“If you’ve got a bad back and you need a specialist chair, for when you’re in the office, you also need a specialist chair for your home. Setting up a decent workstation for the office and for home, is imperative if you’re doing a hybrid, two days at home three days in the office or the other way around etc. It’s not possible to take a chair on the train to work and back!
Companies are beginning to take the idea of people working in two destinations seriously and setting them up with the appropriate furniture etc.
We want to support the local Tunbridge Wells and surrounding businesses more, we’re aware that local businesses may not know we are here and even though we’ve already supported some local businesses – Synergee Limited, Capital Currencies, Sevenoaks Borough Council and Warner’s Solicitors have all bought chairs from us. So, supporting the local businesses is something we’ll be concentrating more on in the coming year.
Quite a lot of our business comes via osteopaths, physios, and chiropractors – someone with a bad back will go and see a local physio so we’ve done well over the years with those type of referrals; they’re almost like our unpaid sales force. Unfortunately, so many people are just sitting on substandard, inadequate chairs.
So, the plan for the year ahead is to explore more options with the home workers because there are more and more of them and that’s the way it’s heading.”
Matt Hutchinson, SitSmart – November 2022
“SitSmart started life just outside Guildford in Surrey about 35 years ago. The owner wanted to retire and Paul Fleming, TEK Group CEO, was looking to develop his business and an office seating division sat perfectly alongside his existing vehicle seat company, TEK Seating. That was about 17 years ago and since then he’s gone from strength to strength, later developing TEK Military Seating, manufacturing seats and products for military vehicles, including anti-blast seats.
I’ve known Paul for many years so when he contacted me to ask if I would be interested in working in his new office seating division, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to work for Paul and SitSmart because I had faith that it was a good set up and I believed in him – and I’ve now been here for about 16 years! The role was something new and challenging, as well as something totally different for me, and I looked forward to working on such a great opportunity.
I originally worked with the old owner for maybe six months just to learn a bit about the business, but more importantly about the chairs – the office chair world is a minefield so we had to work out what we wanted to do, how we would approach selling chairs and how we could develop the brand. We then moved the business from Guildford to Tunbridge Wells to run alongside TEK Seating. It was all very straightforward and moving into a big new facility a year later enabled us to expand our stock and create a showroom.
SitSmart offers top quality office seating for both home and business use. Nearly five million working days a year are lost through back pain so it can be a huge problem for employers as well as employees. We pride ourselves on our personal service, offer a free two-week trial before purchase – allowing our customers to find the right chair for them, plus offer a free consultation and fitting service. We can provide office chairs for people with bad backs or for any general business space, we’ve done school fit outs and a big area for us is 24-hour seating – which is basically a chair with a backside on it morning, noon, and night, with different shifts and different people using it. That led us into a variety of CCTV control room environments, such as Network Rail nationally (who have been clients for over a decade now) and other similar setups.
From a sales point of view when selling chairs you can often be immediately rewarded – someone with a bad back, for example, who has struggled with sitting in discomfort for maybe years, can genuinely feel a positive result very quickly when fitted to the correct chair. Companies, particularly across the UK, are now waking up to the idea that a comfortable, ergonomic chair is a very important part of the workstation and once we’ve helped to break down that barrier, it really can make a big difference to the user.
One of the challenges that we are currently concentrating on is raising awareness amongst local businesses – not just in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks, but across the South East in general. We have been targeting these areas for a few years now but were thrown slightly off kilter when the pandemic hit. During the last 18 months our focus was redirected to home workers who realised that a comfortable, ergonomic chair was a crucial part of working from home, so it was great that we could adapt quickly to our clients’ needs.
I’m always amazed that there are local businesses who are not aware of us so that’s a definite action plan – amongst other things – for the immediate future. People need to know we can be competitive and offer solutions for all budgets. We are here to help and advise – and that personal service is definitely where our strengths lay”
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NEARLY 5 million working days a year are lost through back pain – with statistics like this it can be a huge problem for the employer as well as the employee. If you are suffering in your current office chair, or you simply require a quality office chair with good posture support for home or business use, then SitSmart can help.
We offer top quality ergonomic office seating and accessories from all the leading manufacturers including RH Form, KAB Seating, Rhubarb, Status, Pledge, Viasit, MESH Seating, Be-Ge, Bambach and Grahl.
We pride ourselves on our personal service, including a free two week trial before purchase allowing you to find the right chair for you, plus a free consultation and fitting service.
SitSmart is part of the TEK Group, which also includes TEK Seating and TEK Military Seating