NUMBER ONE
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MiniPlus Article
February 25 2019
By Michaela Peacock

Michaela writes for routeone and Group Tourism & Travel magazines


All-in-one: How to get the interior that you want

A.T. Industries is dedicated to ensuring you get the interior you want. With next-day delivery and a cornucopia of products to choose from, it has never been easier to make your vehicle look smart inside

Sales Manager Leori Petrou (left) and Operations Director Wendy Fraser

There are a number of factors that make up a successful operation, and presentation is one that is vital; first impressions matter, and if a vehicle is presented in an unkempt way, it could have a serious impact on repeat custom.

That’s why it’s fundamental to ensure that vehicles are kept in a good condition at all times, and two places which see extensive wear and tear is the floor and seats.

One vehicle could see hundreds of people a year walk through it, so whether it’s a replacement of a worn carpet, or choosing a new floor for a brand-new vehicle, textile supplier A.T. Industries – which puts its own success down to recommendations and repeat custom – can help.

Evolution

Celebrating 25 years in business this year, Grantham, Lincolnshire-based A.T. Industries has grown from just Managing Director Peter Johnston and Wendy Fraser, Operations Director, to now operating from three buildings with most of its stock held and available for quick delivery.

“The business has grown and grown over the years,” Wendy says. “We didn’t really have storage facilities at the beginning, so for the first six years we were supplying bespoke and made-to-order. The business developed from there and we took on premises at our current business park in a different building in 2000.

“We then moved to units opposite in 2005 and then three years ago took on another building as well. We have evolved over time and taken on more and more from storage and supply and bringing things in-house. Where we maybe would have used distributors, we’re now doing it ourselves.”

The company has seen a growth in more areas than one. Peter launched A.T. Industries in 1994, with Wendy joining in 1998. There is now a team of 15 that is spread across all of its divisions, which include: Automotive textiles, lining carpets, exhibition carpets, artificial turf, sports surfaces and entrance matting.

Lots of items are held in stock by A.T. Industries for next-day delivery

Wendy says: “We control everything, from product development right the way through to sales and customer care.”

Products

The business has an extensive product range which it has grown over the years. It has built up a range of products, and has taken new things onboard to get what it has today.

Wendy explains that the idea behind A.T. Industries was to set something up that was easy for people to order. The stock is there waiting to be chosen; customers do not have to wait and they can have more than one product in one delivery.

She adds: “If they’re doing the inside of a vehicle, they want floor, seating, roof and wall lining – it’s one delivery and it’s straight in.

“Our business has been built, not through advertising and marketing, but mainly through repeating customers and existing customer recommendations.”

Minibus needs

A.T. Industries has a huge product range on offer to meet the textile needs of any minibus convertor – around 70% of its work is on refurbishment. Leori Petrou, Sales Manager, says it can do everything for the interior of minibuses, in terms of textiles. Lining and seating materials can be anything from leatherette vinyl to original equipment seating if people want to match what’s already in the vehicle.

“When you start going into the higher-class VIP travel, people want to use a leatherette finish,” Leori explains. “So you can have the leather look without paying the real leather prices. We have different degrees of leatherette depending on how much the customer wants to pay.

“Whether it’s a new vehicle and they want something going in, or whether it’s taking out and replacing it to make it look new – we cover both markets.” A.T. Industries prides itself on its lead times – which is very appealing for those looking for a quick turnaround of a vehicle.

Order before 1200hrs and the material will be supplied the following day

It tries to hold most of its products, if not all of them, as standard stock items. Customers can order before 1200hrs and get it the next day. For some of it products now, it is holding four months’ worth of stock because it’s so popular.

European concerns

Although A.T. Industries is one Europe’s leading suppliers of vehicle fabric interiors, with a lot of its business exporting to the continent, Brexit has not affected it yet, Leori says.

“Everything so far has seemed to have run very smoothly. Obviously, we are keeping a close eye on Brexit and what could happen.

“We’re just hoping we get the right deal, so we can carry on trading as normal. If we don’t get the right deal, yes that could affect us, but at the moment we remain positive, as we have had a good start to the year.

“We have no idea what will happen, and we are taking each day as it comes.”



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