The manufacturer of a specialised shooting and photography chair has selected a standard component parts supplier to ensure durability over the product’s lifetime. WDS Component Parts Ltd. has provided Idleback with clamping handles, hand knobs, cam levers and hand screws for the premium brand consumer product. Idleback chose WDS based on product functionality, strength and reliability, as well as customer service for delivery and response.
Idleback’s range of chairs were developed to enable a shooter or photographer to quickly turn throughout 360 degrees and shoot with accuracy. A saddle seat supported by highly robust tripod legs sits astride a seat beam which can rapidly swivel in any direction. A rifle/camera tripod and rest are combined to enable high precision use, whether in the field or on the range, and a quick release system for holding a rifle can be detached in seconds to replace with a camera or a spotting scope. Idleback chose WDS to supply its required standard parts based on product quality, durability proven through testing, as well as a rapid, personal service.
With an extensive and growing market in the USA as well as a strong consumer base in the UK, Idleback’s customers pay a premium rate for a high quality product. The crucial criteria for Idleback’s customers are functionality and durability. This means that the standard components utilised in the chair must enable easy, precise performance under tough conditions. Idleback has customers with original chairs still in the field which are over 10 years old, having endured the rigours of regular use in harsh outdoor conditions. For Idleback, it’s crucial that its customers can benefit from a product which will last a lifetime, including its components, and this means an expected span in advance of 20 years.
“The clamps provided by WDS are of a far superior quality,” says Trevor Horner, Inventor and Founder at Idleback. “Users of the Idleback chair have equipment which demands surety of position and accuracy, especially if it’s a rifle. The stakes are very high, and they’ve got to be sure that the adjustment that’s been made is accurate and, crucially, will stay in place. WDS clamps guarantee this.”
The quality of WDS’ component parts helped Idleback create a design improvement, as previously two knobs were required for seat adjustment which meant operation with both hands. Using the new hand clamp from WDS, the manoeuvre can be made while the user remains seated, using just a single hand.
“The chair can be adjusted while you’re sitting on it rather than getting up, which can be vital; for example when filming wildlife,” adds Trevor. “The ability to make very subtle adjustments with very little disturbance is key. Our chairs allow you to do that, aided significantly by WDS’ products which provide simple, positive and silent operation.”
The clamps comprise a glass fibre reinforced plastic handle which aids grip for field use and wet conditions, with greater strength provided by a steel insert. Likewise, the Idleback chair’s handknobs are constructed from Bakelite with a steel insert, the cam levers have a plastic handle with 303 stainless steel pin, and the scallop hand screw from thermoplastic. The quality of construction also guarantees durability.
“It’s really important that when a chair is signed off from the production line it works and will continue to function correctly for years to come,” says Trevor. “We rely on in-house manufacture and final assembly, as well as components from trusted suppliers rather than looking for the least expensive. At the same time, WDS provides a very competitive price.”
As Idleback seeks to grow its market share particularly in continental markets, it’s very aware of brand reputation and the importance of products which will last. For this reason, Trevor is committed to using suppliers that manufacture in-house or who can procure items to tested specifications. This also means that the Idleback team are involved in their own robust testing procedures.
“The component part has to look durable to fit our product, and from then we test it in the field on our own chairs. Only after extensive, prolonged use are we happy to fit the component as a production part on the chairs which we offer for sale,” says Trevor.
Customer service was also an important aspect, including fast, comprehensive and personal communication, as well as rapid delivery. While Idleback has a precise understanding of required specification, a key attribute has been regular, helpful communication relating to orders and products as part of a personal service. When required, a full range of 2D and 3D CAD drawings are available online on www.wdsltd.co.uk, prior to receiving a product sample. Same day delivery is usually available and for large scale orders, perhaps greater than a thousand units, seven to 10-day delivery is achievable.
Prior to launching Idleback 12 years ago, Trevor Horner employed 150 people as part of a print manufacturing business. A mentor for the Prince’s Trust, today he also helps guide young people in the South Yorkshire area in business and employment. As a result, he has strong appreciation for a reliable, personal service with a quality product.
Trevor concludes: “For a consumer product which can involve firearms, it’s obviously vital that the chair and tripod is highly accurate and extremely durable. WDS helps to create this, as well as providing excellent stock availability and good prices, supported by superb, personable customer service.”