High-Tech Future for PlaygroundsWed, 11/01/2017 - 17:49
Children come in all ages. Even adults sometimes need to let loose their inner child. This reality creates an innovative opportunity for commercial developments to attract clients by appealing to families and adults alike, says Luis Inman, Director General of Jumbo, which develops interactive playgrounds that combine the traditional essence of parks with a modern technological twist. “Jumbo uses innovative playgrounds to help commercial centers, hotels and municipalities boost their ability to attract visitors,” says Luis Inman, Director General of Jumbo. “Our products are for children of all ages.”
The 42-year-old family-run company started its business serving the residential sector with playsets for households. But, as houses became smaller, the company adapted to the market by opening up to the public sector. “We provide services to municipalities by collaborating with construction companies,” says Inman. The transition was hard in the beginning because the company had to adjust to the long bureaucratic processes within municipalities and establish relationships with the relevant companies. Jumbo also had to battle the influx of low-cost, poor-quality Chinese products infiltrating the market. Fortunately, Inman says, the public quickly realized that the durability and quality of Chinese playsets did not compare to those made locally. The company is well-known to the public sector but faces a long list of requirements and lack of clarity in terms of payment schedules. To mitigate the risks and diversify its portfolio, the company is starting to enter the private sector. “We can offer solutions to a wide range of projects,” Inman says. “Families, particularly mothers, are more likely to buy a house or go shopping in places that have playgrounds. It can increase sales and profits. We can even make hotel lobbies more attractive. Our only limit is our imagination.” The company already collaborated with a commercial center in Saltillo and successfully integrated a playground.
Along with offering interactive technology, the company strives to be socially responsible. “We truly enjoy working with municipalities to create parks in marginalized areas. Some of these areas are inhabited by children who have never seen a slide or a swing before.” The company’s showroom displays all its products and simultaneously serves as a giant playground, where schools and youth organizations are invited for recreational days. Jumbo is taking these steps to help eliminate violence and crime from the most economically unstable municipalities. “Clean areas with playgrounds that offer spaces for recreational activities can quickly become meeting points for friends and families,” says Inman. “This can help reduce the frequency of illegal activities.” However, the private sector and the public sector often overlook the importance of creating public spaces in their developments.
Along with being socially responsible, Jumbo strives to be sustainable. Its manufacturing plant in Puebla runs on solar power and does not emit waste. Even dust is reused. The plant manufactures 80 percent of its products and imports the rest from the US or Europe as needed. Jumbo has branches across the country and its business relies on two basic elements: distributors and company-owned stores in cities like Merida, Cuernavaca and Queretaro.