Sir Peter Maire, founder of Navman and NZ business visionary, speaks at NZMEA

Matrix sponsored Sir Peter Maire as guest speaker at the Manufacturers and Employers Association in Christchurch.

Peter was the founder of Navman and is currently chairman of Fusion Group comprising Fusion Electronics which develops sound systems for automotive and marine, and Fusion Transactive which develops payment solutions for service stations.

Peter talked about the importance of listening to customer feedback and developing products that meet a market need. He also talked about technology transfer and re-use, and gave examples of standard footprint LCD screens suitable for use in bright sunlight which were developed for GPS devices while at Navman being extended to the audio displays and petrol pump displays in the Fusion Group companies.

He gave an example of the car audio business which Fusion has expanded into the marine sector by offering high end audio systems for the luxury launch market. One of the issues in the marine sector is limited room on the bridge for various instruments, so Fusion worked in partnership with existing manufacturers of depth finders and radars, etc to display the audio controls on their panels instead of having to install a separate display. They also developed a multi zone sound system with 4 separate zones to control sound to the cabin, bridge, outside areas and master bedroom, and worked with boat builders to have this build in as a standard, called Fusion Link.

In the service station forecourt business, Peter talked about the acceptance in North America of payment at the pump, which local service stations are opposed to because they want foot traffic through the store to increase impulse buying. He identified two opportunities in this sector – 1) to convert local service stations to pay at the pump and 2) to update existing equipment in North America to new security standards. He explained that hackers from Eastern Europe were continually looking for ways to exploit current systems and obtain fuel by fraudulent means, and this meant a replacement cycle of existing technology on a regular basis. Matrix is currently developing a PLM solution in Aras Innovator for Fusion Transactive to help achieve compliance with new manufacturing standards from international credit card companies.

Peter finished his talk by stressing the importance of looking at general business trends, and he attends trade shows in unrelated fields to get a broader appreciation of market developments. He attended a fashion trade show in Europe recently and showed examples of Nike and Levi establishing specialist divisions focused on children’s clothing as an extension of their respective brands.

Peter’s talk was well received by the Christchurch audience of about 50 local manufacturers, and Matrix would like to acknowledge the help from NZMEA to host this event.

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