Bilt app “saving manufacturers money” with digital assembly instructions

Touted as an “industry disruptor” by industry watcher Tom Flierl during Interbike’s trade-facing seminars, the Bilt App has enjoyed a successful entry into the cycling market.

Developed inside the SAP Innovation Centre and launched as Bilt Incorporated in August 2016, the brand has set a course for helping cycling manufacturers lower their return rates via its instructional video tutorials.

“One of our success stories came alongside Bell,” said Juliette Qureshi of Bilt’s PR and communications team. “They came to us with one of their bicycle baby carriers which had an high rate of return at Walmart, not due to the product, but the supplied paper instructions made it difficult to install securely. Moving their instructions to Bilt gave the brand an enormous return on investment. We work on a subscription model that’s cheaper than printing instructions.”

The free to download app uses a CAD modeling system to offer a 360-degree view of a product, piece-by-piece as the user assembles the product. Interactive instructions are then relayed alongside as the customer moves through the build process.

Potentially the app can help the manufacturer further, prompting the buyer of a Bilt-partnered product to store their warranty and instructional content on their phone. In the unfortunate event a recall notice needs to be issued, the app will automatically alert the user, reducing the potential for harm.

“Each set of instructions is the size of a typical MP3 song and it’ll hold all of those documents in our user-friendly format that usually come supplied in the box. This form of product registration automates so many of the processes often ignored when offered in paper form,” adds Qureshi. “It’ll even detail part numbers, so that if you do need a spare part the correct information is right there on your mobile.”

Based on the business done so far, Bilt suggests it has cut product return rates by around 50%. With three in four customers now consulting social media before making a purchase, the implications for a label’s reputation are huge, say Bilt.

“From a ratings point of view that’s huge for brands,” concludes Qureshi. “We got Weber Grill’s ratings from a 4 to an 8+ in a paper v. digital assembly demonstration, which is the difference between making or losing a sale in many cases. That first experience is so important for the consumer, so taking the headache out of assembly is crucial to a brand’s reputation.”

Bilt is soon to begin working with Mongoose Bicycles, among other industry names.

Pictured top: Nate Henderson, CEO and Ahmed Qureshi, President of BILT, Inc.