Mr Arvidsson, how did you come up with the idea for developing the SkiClicker?
The project started about six years ago when Anders and me were working in a ski shop. When mounting the bindings on new skis, we were annoyed by the fact that we always had to find a ski boot of the right size from the shelf in order to determine the correct binding distance. Towards the end of the season, we also had no longer all sizes in stock, so we had to transfer the sole length to the ski with a folding rule for correct binding assembly. This procedure was very intricate, time-consuming and not always accurate. Even the large companies that manufactured products for ski factories did not have a tool for quick and easy binding assembly. So we figured it out by ourselves and were able to develop a prototype very quickly with the help of 3D printing.
How did the first practical tests go?
To prove that the process of mounting the binding and adjusting the length takes far too much time, we timed the entire process with the clock. It turned out that up to 75 percent of the time was spent looking for and clearing back the right ski boots and only 25 percent was spent on the actual assembly at the workbench. With this knowledge we contacted the ski shop Alpingaraget in Stockholm, which was ready to test our first prototype of the SkiClicker. In addition, we recognized that our tool would also bring an enormous facilitation for ski rental.
In what way?
On the one hand, the customer does not have to take off his ski boot to adjust the binding. This is a great ease and time saver, especially for families who rent skis with small children. The SkiClicker also makes the entire workflow easier and faster for the staff in the rental shop. We tested our first prototypes in diverse resorts of Europe's leading ski rental Skistar, wich is homebased in Sweden. With this gained experience, the final product was created.
This means that the time saving aspect is the fundamental advantage of the SkiClicker?
Yes, and that has a much greater impact on ski rental than we originally thought. As already mentioned, the customer does not have to put on and take off the ski boots, which he tries on before the skis are handed out. This accelerates the entire lending process enormously. This has proven to be very important, especially in the high season and during peak times. According to experiences from Skistar, new customers turn their backs on the ski rental when there is still a queue late in the morning. This means that ski rentals loose potential customers due to time-consuming processes. The use of the SkiClicker inevitably leads to an increase in sales.
Did it take a long time for the staff to become familiar with the SkiClicker?
Not really. We went through two test phases with the employees at Skistar. They initially tested our first prototype, gave us important feedback and then worked again with the final product. Now none of the rental employees there wants to work without the SkiClicker anymore, because the entire workflow becomes so much simpler and more efficient. It has also been shown that the SkiClicker is also extremely practical when waxing skis or grinding edges on the grinding machine. It fixes the ski stopper and its ergonomic handle makes handling very comfortable during grinding.
We are well aware that it will take some time in the shops and rental stations before such an established process as binding assembly and adjustment will entirely be done with a new tool like the SkiClicker. Each shop and rental station has its own workflow. But if you use the SkiClicker, you will immediately notice that the work is made much easier.
How big do you think is the potential of the SkiClicker for ski rental and classic ski shops?
I think our biggest market is certainly ski rental. A rental station can have up to 15 workstations for adjusting bindings, while normal ski shops are equipped with one to three such workbenches. The SkiClicker is a great help. This gives employees more time for more important things such as customer service and sales.
What other products are planned?
Today we are offering the SkiClicker Senior, we plan to soon release the Junior to the market and we are working on the Pin version. SkiClicker is just one part of the puzzle in our vision of becoming market leader in optimising the work flow in rentals and retailers. this is the first step, there are more products to come and with our products we are revolutionising the global market.
Where will one be able to see the SkiClicker?
The ski and snowboard service company Reichmann is our distribution partner for Europe. We will present the SkiClicker at the ISPO Munich at their booth in hall B5.330. We will use the fair to meet existing customers, exchange experiences and establish new partnerships. We have sold the SkiClicker already to customers in Sweden, Autria, Italy, Norway, Germany and Switzerland. We are initially focusing on Europe, where more countries will follow shortly. There are already prospective customers from America and China and we want to expand very soon globally.
- Weighs only 750 grams
- Is 70 percent lighter than a ski boot
- Easy handling due to ergonomic handle
- Variable size setting
- Versatile use: Binding assembly /adjustment, waxing, edge grinding
- Less assembly time = more time for customer service