For a small business, a 50% increase in demand in one year can simultaneously represent a significant opportunity and serious challenge. As the pandemic pushed people toward outdoor hobbies, the cycling industry has boomed, and HED Cycling Products in Roseville has been on the front end of that demand since day one.
For those of you unfamiliar with the high-performance bicycle racing scene (think Tour de France), Minnesota is home to one of the most respected wheel manufacturers in the world. HED Cycling Products makes ultra-lightweight bicycle components including carbon fiber and alloy wheels, and other accessories. HED products are ridden by championship athletes and weekend explorers around the world.
In the upcoming issue of Enterprise Minnesota® Magazine, writer Anne Kopas interviewed Anne Hed, president of HED Cycling Products, and Enterprise Minnesota consultant Greg Langfield, to share with our readers the remarkable advances they’ve made to keep up in a highly competitive and in-demand market.
“Founded in 1984, the self-named bicycle wheel maker sprang from a match between former triathlete Anne Hed and her late husband Steve Hed, a bike shop owner. Together the pair grew from humble garage beginnings to a global name in performance bike wheels, equipping the likes of Lance Armstrong. After Steve’s passing in 2014, Anne took over as CEO, guiding the company through a move to its current Roseville facility,” she writes.
Kopas writes, “Anne has long understood the business value of outside perspectives. In January 2019, she brought on consultant Paul Harry, who now serves as COO, to guide a relatively new leadership team, and last July HED turned to Enterprise Minnesota’s Greg Langfield to help improve the company’s organizational efficiency.”
According to Kopas, the company has embraced continuous improvement, new machines, and an entrepreneurial spirit with its employees to increase capacity and maintain high quality output. This has led to reductions in scrap and an improved product assembly flow, but not without some growing pains.
She writes, “By prioritizing culture fit over lengthy resumes, Anne [Hed] plans to invest in an adaptable, sustainable workforce. Each new employee orientation includes a walkthrough of the business plan to further strengthen the team’s understanding of HED’s business operations and core values. Quarterly business status meetings include everyone, too, to promote transparency.”
You can read all about HED Cycling Products and how they’ve adapted to double digit growth in our Summer 2022 edition Magazine, due out May 12th.
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