Named after a small, lightweight bird that holds the world record for the longest migration, Tern Bicycles is on a mission to change the way people move. Guided by a commitment to creating a sustainable future and the core belief that the bicycle is the ultimate high-efficiency vehicle, the company designs innovative bikes with features that reduce the need to travel by car. With a focus on urban mobility, Tern Bicycles designs and manufactures electric, cargo, and folding bicycles.
“A lot of times in North America, we see bikes as toys. At Tern, we really see them as tools. Bikes make sense for so many things, and we make bikes that equip people to do a lot of great things.” -Dale Aguas, USA Territory Manager, Tern Bicycles
With gas prices soaring in 2022, consumers are beginning to see e-bikes as a convenient, eco-friendly alternative that solves transportation challenges. Compact yet capable of reaching high speeds with little effort, e-bikes alleviate urban traffic. According to statistics released by Precedence Research, these factors are driving growth in the e-bike market, which is forecasted to expand from US $17.56 billion in 2021 to US $40.98 billion by 2030. Continuously innovating with riders in mind, and with a steadfast commitment to sustainability, Tern Bicycles is ideally positioned to grow within this expanding market. However, rapid growth rarely comes without its challenges, especially when it comes to managing net terms and accounts receivable while navigating supply chain shortages.
As demand for e-bikes grew, so did the size of orders from Tern Bicycles customers (retail shops, also known as dealers). This made offering net terms essential for the small but growing brand.
E-bikes are a big-ticket item. This can be viewed as both a blessing (for sales, and a curse (for processes). As demand for the bikes grew, dealers began to order larger quantities. With prices for Tern’s e-bikes starting at over $3,000, orders added up quickly. Customers needed a way to finance orders that often exceeded $100,000, and Tern Bicycles wanted to offer them net terms without negatively impacting their own cash flow and liquidity. This drove the company to look for a net terms partner, eventually finding one through a referral. When that partner discontinued the offering, Tern Bicycles began searching for a new solution.
Through a referral from one of its dealers, Tern Bicycles landed on Resolve. Though Resolve offered net terms solution similar to that of Tern’s previous partner, the growing e-bike brand needed to ensure that any new partner they worked with shared its approach to customer service. Understanding that a net terms provider is often seen by customers as an extension of its team, Tern Bicycles was committed to choosing a partner who would also offer exceptional customer support and service to customers.
“One of our initial concerns as we evaluated Resolve was: what if somebody goes past due? How would Resolve interact with our customers? Service is huge to us. If someone at Resolve was dealing with our retailers, they become an extension of us.” -Dale Aguas, USA Territory Manager, Tern Bicycles
After thoroughly evaluating its net terms solution, Tern Bicycles chose Resolve to act as an extension of its accounts receivable team, offering the net terms and financing that their customers needed.
For Tern Bicycles, what really set Resolve apart was the net terms provider’s commitment to working together to offer an exceptional customer experience. When dealers find it difficult to meet their net terms obligations on time, Resolve works with them to offer fair solutions. Most notably, Resolve works closely with Tern Bicycles to get new dealers approved for net terms, even those who have a limited credit history.
“Ultimately, it's Resolve's decision to approve new customers and determine what kind of terms to extend, but I appreciate that they ask for input from us, because a lack of history doesn’t always reflect whether a customer is well-funded.” -Dale Aguas, USA Territory Manager, Tern Bicycles
In addition to offering a personal touch, Tern Bicycles’ customers enjoy a frictionless experience with Resolve. A simple credit application process makes applying for net terms with Resolve easy and approvals are quick. In fact, Tern’s customers have found that it takes them just a few minutes to apply for net terms through Resolve’s platform. Once a dealer is up and running with Resolve, paying invoices is simple and efficient, too.
With the help of Resolve, Tern Bicycles has been able to leverage net terms to get the most out of the growing demand for its innovative e-bikes. Since implementing Resolve, the company has seen an increase of 30-40% in purchases from many of its dealers. But that’s not all, the solution is also helping the company better manage its accounts receivable.
After implementing Resolve, Tern Bicycles noticed that its dealers were quickly becoming more confident in managing their accounts and using their net terms strategically to place larger orders. Resolve’s solution not only extends the net terms financing Tern’s dealers need, but it gives them unmatched visibility into their accounts. Being able to see their accounts in real-time empowers customers to manage their credit lines to maintain the inventory levels they need.
Initially, Tern Bicycles set out to find a strong net terms partner that could extend financing to its dealers while providing exceptional customer service. As the company integrated Resolve into its business, it became clear that Resolve had another value proposition: the solution quickly became an extension of Tern’s accounts receivable team.
With Resolve, Tern Bicycles is confident that its accounts receivable are well-managed with automated reminders and thorough follow-up. Taking care of collections for Tern, Resolve helps the growing e-bike brand keep operations lean.
More importantly, Resolve’s approach to managing accounts receivables is rooted in its commitment to providing excellent customer service and building strong relationships with its clients and their customers. To Tern, it is paramount that they trust Resolve as Resolve has a direct line of sight to their customers.
As Tern Bicycles looks toward the future, the company continues to champion electric bicycles as a valuable tool to address transportation challenges and create a sustainable future. Strategically focused on innovation and strong relationships with its dealers, the brand is poised to succeed.
Innovation is also fueling growth for Tern Bicycles. As e-bikes grow in popularity among consumers, the company has turned its attention to its “Bikes for Business” arm and fleets. Seeing e-bikes as tools, Tern designs e-bikes that can haul cargo, transport deliveries, and enhance customer experiences at hotels and resorts. More importantly, they can help businesses reduce fuel costs and minimize delays caused by traffic in busy urban centers.
With an expanding portfolio of businesses and organizations–like the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University–using Tern Bicycles to support their operations, the company is fulfilling its mission to create a sustainable future by changing the way people move.
“We believe that bikes make sense. Bikes make sense for a lot of things. And fortunately, we have products that will allow you to run errands and complete tasks, like dropping off kids, carrying cargo, getting a workout, commuting, or a combination of all of that! Our bikes can do all of that, and more, and yet store in a small space. So, if bikes make sense for that and your personal lifestyle in your family, then they also make sense for businesses and fleets.” -Dale Aguas, USA Territory Manager, Tern Bicycles
To learn how you can experience similar sales order growth through a better net terms solution and an accounts receivable team on tap, contact us to learn more.