Insight is the key to new ranges
Our market-leading new Valiant structural fire suit has been more than a year in the making. FlamePro has assembled a team of experts to create a suit which makes no compromises on protection and provides solutions to challenges that our firefighting customers have told us are a problem.
Here we introduce Technical Sales Manager Reece Buchner, a key member of the team who provided the customer insight which shaped the development of Valiant. As part of our series on getting to know the people behind the range, here’s a bit more about Reece’s approach to customer feedback.
Product development to meet customer needs
The key to designing successful new products is truly listening to your customers’ problems. The FlamePro sales team have spent the last few years visiting and speaking to fire officers at state and private brigades around the country. This intelligence has informed the design and features of the new Valiant structural suit.
Reece spends much of his time listening. His approach is simple: it’s not about selling to people, but about truly understanding what their problems are. This critical understanding of the modern fire fighter’s challenges has been a crucial part of the new product development taking place at FlamePro.
“It’s about unpacking their problems,”
“More of the conversation is focused on their problems, rather than asking what products they want us to make.”
“A bit like Henry Ford said about him inventing the car; if he’d listened to his customers, he would have made a faster horse. So I’d rather hear what’s difficult for fire crews, what they are worried about, and what causes them issues when they are out at an incident.”
Having gained a reliable reputation through the company’s popular wildland kit, which uses a different fabric to other garments on the market (more natural fibres keep crews cooler for longer), Reece had the confidence of many Technical Service Managers, Group Managers and Chief Fire Officers and they were happy to discuss what they were looking for.
“Our attitude is always that nothing’s impossible. We won’t discard an idea because we haven’t done it before or there’s nothing like that on the market already. We’re just keen to listen and use that information to create products that really stand up to the rigours of being a fire fighter.”
A structural suit that feels lighter to wear, with just as much protection
Reece’s insight into the problems and concerns of state and private fire crews all over the UK contributed to the development of the new Valiant structural fire suit.
Talking about the new suit, Reece continues,
“Wearer trial feedback tells us that it feels lighter to wear than similar kit while delivering plenty of thermal protection. The unique combinations of advanced moisture barrier and clever linings use 3D fabric technology to transfer moisture away from the skin faster, keep crews cooler for longer.”
The Valiant suit’s clever fabric system design and the team’s obsession with ergonomics have been complemented with plenty of design features such as:
• 3D spacers used to reinforce and add strength around the shoulders, relieving the pressure from wearing breathing apparatus and reducing the chance of injury due to steam burns created by sweat not wicked away in ferocious firefighting conditions
• Additional Kevlar™ puncture-proof protection on knees and elbows with additional padding for comfort when crawling
• Robust, detachable braces, using 3D spacers and chunky ladder lock buckles to create easy adjustment
• Easy grab tabs on pockets and adjusters to allow the firefighter to keep their gloves on and not expose their hands
• Glow-in-the-dark strips as standard, different on the front and back, enhancing visibility and providing valuable information in rescue situations
To discuss your requirements and learn more about the range, give one of our friendly team a call on +44 (0) 1332 341030.