How a Small Business is Changing the Drumming Industry Worldwide
My name is Ashley MacDonald and I am the Marketing Assistant for Billdidit Inc. Billdidit is a company, formed to commercialize accessories for the [music] drum industry. Our products allow drummers to do more with their kit. Billdidit, the creators of the Coady Clutch, are dedicated to developing tools that will allow today’s creative drummers to unleash their
Hired fresh out of college, as a graduate of an International Business and Marketing program, I practically dove head first into the world of international business. Because our company primarily serves the product needs of drummers, our products have a worldwide reach and I am responsible for a broad range of tasks. Although my official title for Billdidit is “Marketing Assistant”, I am not confined to any one, particular designation.
It has been our mandate, through and through, to not only create quality, innovative products for
the drum industry, but manufacture gear that can tolerate heavy hitting, on and off the drum kit.
We’re full of ideas and we’re continually trying to solve problems that drummers are often faced
with. We do this by turning out great products.
We are located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and have an office staff of four individuals; sales and marketing, customer service and mechanical design. We plan to expand our facility to include a fully-functional prototyping machine center, with the intention to further create exceptional drum products as well as branch out into other industries.
What products or services does your business offer?
We offer the Coady Clutch, Wash Control, Trip Arm and the Combo (which is all three products, packaged together.
For anyone who’s not familiar with drumming, our first product, the patented Coady Clutch,
allows drummers to switch between their hi-hat cymbals and bass drum work. Traditionally,
drummers use one foot to play the bass drum and one to operate the hi-hats; however, in recent
years, drummers have been using both feet to play their bass drum (two “beaters” with two
pedals, instead of one). A hi-hat drop clutch allows a drummer to still have some control over
their hi-hat when both feet are busy playing something else.
The Coady Clutch uses powerful magnets to hold the top hi-hat cymbal instead of the typical
latch system previously available; thus, making it very strong and at the same time, simple to
operate. The great customer feedback we receive is a testament to the fact that the Coady Clutch is the smoothest and most reliable product of its kind available today.
Our second product, the Coady Wash Control, is a small gadget that sits between the hi-hat
cymbals; its tightening/loosening mechanism allows drummers to choose their desired sound
(commonly referred to as cymbal “wash”) and keep it there, without having to tinker around with their cymbals every time. This is an ingenious little design that grants drummers the ability to achieve a sound that could only be obtained by fidgeting with wing-nuts or experimenting with the foot.
Lastly, the Coady Trip Arm is, as the name suggests, an arm that is installed onto a hi-hat stand and works in conjunction with our drop clutch, giving a drummer the ability to operate the accessory “hands-free”. Basically, it acts like a drum stick, coming down on the clutch to break the magnet seal, which then drops the cymbals – the same outcome that is normally achieved by operating it with a manual strike. More about Billdidit, as well as video demonstrations of the above products can be found on our website at: www.billdidit.ca
What are some day to day challenges you face?
As with any small business, its employees are challenged with duties beyond their usual job title/description. With an inventory in the thousands of pieces, when Billdidit products were ready to be sold commercially, we found ourselves needing a reliable, yet easy-to-operate inventory management system. Our product and product component counts needed to be documented, from an internal perspective and each assembled product then needed to be recorded as an item we could sell to our customer.
Originally, our products were sold online, via our website and PayPal; therefore, I was responsible for processing each one as it came through. Similarly, as with any commercially sold product, the bigger picture is always to see it land on store shelves – in our case, on the shelves of music stores. Thankfully, our product sold itself and we were quick to secure several distributors across the globe but this then meant we needed a system that could account for orders, on a much larger scale than simply a single online transaction done through our website.
The challenge then was to find a system that could be implemented on a micro and macro level; one that was easily interchangeable and flexible.
After an extensive amount of research on my part, evaluating various software and programs, I chose inFlow as our operating system for inventory management. Being the one to implement both customer service and inventory management, I have to ensure every order received is accounted for efficiently – whether it’s one product or several hundred. Similarly, that everything purchased on our end is recorded as well.
inFlow has been an amazing tool for Billdidit. It allows me to monitor the inventory closely; the sleek, customizable template for Purchase and Sales orders is extremely useful and we’ve often received compliments on how impressionable they are! We also make great use of the reports feature, allowing us to review our sales numbers and products sold each month.
The inFlow system is very easy to use, with a simple interface that makes administration straightforward and painless. And when there’s something I don’t know, customer service is a
mere email or phone call away. Their responses are always professional, concise and helpful what few barriers I did have, were solved within a few hours.inFlow works perfectly for our needs. I am very satisfied with my choice to incorporate this system into Billdidit’s daily business transactions.
What advice could you give to other small businesses?
In our experience, a business needs to focus as much as possible on doing what it does best. Small businesses should not be dedicating limited time and resources towards things like creating their own inventory management systems, developing customized invoices, etc.