month, we worked with The Rider Firm to develop a system to keep thousands of product stock level records up to date across a number of stores automatically every day, enabling the company to deliver an enhanced customer experience while also saving time and money. At the same time, we provided them with a platform to build further tools to optimise all aspects of their business.

The Client

The Rider Firm is one of the most exciting fast growth companies in the cycling space, providing in-house engineering on wheels and  bikes to devoted riders worldwide.

The Challenge

After several years of rapid growth, The Rider Firm wanted to invest in new technology to improve the scalability of their business and manage costs while increasing sales. Through an initial strategy workpiece together, we identified data as a key area for investment. Like many, the company had scaled up by bringing in a range of different best-in-class systems to support different areas of the business, and now they needed a way to integrate the data, and consolidate and automate business processes across these systems, to make them easier to manage while also providing increased visibility of the data to help the board and employees with their work.

The immediate challenge was how to keep thousands of product records up to date across a number of different Shopify shop fronts with the latest stock information, each day. Shopify does not provide the functionality that The Rider Firm required for this, and it was inefficient to manage manually.

After exploring a range of options, The Rider Firm decided to work with Loft on this challenge, due to our expertise with complex data engineering challenges and strong working relationships.

What Loft did

After we explored the challenge and the bigger picture with The Rider Firm, we wanted to automate the flow of data into the shopfronts, while providing an interface for the team to easily manage and monitor the automation, view audit reports, and identify and troubleshoot data exceptions. We also wanted to provide them with a system that they could use not just for this, but for all sorts of potential future automations and internal applications that would help them to consolidate their business processes and data over time, saving time and money across the board.

As part of our initial proposal, we designed the concept of a flexible, centralised Business Automation Hub, which we were able to build in just a couple of days using our existing Loft Platform Technology. We then designed and developed a prototype stock automation tool within it, as its first application, showing how the new Hub could be used to quickly create and house valuable new business tools, keeping everything together and delivering increased benefits over time.

After a few days work Loft presented our design proposal and working prototype to The Rider Firm team. Based on this success they were pleased with the approach and agreed to development of the full system. We worked together to refine the final system workflow that would enable them to:

  • upload source product stock data
  • validate it against a set of predefined business rules
  • push the data to all defined Shopify sites
  • receive a notification when the job was completed or failed
  • view a report of exceptions identified, enabling them to address these manually without having to review hundreds of product records for each shop
  • review an audit history of all historical updates, exceptions and issues.

Once this process was agreed with all client stakeholders, Loft completed the development, and tested and launched the system to the client’s infrastructure, where it is now in use daily.

The result

  • Significant efficiencies realised  keeping stock level information for hundreds of products up to date across multiple shopfronts
  • Stock levels can now be kept up to date across all shops for all products daily within an hour, delivering a vastly improved customer experience
  • Reduced number of human errors and order exceptions to resolve
  • Enhanced visibility of errors in the stock source data, and the shopfront product data
  • A successful demonstration of the effectiveness of this approach to wider business
  • A platform that The Rider Firm can use as a central location for creating and managing new business automations and applications, and also for consolidating existing systems
  • Full control over the system and the data.

Future plans

Based on the success of this initial project, Loft continues to work with The Rider Firm to prioritise, plan and deliver new business tools that will help them to create greater efficiencies, and grow faster.

How can we help you?

Combining our experience with our Loft Platform technology, Loft can help you to quickly create and test new business applications of almost any type within your business, saving you time and money. Investing in a system you control, with a reliable partner, maximises long term value and flexibility.

Please reach out to us to explore how we can help you make things work better.

ClientThe Rider Firm
ProjectAutomation Hub and Shopify integration
Consultancy Engineering
Key technologiesDocker
Docker Compose
Loft Platform

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