We take some time out to chat with the team from Sebel.
June 22nd, 2009
What does your company supply?
Sebel is the major manufacturer of Education, Auditorium and Stadium seating in Australia. Sebel is also a major supplier of Aged care and hospitality furniture, deliberately targeting functionality and durability for high use areas.
Sebel specialises in the design and manufacture of Plastic injection seating and also upholsters these products to provide a wide range of contemporary and iconic seats.
What’s the history of your company?
The legendary Harry Sebel started the business nearly 60 years ago; Sebel has grown to be one of Australia’s most recognised furniture brands. Harry had a passion for Plastic moulding and Sebel produced many world firsts, including the iconic Integra, the world’s first mono-bloc plastic chair, which is still sold by the 100,000’s around the world today!
Most of you probably sat on the Postura school chair, which like most classic seats, is now copied all over China.
Where do you distribute?
Sebel has its own staff and sales offices in UK, Germany, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia wide. Sebel has 52 dealers Globally and exports to over 60 countries.
Projects over the last 12 months include 50,000 seat Lansdowne Rd Rugby stadium in Ireland, The Hong Kong Coliseum theatre, and the full fit out of Dubai University, including educational, accommodation and office areas.
What sets your company apart?
We are a very rare Australian manufacturing company. Our product is actually made here, from raw materials, we don’t simply import or assemble parts that have burnt diesel on a boat all the way here. This manufacturing ability also gives Sebel a true advantage in sustainability. Sebel can truly recycle your old Sebel chair, right here in our own factory in Australia.
The other key to Sebel’s long term success has been its focus on R&D and testing. We are the only furniture company in Australia with a NATA certified testing laboratory (AFRDI is the only other one in Australia). This means product is designed and tested over and over. No one else can do this; this results in Australia’s most durable seating products, designed to stand the highest levels of punishment in schools and stadiums.
Who should we speak to when specifying?
Sebel has trained consultants in each state and a team of qualified project managers for larger jobs.
What are your client’s priorities at the moment?
Our clients focus is on locally made, high sustainability solutions particularly for office environments and mass seating. There is a lot of activity around the Federal Governments stimulus programs at the moment, so Sebel’s local manufacture and truly green credentials provide a solution that ticks all the boxes.
What is good design to you?
Good design is longevity, not fickleness. I really hate walking into an office and knowing the year it was fitted, out because of the fickleness of the design and colours.
And while I’m complaining, I hate it when someone specifies a light colour item in a high use area that you know is going to look soiled in 2 months. And when I see someone not think about how the arms of the chair they selected are going to damage a beautiful boardroom table.
What does the future hold?
In Australia we have to think about maintaining good design and manufacturing efficiency so that we can compete against the lower labour costs of Asia.
We also need to look beyond the domestic market and expand into the global market with new products that will expand our share across all our product segments.
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