Premium Seating Pros Fred and Denise Jacobs and Their Journey at Telescopic Seating Systems - Boxoffice

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The name "Jacobs" may not have a name, but the retractable seat system has become one of many family businesses that promote the development of the exhibition industry. Having been married for 43 years, Fred and Denise Jacobs have gone through multiple industries together. Together with their son, engineering manager and daughter’s CPA, they entered the seat world and became A pair behind the telescopic seat system.

Fred and Denise were born in Flint, Michigan and started their respective careers in the automotive industry. Fred has found her own niche in the field of automotive interiors, and Denise has "a little more challenge" than her job at General Motors needs, and returns to the University of Michigan. Go to college. There, she had two children in four years, received a bachelor's degree in physics, and then joined Fred in the AC Spark Plug department of General Motors as a manufacturing engineer. 

Denise recalled: "We thought we were going to be Flint people." But a job opportunity brought them to the Netherlands, Michigan, where the retractable seat system is located today. There, Fred helped manage a car seat company. It was in the 1990s, when the boom in diversified buildings drove the demand for roof seats. Ford Motor Company decided that they would take action. Fred recalled, “He went to the lecture on their Mustang seat and got out of a contract to make a movie theater seat.” Fred ran what he called “invisible” from there. Cinema seating company "Visteon", which was a division of Ford from 1998 to 2003. "We make 40,000 to 60,000 seats a year.... Participate in all trade shows. But people don't really know that the people who make seats for Cadillac and Buick are in cinema seats."

In 2003, when Visteon was split into its own entity, Ford's six-year trial in cinema seats ended. Fred became a minority partner in Track Seating, and the company bid for Visteon’s cinema seating business. Track Seats continued to manufacture seats for Buick and Cadillac, while expanding into the non-automotive sector, acquiring a company called American Desk. While Denise continued to engage in the automotive interior business, Fred expanded to other aspects of the seating world, manufacturing seats for universities and gymnasiums, and established an independent seating company in China to provide this market service. At the same time, their son Matt just graduated from high school and joined Track Seating as an engineering intern. 

When Fred's partner chose to sell the track seat, he was thrown at the crossroads of his career. He joked: "I'm not smart enough to retire, and Denise will not let me stay at home and go fishing." (Denice retorted: "He didn't

retirement! ") In 2011, based on years of industry knowledge and contacts, the two founded the American company Telescopic Seating Systems LLC, with Fred as the managing director and Denise as the president and majority shareholder.

The decision to name its new company Telescopic Seating Systems instead of Jacobs Seating stems from the desire to centralize products that can be found in theaters, arenas, auditoriums, and most of North America and Asia. The "telescope" in the name refers to the most compelling feature of TSS: a patented system (to be precise, "about 16 North American patents in the past ten years, about ten years," Fred said), Allow all TSS electric recliners (up to 100 on a single circuit) to be raised for easy cleaning underneath. Explain to Fred that the seat “can be extended and retracted like an electric recliner... but on a much larger scale.” Denise said the company’s Smart Clean Sweep™ and Smart Power-2™ technologies “reduce theater construction /Run time, while making the light recliner theater a breeze."

Convenient cleaning of the recliner was not what the Jacob family was after. When the telescopic seat system was first launched, “we developed a very good rocker system and led this trend with other products,” Fred said. "Then people started buying recliners!" AMC, the largest chain store in North America, upgraded from swingers to recliners in its early business, making their competitors follow suit. Fred admits that Fred and Denise spent a while unhappy because their new invention is now obsolete. Then, they took a step back and assessed the significance of the so-called "refurbishment revolution" to customer needs.

"You look at the recliner and you say,'Well, I know they are comfortable,'" Dennis said. "But I was thinking, if I were the manager of the theater, how would you clean them between each performance? Especially if you had to open them every time? ... How to get rid of all the residue that you would find on the chairs? '" Fred added that the barriers to entry for making home recliners are not particularly important: "Can you buy fabrics? Can you buy mechanisms to tilt the seats? Can you buy staplers?" They think telescopic seats The chair system will become a "technology company," Fred said, and its core principle is aimed at improving the customer experience: "How to power spacious recliners. How to connect recliners together in a link." Since then , This technology has been developed, adding functions such as lifting only seats that have not been cleaned since the last use and red/green light system so that customers can know that their seats have been cleaned.

Of course, all of these positions the telescopic seat system to meet the needs of exhibitors during Covid. They are one of them

Since March 2020, it aims to improve the ability of theaters to maintain cleanliness and hygiene standards. For telescopic seat systems, the product is

™, a disposable partition that can be placed between seats, creating a physical barrier between customers and their neighbors. (As an added benefit, these protective covers can also be used as temporary advertising space.)

Like the rocker system of the telescopic seat system, their Seat Suite™ was originally designed for one purpose, and then changed the reality of the exhibition, thus turning the company to another route. Although they are now marketed in a way of increasing "guests' confidence in social distancing," they were originally conceived as a cheaper and more flexible way for telescopic seating system customers to adapt to the increasingly popular "pod" concept. Luxurious cabins like iPic. Fred recalled: "This is something we have been working for four or five years, but this is for privacy, not security. 

For the Jacobs family, the needs of customers and the flexibility needed to meet these needs have always been their top priority, just as they have just started using telescopic seating solutions. That’s why, although the trade show floor (when the trade show is still in place) is dotted with high-tech seats with heaters, USB ports, and bells and whistles suitable for the luxurious recliner experience, TSS among other products In addition, it also sells reliable joystick products.

Jacobs said: "I think, in the end, it is easy to be blinded by the gorgeous and luxurious installation of luxurious chairs." The ticket price is the same. Most moviegoers prefer luxury recliners to the 90s style rocker, but usually the price

Similarly, while the shift to lounge chairs has boosted theater occupancy rates, in some places, "basic rocking chairs are affordable by the market." Most importantly, there are some theaters (​​for example, the floor of those theaters). Older and more inclined, and suitable for programming for families with children (age and height)), shorter, more compact chairs can accommodate more people. Fred said: "We do try to work with customers to understand their business and market, instead of selling the most beautiful puppies in the window."

In 2016, Denise retired from the automotive industry where she had worked at Magna Mirrors and devoted her energy to retractable seat systems. "When I got on the boat, it was exciting for me because this was the first time I could travel with Fred", in addition to the main performances she was able to participate in before, she also participated in all regional Performance. Right now, this is temporarily on hold, but the couple hope they once again "pack the trailer and go on the road to visit customers!" Fred said: "The exhibition industry is really lucky, this kind of relationship. Of course there are chains between chains. Fierce competition, but most chain stores understand and respect each other... In the exhibition industry, maintaining civilization is a good maintenance."

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