Mario van der Vleuten, together with Karel Bus, is the owner of Smart Level Ladder and Smart Level Table from Venray. In this article, Mario explains how their collaboration came about and focuses in particular on Smart Level Table and its revolutionary product for the hospitality industry, which also appears to be very suitable for use in healthcare institutions, company canteens, et cetera.
Mario was born in 1966. After secondary school, he worked for Rabobank for three years and then for an insurance company for a year. Around the age of 20 he was approached by an insurance company where he was employed for about four years. The intention was that Mario would take over the company, together with the owner’s son, but he decided not to. After this he had a short business adventure with a friend and worked for a real estate agent for a year, after which he started his own business as an advisor in mortgages and insurance around the age of twenty-five.
At first he did that alone, but later he merged with a fellow company. After six years, he set up a purchasing organization in the field of mortgages and life insurance, which he sold ten years later, just before the credit crisis of 2008.
“We are thirteen years later and it is a thriving company”
Mario: ”I saved quite a bit of money from that and then did a few things in a business way, some of which were successful and others were not. And then I came across Karel, who had come up with something that allows you to always straighten a ladder on every conceivable sloping and/or uneven surface. He was looking for someone with some capital and commercial skills, which led us to set up Smart Level Ladder in 2009. A period of development and further development followed, with the necessary beginner’s mistakes. But we are thirteen years later and it is now a thriving company that we are busy with. And in 2017, Karel started with the patio table that Smart Level Table evolved from.”
Karel is the inventor and takes care of all technical matters and Mario uses all his commercial skills to market the patented products, with the logical consequence that Karel is the technical director of both companies and Mario the commercial director.
Before we zoom in further on Smart Level Table, Mario briefly explains what makes the Smart Level Ladder concept so unique: “Karel invented and further developed the Smart Level System, which allows you to always straighten a ladder on a sloping surface. and/or uneven ground and he invented and further developed the Top Safe System, which makes it very easy to connect a ladder to a roof edge with a few hooks, so that it cannot slip or swing to the left or right.”
Genius in its simplicity
In 2017, Karel got the idea to do something about all the wobbly patio tables in the Netherlands. That is indeed a problem that many people have to deal with and which causes the necessary irritations. We’ve been trying to solve that with beer mats for generations, although everyone knows that doesn’t really work. Karel’s invention is genius in its simplicity. You can not only set up the Smart Level Table very easily without wobbling, but also adjust the height from seventy-two to one hundred and eight centimetres, so that you can also turn a sitting table into a standing table. Unlike other adjustable tables, there are no electrical or pneumatic parts involved and the table does not contain a heavy motor. On the other hand, everything is realized with a few simple hand movements.
Because the entire ambiance can be changed in terms of seating and/or standing tables, without dragging back and forth with different types of tables, it saves the catering entrepreneur time and therefore often labor costs and storage space. In addition, the table is so light that an employee can independently build the terrace in no time without getting back problems.
The Smart Level Table also guarantees optimal catering accessibility for the disabled, who, with about two and a half million people, make up about fifteen percent of the Dutch population, and are only growing as a group due to the aging population. The table can be perfectly adjusted in height for wheelchairs and other care aids, making it also excellent for use in nursing homes and senior citizens’ complexes.
The table is internationally patented and is therefore marketed at home and abroad. Smart Level Table has a collaboration with the French company Werzalit, one of the largest producers of table tops worldwide, which has included the adjustable base of the Venray-based company in its collection. This means that it does not only come to the attention of countless catering companies in almost thirty countries.
Wobble-free at any desired height within a few seconds.
Because a video often says more than an extensive description, there is one on the Smart Level Table homepage. In a minute you can clearly see how the table is wobble-free at any desired height within a few seconds, how simple and efficient its operation works and how wheelchair-friendly it is.
You will also reach a page via ‘Manual’ at the bottom right of the page where you can click again on ‘Manual Smart Level Table’. Then you can see a video on YouTube that clearly shows in two minutes how the table is put together.
Smart Level Ladder: https://smartlevelladder.com/nl/ https://smartlevelladder.com/en/
Smart Level Table: https://www.smartleveltable.com/nl/ – https://www.smartleveltable.com/en/
‘Handleiding Smart Level Table’: – https://www.smartleveltable.com/en/content/27-instruction-manual-smart-level-table
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