Quality Control at woom
Why Quality Matters: Meet woom’s Head Elf
If Santa’s workshop specialized in cogsets and spokes and crank arms, or seat posts and handlebars and pedals, woom USA’s Austin home at 2311 Rundberg Lane could be the headquarters of Christmas itself. The holidays are woom’s busiest time of year, and we like to think the bikes on their way to children all over North America (by reindeer-pulled sleigh or free UPS ground shipping) would make St. Nick proud.
If anyone qualifies as woom’s head elf during the month of December, it’s assembly and quality control manager Sam Frost. Serious but funny, demanding but always quick to recognize an employee’s hard work, Sam is the person who makes sure everything at woom is running smoothly and that customer expectations are met.
woom bike USA's Quality Control Manager, Sam Frost (left) teaching Rigden Tenzin how to true a wheel.
Dave Norris, woom’s marketing elf—erm, that is, manager—says that Sam’s high standards also apply to Sam himself. “The one day he was late,” Dave says, “he proactively gave himself an official write-up and even had it signed.”
Poking fun at Sam is all in a good day’s work, but Sam’s strict interpretation of quality is exactly what defines woom bikes for many of our customers. More than any single feature—whether it’s woom’s small-hand reach brakes or lightweight frames or meticulous research in kid-friendly design—woom bikes are known for being well-made.
In his 20 years in the bike industry, Sam says he’s seen many other companies come and go, and he credits woom’s growth and success to the fact that woom has established itself as the “gold standard” by which all other children’s bikes are evaluated. “We have the responsibility to ensure that we’re producing a world-class bicycle that we’re proud to stand behind,” Sam says.
“From the ground up, our bikes have always been designed with the anatomy and size of a child in mind,” he says. “We don’t believe in just scaling down adult-specification parts and calling it a day. Our designers and engineers are constantly at the table of product development so that the final outcome of a children’s bike actually makes sense.”
Jonathan Hughes, woom bike USA's Inventory Analyst
woom staff represent a wide range of backgrounds and ages. Carefully selected, one thing applies to all: bikes are their passion.
“We’ve built an enthusiastic, passionate team that at times feels more like a family than it does a job,” Sam says.
woom’s work culture encourages continuous improvement, and every employee takes part in bettering the product and process. Customer satisfaction becomes a matter of personal pride.
Because woom is a direct-to-consumer company, we get to hear immediate feedback, which is another important way we maintain high standards. From design to shipping to assembly to little-feet-on-the-pedals, every stage of the process is honed to be as seamless as possible.
“Most of our customers have done extensive research in the market in order to know that they’re making the best choice, so they already know that they’re going to receive a bike that has undergone our rigorous assembly and quality control checks and that each component on the bike has been adjusted to a high level of precision,” Sam says.
Sam is the father of four boys. “I respect the fact that our customers are relying on the same safety considerations in their bikes that my boys and I experience in ours.”
“When I see children riding their woom bikes around the park near my boys’ school I’m proud to know that I was part of that experience in some way,” he says. “My boys think it’s really cool to know that their dad works for the company that makes their friends’ bikes.”
There’s nary a reindeer or snowflake here at woom HQ, but we believe there’s a certain kind of magic at work year-round, and the credit goes to employees like Sam.
Happy holidays to you and your family, and may they be even more merry and bright with a shiny new woom bike under the tree!