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Joie GmbH celebrated its fifth anniversary in August 2018. The company recently moved to Frankenthal and now operates under the name Allison GmbH. In an interview with Luna Journal, Oliver Mecky, Managing Director of Allison GmbH, spoke about the company’s development and the idea behind the name change.
Briefly explain the history of your company.
In 2013, Sven Hering and I jointly founded Joie GmbH as a subsidiary of the Wonderland Group. After we had successfully overcome the first hurdles – for example the founding of a company without an office address and job interviews at the camping table – we quickly established ourselves on the market. Over the last few years we have grown rapidly and our products have become an integral part of everyday life for many German families.
What has happened in your company over the years in the field of logistics?
Our growth has of course also had an effect on the logistics sector. However, we work together with a service provider who is well able to reflect this growth and the increased demands associated with it. The main warehouse is located in a large logistics centre; in addition, around 500 storage spaces are available in our new company building in Frankenthal, mainly for the after-sales area.
Joie GmbH and its 40 employees have moved to Frankenthal. How did the decision come about? Does this increase the size of the company?
We have grown so strongly in recent years that our office in Mannheim has literally burst at the seams. A move was therefore essential. The fact that our parent company in the background, the Wonderland Group, has given us the opportunity to realise our own company building is, of course, a big gain. Yes, we have significantly enlarged our premises and also have sufficient space to grow further.
Will the move to Frankenthal create vacancies in the personnel area?
Yes, by moving to Frankenthal we create the possibility to meet our growth with further planned new hires in different departments.
The company has recently been renamed Allison GmbH. What is behind the name change? Are optimizations in the area of corporate identity planned?
With a neutral name we can market our two brands Joie and Nuna – and soon Graco – even better. As part of the name change, we have also redesigned the company’s corporate design. The brand identity of Joie and Nuna remains unaffected.
In 2017 your sales increased by 70 percent. What is the reason for this success?
Over the past four years, we have developed a leading role in particular with the Trax family from Joie. This contributes significantly to our success. All in all, the Joie brand has enabled us to offer products that are very functional, appealing in design and have an excellent price/performance ratio, which is exactly what many young parents are looking for.
Are you pursuing a particular strategy for the next five years?
Of course we want to continue our growth course. With Joie, we have become an indispensable part of the everyday lives of many parents – we want to consolidate and further expand this position. We still see development potential for our Nuna brand, which operates in the premium segment. Here it is quite clearly our goal to become more present.
How do you incorporate customer suggestions into your production process?
On the one hand, we are in close contact with our dealers – be it through our sales representatives or within the framework of training activities. On the other hand, we have a direct exchange with our end consumers via social networks or trade fairs, which we greatly appreciate.
We collect the feedback we receive through these channels and incorporate it – wherever possible and sensible – into the production processes of our factory in Asia.
To what extent have the framework conditions for the manufacture of prams changed in the last five years?
Young parents are now more informed than ever and attach great importance to flexibility. One example: Sports cars that can be used without much effort with a baby bath and as a travel system with a baby seat are very popular. Overarching trends are also shaping the industry. “Genderless”, for example, is a current trend here – many parents are increasingly attaching importance to products with a timeless design that suit both girls and boys.
Which guidelines should pram manufacturers comply with?
For the product launch, all pram manufacturers must comply with the applicable EU standards – for example, EN 1888:2012 for pushchairs. We carry out additional tests at our production facilities, including load tests. Some of our sports cars are suitable for a significantly higher weight than the 15 kilograms the standard tests. In addition, we attach great importance to the absence of harmful substances.
What trends do you see with regard to digitalization in the development of baby carriages?
We observe the various trends very closely and weigh up whether and how we are going to get involved in these developments. However, we do this with great care and don’t want to rush things.
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