Published October 16, 2012
Volume 20, Number 10

Rising Sales, New 3D Software Propel JAKROO Upward  

Derek Wiseman, COO, has seen significant growth at JAKROO.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

JAKROO is definitely ahead of the pack in the business of custom-designed and manufactured performance sports apparel. The Hacienda company, started by CEO Wayne Du, offers not only unparalleled turnaround, superior quality fabrics, and competitive pricing, but—perhaps most impressive—the latest 3-D software that creates the most realistic rendering possible of the final product.

Several changes have occurred since the company moved into the park two years ago as a fledgling start-up. Global headquarters shifted to Pleasanton from Beijing, making the site on 5673 West Las Positas Drive home to all marketing and sales, product development, and design functions. An expanding workforce, which has grown from the original three to today's total of eight, prompted a move into the suite next door. At 2,500 square feet, the new quarters are roughly twice the size of the previous space.

The realignment streamlines and accelerates the entire creative and production process, permitting granular control that eliminates potential delays and miscommunication. “Our overall business model is based on owning the complete vertical from end to end, from the customer experience to operations,” states COO Derek Wiseman. “Our office here handles the complete front end, while our production facility in China provides the structured back end.”

Representing a major advance in the apparel space, the 3D design software recently deployed is the same as that used by animation pioneers Pixar and DreamWorks. It lets customers see how a design will look from all vantage points—back, front, top, side—in its true size and proportion. This takes away ambiguity and mitigates the risk of errors. Plus it creates an extremely efficient workflow. “We can accomplish steps in the design phase not previously possible. It is a much better visual presentation of the product and brings a much better customer experience,” Wiseman notes.

JAKROO has also expanded its product line beyond its initial cycling focus to target the entire endurance sports market, including runners and triathletes. A partnership with USA Productions, a leading producer of triathalon events in Northern California, deepens exposure in that arena.

“What really separates us is that we are very good at the lower-volume, made-to-order market. Our specialty is quantities from 50 to 100. Our factory is configured to do the small runs that most others can't do well,” Wiseman says. Delivery times are also accelerated, roughly two weeks for individual items, three to four weeks for team attire. “Those delivery times are less than half of what our competitors are offering now.”

As the company continues its upward trajectory, Du and Wiseman's next goal is the addition of an on-premises design studio under the JAKROO brand, the Chinese word that translates as “very cool.” Their vision is a facility akin to those depicted on Miami Ink, the TV show that highlighted upscale, avant-garde tattoo artists. “Clients can come in, sit down with a designer, and see their ideas fleshed out on the spot,” Wiseman imagines. “Whether for an individual celebrating a special event or a team preparing for a major challenge, we can provide customers with exactly what they want.”

For more information, visit www.jakroo.com.


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