Store Operations Get a Boost with Real-Time Communication

Before Zinc: How Can We Better Connect and Coordinate Across Our Stores?

Mike’s Bikes is the largest independent bike dealer in America, with over a dozen bike shops throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Every employee, now over 250 cycling enthusiasts, brings a passion for cycling that they hope to share with each and every customer that visits their stores. The need for quick coordination and communication is essential to running smooth operations across each retail location.

“In retail, seconds can make the difference. Being able to immediately get an answer, track inventory or resolve an issue can go a long way in exceeding customer expectations” said Matt Adams, Mike’s Bikes President.

Before discovering Zinc, teams at Mike’s Bikes used a mix of communication tools (email, texting, personal messaging apps) to stay in sync in and between stores. But these tools didn’t meet the needs of the dynamic retail environment. Email was mostly used by managers and didn’t extend to the entire retail staff. Texting and personal messaging apps while quick, were only possible when team members’ phone numbers and contact information were readily accessible. Matt told us, “We wanted to have a way for all our staff – from store employees to management to our IT teams – to instantly communicate and stay in sync no matter where they were working.”

The Discovery: Messaging Accelerates Efficiency

Matt and his team discovered Zinc and began to introduce it to a few store employees and managers. He explained, “We were interested in exploring Zinc as it provided the familiar experience of apps we use in our personal lives, with administrative controls valuable for the business.”

In addition to work features such as conferencing calling and location sharing, Zinc offers administrative controls so that admins can easily create and manage groups, add or remove users, send custom push alerts for important store updates and manage how long company data is stored.

As the team used Zinc more, it was clear it would be a valuable tool for daily operations. Matt explained, “Our staff loved the app because it’s fast and easy to use: it doesn’t require knowing someone’s mobile number and allows us to quickly coordinate with features like location sharing and voice memos.”

The Results: Faster Coordination and Cohesion

Zinc was quickly adopted by the staff across Mike’s Bikes locations. Matt shared, “There was little training required since Zinc provides a familiar experience to personal apps we use. You can pick it up and start using immediately.”

Since introducing Zinc, Matt and his team have noticed they have been able to get things done much faster. Leadership and store managers can easily stay on top of key issues and updates with one Zinc group instead of fragmented email threads. IT and Support teams can handle questions and issues in real-time to make sure operations continue to run smoothly. Store employees can quickly message other locations if they are trying to locate a particular item for a customer.

As usage has continued to rise, Matt and the team have discovered new ways to use Zinc. A perfect example of this is the weekly manager meeting. Previously, Matt and members of the management team would use conference calling tools that would require dial-in numbers and passcodes. This proved to be cumbersome as managers were frequently on the move between locations. The team shifted this meeting to Zinc, using the built-in group calling feature. “Instead of dial-ins and passcodes, we could kick off the call in a matter of seconds. We don’t have to waste time digging up passcodes, alleviating some of the frustration we’ve had with prior tools,” Matt shared.

Zinc continues to be adopted by more of the staff and has become an integral part of how they communicate and get things done. Matt added, “We have been able to streamline communication across the management team, maintain fast coordination across our retail locations, and better engage our entire workforce as we grow.”

Why They Chose Zinc

  • Streamlined team communication through one app
  • Faster coordination and issue resolution across retail locations
  • Increased engagement across staff and management
  • Combined the administrative controls needed for business with a intuitive, familiar experience for employees