01/07/2015 - 12:26

No monkey business, playtime is Funky

01/07/2015 - 12:26

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Play equipment manufacturer Funky Monkey Bars has swung its way into the Rising Stars alumni after developing an innovative kids offering that gained market traction on the back of word-of-mouth brand promotion.

No monkey business, playtime is Funky
Colin Burdle (left) and Shane Roberts are on top of their game.

Play equipment manufacturer Funky Monkey Bars has swung its way into the Rising Stars alumni after developing an innovative kids offering that gained market traction on the back of word-of-mouth brand promotion.

Its product is an easy-to-construct monkey bar set that’s erected with just an Allen key.

This simplicity, the company says, reduces the time and effort for parents during construction, and has earned it the moniker of ‘Ikea for playground equipment’.

Part of that is achieved by removing the need for hole digging and concrete during the setup, by using stabilising poles that are designed to be part of the fun for kids.

It was the first product on the market to use this technique, according to founder Shane Roberts.

“Prior to the birth of Funky Monkey Bars the only type of back-yard monkey bar available was a kit-set, which involved a lot of blood, sweat and tears by the parent to construct,” the company said.

“Having to dig holes, lay levels and permanently fix in was seen as a massive barrier to entry for a lot of people.

“At Funky Monkey Bars we simply took an iconic and nostalgic piece of playground equipment that has been around for decades and designed and modified it so that it would be more accessible for families looking for a flexible, adaptable and easy-to-install climbing solution for their backyard.”

Funky has achieved significant net profit growth in the past four financial years, while turnover growth has been more than 700 per cent.

The business has climbed from strength to strength, including the recent addition of UK structural engineer and steel fabrication expert Colin Burdle.

Mr Burdle has helped redevelop the offering, while further additions have been made to the suite, including swings, climbing nets and netball hoops.

Shipping costs were also reduced around 90 per cent thanks to the redesign.

Funky Monkey Bars now exports to New Zealand and the US.

The company said this year would be about strategy and planning.

“The issue Funky Monkey Bars now faces is that, to scale the business and start producing volume, we need to develop some robust processes, controls and technology to be able to grow effectively and maintain quantity,” it said.

“Spending the first three months of 2015 developing a detailed five-year business plan has identified we need to develop and invest in new processes, people and systems.

“We are very conscious of damaging the brand by growing too quickly without the right

people, processes, and technology in place.

“Therefore we are currently spending a significant amount of time investing and developing a new e-commerce website, inventory management system and accounting ledger.”

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