We Custom Build
You might wonder ‘What’s “Custom Building” doing on the Tomcat inventions list?’ After all it’s a method not a machine. You might argue you can’t put it on a shelf or exhibit it in a museum and that’s true, but without custom building there would be precious few Tomcat innovations beyond, Carer Control.
Manufacturers produce standardised products in high volume, stock them and sell them; it keeps efficiency up, and costs down. It works well for most consumer items, but with an interactive therapy machine; for a growing human being, with a myriad combination of disabilities, and an equal number of social styles and preferences – well perhaps not!
Notwithstanding that, almost all special needs devices – trikes included – are manufactured along production line principles for the self same commercial reasons. On that basis, anyone who can’t cope with “standardised or accessorised” can’t be accommodated, and it’s partly the writers frustration with scissors that caused the custom building revolution. (I’m left handed and those hard hearted scissors makers just don’t seem to care!).
The invention of Carer Control™ opened up cycling to a whole new disabled group who couldn’t be “accommodated” by other manufacturers, but it did mean all Tomcat customers would have more demanding requirements. To send everyone away happy; each Tomcat was custom built, and so it remains today.
Commercially it tough; but we do get to understand our customers problems, and from that it’s when we try to solve them that the new innovations come along. Custom building has been a policy that’s right for Tomcat, but I think it’s turned us into the most respected Special Needs Trike maker in Europe if not the world, so no complaints!