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Heelys Order Management: A Reassessment

September 27th, 2010

heelys-sneakers-mit-der-rolleClient: Heeling Sports Limited
Team: Gustavo Carrere and Marcus Klintmalm
Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Siems
Year: 2005
Documents: Final Report (PDF)

The Heeling Sports Limited is a Dallas-based footwear designer, manufacturer and distributor. The Company’s mission is to generate new and exciting footwear utilizing contemporary and progressive styles with comfort-enhancing performance features. To generate new footwear style HSL will introduce one product per year through acquisition or in-house development.

Extensive interviews and observation lead us to several bottlenecks in the order process. Most often these bottlenecks concerned procedure rather than anything else. There are many simple, no-cost options to optimizing the Heelys order process.

HSL currently has three patented shoe brands: Heelys, Axis, and Soap. The Heelys shoe line of specialty footwear that incorporates a stealth removable wheel in the heel. This enables users to instantly transition from the traditional walking or running shoes into rolling by merely shifting weight to the heels. The Soap shoe line incorporates a hard plastic composite into the arch used for “grinding”. The technique of “grinding” is performed sliding down hard surfaces: handrails, curbs and steps, similar to maneuvers performed by skateboarders. Finally, the Axis line are skateboard shoes which has special features that provide extended durability and performance.

The company targets a market niche of action sports enthusiasts. The shoe market to extreme sports such as: skateboarding, inline skating, snowboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, and BMX biking and motocross enthusiasts. These individuals have unique haracteristics: fun, creative, individual achievers who experience and attempting various tricks or maneuvers within these sports.

Currently the company has 14% of the skateboard footwear market. Sale is moving in an upward trend this year especially during the first quarter of the year. The company expects to have $30 million in sales this year. Heelys is going to have record profits this year. The company’s growth last year was 52%, but they expect to grow even more this year.

Interestingly enough, we could find no process flow problems within the warehouse but instead the process flow problems occurred within the order process before the warehouse as well as in the interaction between the warehouse and the customer service department. Concurrently, there are several problem areas that can be most effectively eliminated through information technology. With proper application of technology, Heelys can position itself strategically to have the ability to grow at an enormous rate without the commonly associated growing pains.

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