Page 37

miniplus June issue 31

SEATING | PHOENIX miniplus.co.uk | June 2017 | 37 relationships throughout; we supply the Blenheim seat to the Daimler minibus plant in Dortmund for use in its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Mobility range, for example.” Another key to gaining customers has been the attitude to bespoke projects. “If it’s a simple variation then it is easy to do. We’ve done lots previously, which is why we gained many of the customers that we have.” Checking seatbelts One notable product that is currently being rolled out is All Buckled Up, a useful addition to existing seat types that informs the driver when belts are not applied. Each seat that has it is fitted with a Bluetooth-enabled device in the buckle, powered by a small battery hidden from view. The driver is provided with a display that shows which seats have belts applied and which do not. It also shows the total number of belts in use at any one time. “When a belt is released, the display informs the driver visually and audibly,” says Sara. He or she can also see exactly which seat no longer has a belt applied. “It’s often the case that it’s difficult for drivers to ensure that children use seatbelts, but this product simplifies that process.” Thanks to the Bluetooth aspect, no wiring is plugged in to the seats and thus those on tracking can be removed and refitted as required. When initialised, the cab display auto-connects with the seats that are present, and it can handle up to 70 at one time in a single vehicle. “The next stage will be to introduce an app, meaning that drivers will be able to view the display on their mobile phone,” she adds. “The product is in its early days yet and there is much still to be explored, but it has undergone trials with one local authority.” The future’s bright… Another recent initiative is a retrofit device that converts the fixed three-point belts on Phoenix’s own seats to all-age types with no impact on their compliance with regulations. It’s a simple item that is fitted in around five minutes, and Phoenix can either despatch the part for operators to fit themselves, or it can send an engineer. “That’s an indication of where we want to take the business; we have some good products and it’s a case of making incremental gains with them,” says Adrian Both he and Sara add that Phoenix has expanded in a controlled manner and that it has capacity for growth within its existing operation while maintaining short lead times and flexibility. But for now – helped by an overhauled website, a focus on social media and other marketing initiatives – it’s concentrating on developing its product line-up in a sustainable way. FOR MORE INFORMATION www.phoenixseating.com 1. All-age three-point belts are offered on all minibus seats 2. All Buckled Up shows driver which seatbelts are buckled and which are not 3. All work on seats is carried out at Phoenix’s Kingswinford base 1 2 3 The driver is provided with a display that shows which seats have belts applied and which do not


miniplus June issue 31
To see the actual publication please follow the link above