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July Issue Feature: Behind the Scenes - Mobile Solutions

July 20, 2016 -- Today’s installations range from the extremely complex and ultra expensive to the more basic and economical. Either way, creativity and countless man hours go into each job. The key then for any 12-volt retailer is to balance it all and make the process profitable.

Bryan Schmitt, president of Tempe, Ariz.-based Mobile Solutions, who started out in 1990 as a car audio fabricator, recognized early on how challenging these custom jobs could be. Each time, for each job and for each car, the wheel had to be reinvented.

“Back when I started out we didn’t really have a lot of resources and the biggest thing with working on cars is we didn’t have some type of template or clean geometry,” Schmitt said. “We were always cutting with cardboard and using a jigsaw and I just had this inspiration.”

Not surprisingly, it was prompted in part by Schmitt’s education. “My background before I even got into car audio was mechanical engineering,” he said. “I knew that using geometry was the key for making clean shapes and keeping the automotive DNA, if you will.”

In the beginning, Schmitt kept things basic. He started making some simple templates—circles and ovals—which helped him personally with his fabrication work. “I was able to take geometry and use it on an install. I started building cars that were completely symmetrical using a template like what you would use if you were drafting, except these were full size and for cars.”

In 1996, Schmitt was recruited to work for Rockford Corporation’s fabrication training group, RTTI, where he was responsible for building show vehicles—some of which garnered industry awards including a prestigious CES Best of Show. By 2003, he was Director of Technical Development for a national 12-volt retailer.

Soon after, in 2005, Schmitt was ready to take the next step and founded Mobile Solutions. He started working on developing more shapes for the templates. “I wanted to share it with the industry because I thought there was a market for it and I knew it would help people,” he said.

Shaping Up

The circles and ovals soon developed into arcs and more complex shapes like comets and triangles, until there was a full lineup. “It has been exciting over the years to see it grow and to see how it has affected the industry, and even changed it because of the efficiency,” Schmitt said. Today, the company offers more than 400 SKUs (stock keeping units) and over 50 different styles of templates.

“The shapes we offer now are cool, but to bring things up to date, we’re building templates that really match a lot of the automobiles,” Schmitt said. “For instance, take some of the grilles out there—like for an Audi or a Lexus. That shape, that DNA, can be used on the inside of the car for a subwoofer box or an amp rack, or whatever. To take it a step further, we’ve made templates that are completely modular. You can put them together like an adjustable template or like an erector set where you can completely manipulate and change the shape. It just speeds up the process so you can get more creative in a short period of time.”

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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