I went to Southern California last week to visit the Human Touch headquarters in Long Beach, California (11/28/12) and Inada’s warehouse in Ontario, California (11/29/12) where Inada has all their inventory and from where their chairs are shipped.
But, before I went to Human Touch, I had breakfast with my Southern California delivery guy, Domenic. He has been delivering and setting up chairs in Southern California for me for years but this was the first time we’d actually met in person. It was great to visit with him at Denny’s in Long Beach (Lumberjack Slam…mmmmmm!).
After breakfast, I drove promptly over to Human Touch on Walnut Avenue and was greeted by a welcome sign and by Michael Hamm, Director of Commercial Accounts. Michael was so kind and warm towards me and my visit. He accompanied me the whole morning as they had set up a tour for me throughout the offices. It was so wonderfully enlightening to see how things worked there and to meet the brains behind the product that we know as Human Touch massage chairs.
After meeting David Wood, CEO of Human Touch, I met David Potter, VP of Design, and watched his AV presentation of how the Immersion Seating concept was born and how it is being presented to the public. Wonderful stuff! David has been with Human Touch for 16 years (?) and previous to that had been heavily involved in ergonomics and zero gravity work in other industries. As a matter of fact, David is the man who created the zero gravity concept for chairs and massage chairs, beginning with the Perfect Chair and then the HT-7450 massage chair. Now, the new Immersion Seating concept embraces his zero gravity thinking again.
I then met with Hans Dehli, VP of R&D/Engineering, and had a fantastic tour through his training lab, where all the chair models were on display WITHOUT their usual upholstery. It was revelatory to me to see how the chairs were designed. Of particular interest to me was 1.) seeing how the “paddles” worked in the ottomans. Not airbags, but soft rubber paddles that are responsible for the amazing foot and calf massage of the HT-9500 and now the ZeroG 4.0, 2.) how the intensity adjustment works on the HT-9500, HT-7120, and HT-7450. It involves foam blocks being manipulated with air, 3.) the roller system in the iJoy 2580 is the same roller system that is in the HT-9500! The difference is in the software programming of the rollers, and 4.) from every shipment that comes to the Human Touch warehouse, Hans Dehli takes out a couple of chairs to do random testing to make sure they are “up to snuff.” Fascinating!
I met other members of the team at Human Touch, i.e. Jonah House, Victoria Lladoc, and more. They were all fantastic and made me feel so welcome. Here is the video tour of my visit:
The next day, I drove over to Inada’s warehouse in Ontario, California to see the place where all the Inada chairs are inventoried and from where all the shipments are sent. It was enormous and the space taken up by Inada chairs was substantial. I was amazed, as I was at Human Touch, how vast these storage facilities are and how easy they make the logistics of an order look. Very impressive. Here is the brief video of that visit:
All in all, I had a great trip and a wonderful time visiting with my friends at Human Touch and Inada!
Dr. Alan Weidner