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Britax Childcare feature



Britax stroll rock and

By Alex Harmon 2

Focus Manufacturing

When it comes to keeping your children safe and sound, it’s often the parent who needs the most comfort. As their Asia-Pacific managing director Maurice McGrath explains, Britax Childcare keeps this in mind when developing new products for the ever-changing market.

here’s nothing more important to a parent than a child’s safety. This is one of the core philosophies that Britax takes on board in the manufacture of its products. The company is successful in creating children’s strollers, child seats, travel systems and nursery products and is home to leading nursery brands Safe-n-Sound and Steelcraft. It can also proudly boast that the majority of its range is manufactured in Australia. In a volatile market, Britax maintains its local focus and believes that it is why it’s a successful and trusted business for Australian families. “Our best indication of performance is that in 2012 we completed our 11th consecutive year of sales growth,” says Maurice McGrath, MD of Britax Asia Pacific. “We have also highly successful in China and after launching there only two years ago. Britax is the fastest growing brand in this territory.” In addition, its Steelcraft brand, which Britax also exports to New Zealand, is the second most trusted brand in Australia after Apple. “Britax has been extremely successful in releasing new products into the market; continually innovating and developing best in class new products,” continues McGrath. “Our success has been due to our ability to listen and quickly respond to retailer and consumer needs.” It is this attention to customer’s’ needs that saw the company just launch a line of high performance jogging strollers - the BOB Range. “We are excited by the initial feedback from consumers appealing to both the fitness elite and parents looking to refresh their fitness routines. The product quality is second to none,” explains McGrath. Britax’s Australian operations grew out of humble beginnings in 1987 when it took over and merged Steelcraft T.I. Industries Pty Ltd and Safe-n-Sound Pty Ltd. But it is a family philosophy that makes Britax an ideal working environment, encouraging staff to share ideas and experiences that consider the customer. “All of our employees are aware that these values define and characterize our workplace culture,” says McGrath. “There is a belief that ‘we are family and



Arnold Webbing Arnold Webbing is extremely proud of our association with Britax Childcare, and has been fortunate enough to form a strong business relationship. Both companies have a strong Australian Heritage that combined is worth over 160 years experience.

Maxi Rider AHR Easy Adjust

this is what we do at Britax’. The fundamental difference at Britax stems from this unique culture that underpins the way we manage the business and the way we behave.” Britax doesn’t just understand its employees, it also recognizes the needs and values of clientele. It believes its success is due to an unrelenting focus on three core factors: Brand • +90 percent global brand awareness in child car safety seats • The leading global premium consumer brand for children • Synonymous with uncompromising safety Engineering & Design • Industry leading engineering and testing capabilities • 65 engineers, more than 100 patents • Pioneering product innovation Consumer and customer relationships • Awards from independent consumer media, including Mother and Baby, Australian Design Awards, Productreview. and


• Long-term customer partnerships The 2010 revision to the AS/NZ 1754 Australian and New Zealand Child Restraints Standard introduced many significant changes to the design and performance requirements of child car seats and recognised the need to provide better protection for older children. A new category of Booster Seat was introduced called the F Type. McGrath ensures The Encore 10 is the first F Type Booster Seat in the Australian market and “has been designed according to the strict specifications outlined by the Australian Standards and will accommodate an approximate 10 year old child.” With this in mind Britax created the Safe-n-Sound Encore 10, an Australianfirst booster seat that

Arnold Webbing and Britax share a commitment to Australian manufacturing and it’s a perfect example of two Australian companies working together to produce world class quality products. Together we have forged a partnership based on continuous improvement and innovation, with safety always being our number one focus.

Proudly cradling Britax for 25 years National B2B Deliveries (road and rail) International Onforwarders (air and sea)

Midway has a long standing reputation for producing high quality full colour printed material for their many and varied clients. Clients trust Midway to deliver their work to the highest standards on time and on budget.

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Midway manages the entire print process. It also offers warehouse and distribution through our online ordering systems with Pick & Pack services and distribution of our client material locally, nationally or internationally. t: 03 9308 0880

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PolyPacific is a leading supplier of reinforced and modified polyolefins in Australia and South East Asia with manufacturing facilities in Dandenong, Victoria and Port Klang, Malaysia. The grade range includes: Corton – Mineral Filled Polyolefin Compounds

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For further information on this product range, please see contact details below. PolyPacific Pty. Ltd. Dandenong South, Vic., Australia Email: Ph: +613 9793 6000

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Webbing SupplierS You Can TruST Arnold Webbing has been in operation in Australia for well over 100 years. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are 100% Australian owned and have dedicated ourselves in helping to retain business with in Australia. Being in the textile industry for as long as we have, it has allowed us to build a dedicated and highly skilled team. Our team has developed the technical expertise in weaving and dyeing that sets our quality apart. No team is complete unless they have the tools to get the job done right. With that in mind we have developed a purpose built factory that is over 55,000 square feet; it truly is a state of the art factory, with its own dying facility and Australia’s only NATA accredited laboratory with AS1753. Having our own in house Thermosol dyeing capability allows us to offer a superior dyeing process with the ability to alter the webbing performance based on our individual customer needs. E.g. tensile, elongation etc. We also have a strict and controlled manufacturing processes were we can track each product batch made, from start to finish. That allows us to make sure the end product will fit our customers individual need. At Arnold Webbing we are proud of the quality of webbing we produce. We also haven’t lost focus that our customers are our main priority. To better service the needs of our customers we have invested in a fully staffed customer service team that have a wealth of experience to make sure that from the ordering process to dispatch, the customer is always given the information they need on, time every time. We also have a well trained sales department who communicate to our customers the diverse range of stock we can produce. From our wide range of fiber types which includes polyester as well as spun and textured polyester to our cotton and polyprop range. We also offer value added services such as fire retardant, water proofing, UV stabilizers and also cutting and sewing services.



has your children covered. It also has a line of strollers including the Agile range that has been designed to ensure infants have all the comforts and safety they need when out and about. “The Agile range of travel system strollers is lightweight and easy to fold,” says McGrath. “We have listened to feedback and have created a (feature-rich) version; the Agile PLUS. It includes adjustable footrest, adjustable handle, child tray and padded insert.” It really does sound like they’ve thought of it all – it seems like their products contain everything but the kitchen sink. Although, perhaps a stroller that does the dishes is next on the cards for Britax… The Strider Compact

“There is a belief that ‘we are family and this is what we do at Britax’. The fundamental difference at Britax stems from this unique culture that underpins the way we manage the business and the way we behave”

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Focus Manufacturing

will fit a child until they are about 10 years old. It may seem excessive for a 10 year old to be seated in a booster seat, but when you think about it all children grow at different rates. Furthermore, changes to the National Road Rules in 2008 mean that children are required to be secured in car seats for longer. The Encore 10 has been designed to fit approximately 95 percent of 10 year olds and 50 percent of 12 year olds, making it easier for parents. The Encore 10 design raises the child up to ensure that the lap-sash parts of the seatbelt are more vertical so that downward forces are applied to the child’s thighs. The seatbelt is less likely to ride up on a child’s abdomen and when a child slides under the seatbelt in a car crash it can crush sensitive abdominal organs. As McGrath points out, “studies undertaken in the US found that children using a seatbelt alone are eight times more likely to sustain abdominal injury than children using a Booster Seat.” It is not just peace of mind that Britax wants to provide customers; it also wants to make the configuration of seats a whole lot less confusing. The Maxi-Rider, for instance, is a much-loved product in the Safe-n-Sound range, but it is never too late to make improvements, McGrath admits. “The recent launch of the Maxi Rider AHR Easy Adjust with its slimmer design has re-invigorated the product,” he says. “It is easier to adjust the harness, easier to configure in your car and therefore easy to for parents to choose!” It’s incredible to think that seatbelt wearing was only made compulsory by law in 1970, but Safe-n-Sound were there to jump on board, becoming the first to manufacture and gain standards approval in the Australian market. In 2013 Britax has pledged to continue its investment in research and development and innovation. It understands that marketing is a priority because it educates parents about child safety and they will continue to invest in these programs. But as McGrath explains, Britax’s particular focus is “correct installation, choosing the correct restraint for their child and keeping children in car seats for longer.” And it’s not just in the car where Britax


Britax Childcare Pty Ltd Street Address 99 Derby Road (entry via Thorpe Street) Sunshine Victoria 3020 Australia Ph: (03) 9288 7288 Fax: (03) 9311 5798

Australasia Outlook

Postal Address PO Box 147 Sunshine Victoria 3020 Australia

Britax Childcare (NZ) Ltd Street Address 7/101 Diana Drive Glenfield Auckland 0627 New Zealand Ph: (09) 443 0102 Fax: (09) 443 0120 Postal Address PO Box 100247 North Shore Mail Centre 0745 New Zealand Customer Service Enquiries 0508 688 822

TNT Multimedia Limited, 126 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale, Sydney, NSW, 2008

Customer Service Enquiries 1300 303 330


Telephone: 00 61 (0) 2 8332 7500