Across The Board

Updates, inspiration, and musings from the folks behind Trello.

Custom Bikes, A Cup O' Joe, And Trello: How One Growing Business Stays Organized

Heritage General Store is a coffee and bicycle repair shop that uses Trello to keep their coffee brewing and their spokes spinning.

Bikes and coffee. This may seem like an unlikely combination, but not so for Michael Salvatore, owner of Heritage Coffee and Bicycle Shop.

“We saw an opportunity to pair these two unlikely ideas largely because of Chicago weather,” Michael explains. In the summer, people ride their bikes. Not so in the winter; Chicagoans may be tough, but they need their coffee to get through the annual Polar Vortex(es). “We wanted a functional space that could bring these two ideas together in a way that bike riders would feel comfortable walking into a coffeeshop and vice versa.”

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It’s working. Heritage Coffee and Bicycle Shop is bustling with vibrant and eclectic energy in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Customers may seem confused when they walk into the shop to order a latte and see bicycles being sold and repaired in the back, but they quickly acclimate and become regulars due to the delicious coffee and relaxed vibe.

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“Heritage began to grow rapidly and we realized we needed something to keep track of things and keep people accountable. Since we started using it, it’s become essential to running our business. I’m in Trello every day, assigning tasks and seeing what I can do.”

 

 

Heritage uses Trello for many essential processes, from managing bicycle repair orders to planning movie nights with employees. “Every time I have an idea, I like to jump into Trello and write it down. It’s great to have one spot where everyone can see what’s going on and voice their opinions,” said Alan Gagne, General Manager of Heritage. “I use the mobile app all the time, like if a customer calls in and wants to place a wholesale order. I can pull out my phone and get their info down to put in our Wholesale board.”

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Some essential workflows for Heritage include:

Tracking bike repair orders

service2When an order comes in, a service technician creates a card with essential information for the order: the customer’s name, phone number, bike model, etc. Then they go through the workflow shown below. Cards are moved through “Needs Paint,” “Ready to Build,” “Wheel Repairs,” and “Ready for Pickup” lists. Technicians attach pictures of receipts before they archive cards and make notes for future repairs.

Managing a pop up shop space

popupshop4Heritage hosts a pop up shop space right next door. They have a dedicated Trello board for managing businesses that are interested in using the space, businesses they have contacted, and businesses that are scheduled to use the space. Adding due dates to cards helps everyone see the progression of when merchants are scheduled to use the space.

Sales pipeline

heritage_wholesale2Heritage has wholesale accounts with bike shops across the US that buy their custom made bikes. One board is dedicated to tracking potential leads, one manages outreach to these leads, and another records outcomes in the sales process. In other words, the goal of these boards is to get more Heritage bikes sold in more bike shops and hotels across the US.

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“Trello has been a game changer for our business,” says Mike. “Keeping people accountable in a tool they can access anywhere helps us run our business. We love Trello.”

Are you a business that utilizes sales pipelines? We made a sample board you can copy that mimics Heritage's board for acquiring wholesale clients. Don’t feel limited by these samples- adopt them to your own shop and let us know how it goes!

Sample sales pipeline board - Copy me!

Note: All boards depicted here are samples based on the actual boards. They do not depict actual customers, clients of Heritage, or phone numbers. 

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