Since we started our business in 2014, room44’s aim has always been to be a bit different. ‘Thinking differently’ has unfortunately become something of a cliché, and future-proofing has become rather under-valued since COVID-19 knocked everybody for six.
Reading the runes and ‘helping’ clients see trends that will affect them is the currency that a new breed of consultancies trades in.
We did it differently in 2019 and 2020.
In early 2019, it was pretty obvious that the climate change agenda would impact mobility. Our thinking suggested internal combustion engines were doomed, and not only because governments laid down dates by which they would be outlawed, but also that these dates may be brought forward as new data became available.
Thinking differently has always been our strength and so, rather than sell this mantra exclusively, I decided we’d leap again.
Seeking a new venture for room44 to expand into, that would benefit from all the signs we read, we settled on eBikes. The reasons are many and various but after running our own scenarios assessment, this sector stacked up as a great opportunity.
How did we capitalise?
Simple. We started another company and now we sell eBikes, eBike service contracts, eBike hire schemes and we’re active in promoting local micro-mobility as part of the evolving multi-modal model.
Hang on, did you miss that bit: localism is a trend that had to evolve and this was part of the rationale too.
I have to admit, we didn’t factor in COVID-19 as part of the equation back in Q2’19, but serendipity has its place.
“The more I practise, the luckier I get.”
To start a company from scratch would have taken more time than I wanted to spend getting going, and we got lucky in the same way that Gary Player got luckier at golf the more he practised. Researching, meeting, talking, interrogating, investigating and filtering all featured in my personal bid to get into a market I simply knew would be good for us. And eventually we found our partner.
I met Fully Charged at the inaugural eBike Summit in Oxford and from that moment on our trajectory was set. A new partnership and venture takes tenacity and energy: even eighteen months into our relationship, we still have to work really hard to keep the ball rolling but, with trust on both sides, I couldn’t be happier with where we are and I know that Fully Charged is happy with our first year’s performance. Everybody wins.
Back to the ‘we help’ generation of consultancies. It’s not usual for a creative agency like room44 to step out of its groove and try something completely new based on its own trend analysis. It’s more common for them to create a digital version of project delivery so they can pull in more clients without increasing their staffing costs. I believe in thinking differently.
Ask yourself, who would you rather talk to: a business that has started up in this market environment, got going and become established when markets are in turmoil…?
Or someone who ‘helps you’ to see new ideas without the recent experience of seeing a trend and following their own intuition?
If this encourages you to have a chat, here’s how you can make a date that suits you.
Future thinking. Future proofing. It’s what I/we do.
At the start of 2020, room44 had made the decision to diversify into a business segment that our trend analysis identified as growing. As things turned out, we were right for more reasons that we could have imagined.
room44 is delighted to be able to develop ideas for our clients using similar techniques, but for now, we’re thrilled to present the outcome of a project.
Working with our London-based partners, Fully Charged Ltd, Milton Keynes Council and the Energy Saving Trust we are supplying a new generation of urban mobility users with eCargo bikes. This will take cars and vans off our roads, reduce carbon emissions, provide an alternative to public transport and allow residents to try new ways of moving people and products.
Fully Charging towards a greener future for Milton Keynes
Fully Charged Silverstone has been awarded the contract to provide Milton Keynes Council with 21 eCargo bikes.
The Council, which has received funding from Energy Saving Trust, will take delivery of 16 Riese & Müller, two Urban Arrow and three Tern eCargo bikes over the coming weeks.
Ben Jaconelli, CEO of Fully Charged, welcomed the order: “The new age of transport is here. eCargo bikes are a truly viable alternative to cars and delivery vans in cities. The growth of enthusiasm for eBikes in the last couple of years has been phenomenal: once people try them, they’re hooked.”
Milton Keynes Council is committed to reducing the city’s carbon footprint. Its new eCargo bike fleet will provide three bikes for food distribution charity The Hubbub Foundation, which runs a nationwide network of Community Fridges, including four in Milton Keynes, and the Council will create a small rental fleet for use by local businesses for last-mile delivery. The eCargo bikes will help make council business travel more sustainable; the Council’s highway and tree inspectors will use the bikes as a greener way of getting around the borough for their investigations.
Cllr Lauren Townsend, Milton Keynes Cabinet Member for Sustainability said, “We are committed to new and innovative ways of achieving our ambition of being carbon neutral by 2030. eCargo bikes are a fantastic way to help us achieve this, enabling the council staff, social enterprises and local businesses to all play a part in reducing our impact on the environment. I think electric bikes are the future, and I’m really proud that yet again Milton Keynes is leading the way.”
Tim Anderson, Head of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, said: “The Department for Transport eCargo Bike Grant Fund attracted a significant number of applications. The 18 local authorities who have successfully secured funding will purchase a total of 273 eCargo bikes and nine eCargo bike trailers, enabling more businesses to benefit from access. eCargo bikes are an attractive low carbon transport solution which offer important benefits – most impressively, fuel cost savings and contributing to improved local air quality. Last-mile delivery is an important area for consideration in our drive to reduce transport emissions to net zero by 2050.”
Fully Charged Silverstone has a test-ride centre on Silverstone Park, next to the iconic racing circuit. Tristan Allen, director of the regional partnership with Fully Charged, said, “We are thrilled to have won the tender to supply MKC’s eCargo bike fleet. These bikes are extraordinarily high-quality machines, with superior build quality, industry-leading Bosch batteries and low-maintenance running. They’ll certainly be in demand.”
The eCargo Bike Grant Fund scheme is funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Energy Saving Trust.
Notes to Editors The eligibility criteria and code of practice are available at: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/transport/ecargo-bike-grant-fund
For further details, contact:
Tristan Allen, Fully Charged Silverstone T: 01865 522122 E:email@example.com
Hayley Roche, Milton Keynes Council Hayley.firstname.lastname@example.org