Players

Veloconnect is jointly developed by the industry participants in various committees. It is moderated by VSF, which does not pursue any business interests of its own. This has made it possible to develop a neutral transmission standard for the bicycle industry that benefits all market participants equally.

The suppliers round table:

This consists of a group of suppliers who are jointly committed to the further development of Veloconnect. With the participation of VSF, they have drawn up a list of requirements for the extended interface. The suppliers of the Round Table provide the start-up financing for the implementation of the concept for further development presented by VSF:

In the meantime, several important companies have booked the development subscription and are part of the Round Table.

The Expert Panel:

The Expert Panel was (re)elected at a plenary conference of merchandise management vendors and service providers supporting Veloconnect on 26/04/22. It is composed of the following six members:

The tasks of the committee:

  • Participation in further development
  • Proposals on content and prioritisation of development steps
  • Definition of the standard and its interpretation

VSF:

The VSF is the initiator of Veloconnect.

As a non-profit association and neutral industry participant, it organises the further development of Veloconnect and the pre-financing for the continued existence of the open industry standard.

Tasks:

As the Veloconnect office...

  • is available as a neutral organiser and contact person,
  • provides a service system with support, test platform and certification,
  • it coordinates the exchange of market participants and moderates the expert committee.

Development to date:

After the positive experiences with the first, well-functioning interface from Wiener Bike Parts, various manufacturers began to offer individual interfaces at the beginning of the century. The problem: for each one, all merchandise management suppliers (and there are many of them) had to programme their own interface, although all suppliers needed comparable data. An unbelievable and unnecessary effort. At the end of 2003, Thomas Schwerdtner, then owner of the bicycle shop "Zentralrad Fürth", came up with the idea that a standardisation of interfaces would help all market participants.

With the help of the VSF, he started the initiative to define and establish an interface standard. A working group with representatives of suppliers and providers of merchandise management programmes was formed; this recognised the usefulness and necessity of standardisation. The goals at that time were the transfer of master data and the processing of orders.

In spring 2005, the software developer Dr. Ludwig Balke agreed to develop the specifications using open standards.

At that time, there was an urgent need for action at the wholesaler von Trotha GmbH because an employee who was difficult to replace left for private reasons. Friedrich von Trotha had the necessary courage and foresight and recognised the opportunities Veloconnect offered through standardised data exchange to increase efficiency (e.g. in order processing): he was the first supplier to use Veloconnect. After only a few months, it was apparent that the desired effect had been achieved through the significantly leaner processes. This broke the ice and proved that Veloconnect works and supports companies to do their core tasks better and more economically.

Thanks to a number of dedicated people (and fortunate circumstances), Veloconnect succeeded in establishing itself as a recognised industry standard.

After the good experiences with the enormous process improvements in the companies and the increasing digitalisation, the appetite for further functionalities grew. Therefore, a structure was created that allows for continuous development:

In 2017, discussions took place between some forward-looking suppliers and the VSF. In the process, the "Veloconnect Round Table" was founded. The founding members include

  • BICO Zweirad Marketing GmbH
  • Hermann Hartje KG
  • Paul Lange & Co. OHG und
  • SKS metaplast Scheffer-Klute GmbH.

The aim was and is to expand the interface for the growing demands on modern digital communication between trade and suppliers.
The then VSF Managing Director Dirk Sexauer presented a concept on how Veloconnect could be further developed as a standard and how its existence and financing could be secured. The suppliers of the Round Table and the VSF made the further development possible through their cooperation and a start-up financing.

In 2018, the implementation of the concept developed by the VSF was finally set in motion at a meeting with the most renowned merchandise management suppliers.
At this meeting, an expert panel of six members was elected from among the merchandise management providers to define future standards and drive further development.

Since 2021, the Velo Suisse association has also been a project partner of Veloconnect in order to promote the dissemination of the industry standard in Switzerland as well.