Could Inventis’ chair-as-a-service be the tip of a turnaround story?
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The COVID-19 pandemic has given the world many things — telehealth, gold millionaires, maybe even a successful NSX — and now it has also delivered for the workers-from-home: the chair-as-a-service, or CaaS.
Manufacturer Inventis (ASX:IVT) is PRing its new product, the G-smart active chair, which the company has gone so far as to patent.
It’s an internet-connected chair that will send phone alerts when your posture is slipping, or when you’ve been sitting for too long.
The targets are partly workers-from-home who haven’t yet succumbed to the realisation they are unlikely to see the inside of an office again in 2020, and partly large corporations and government departments.
A bossy chair is an unlikely flag-bearer for a turnaround story.
Inventis is trying to align itself with the ‘buy local’ story for office furniture, after banks and energy companies had to relocate call centres to Australia in a hurry in April, and electronics.
The company has slashed costs and this reduced the June quarter cash burn to just $90,000.
But with quarterly receipts slightly below par with those in its first ever quarterly report issued last year, revenue peaking in 2008, and maiden profit coming in 2016 albeit on sharply reduced income, the company still has to prove its new strategy will bear fruit.
The company, which has three divisions covering technology, commercial furniture, and the “ruggedisation” of personal computers, has been trying to recover after hitting a sales nadir in 2018.
After reorganising itself, hiring a new managing director and releasing its first quarterly report in September last year, the company is focusing on workplace furniture and its emergency alert and worker tracking technologies.
Inventis said its largest quote period in the company’s history occurred in April, and in March before the COVID-19 shutdowns came in was cock-a-hoop about improved sales and net loss figures.