Monday, January 10, 2011

Inside the Cubicle

So I decided to write about my experience and learning in the world of office interiors. What makes me qualified to discuss? I installed, project managed and account managed in the industry for 12 years.

Let's back up, What is the office interiors industry? The sale, installation, removal of office furniture. This would also include the movement of employees.

My experience lends itself to a critical look at the industry and discussion of some of the initiatives I was promoting before I left.

My hope is that communicating what I learned, I can help businesses avoid excess cost and greater control of their facilities. I will do this over a series of posts, hopefully going in order to give you an understanding of how the industry works.

Here we go!

There are many levels of office interiors professionals from installers, designers, CSR, sales, market managers, global account managers and titles that really don't apply. 70% of the office furniture in this country comes out of Michigan. This is good and bad. Good, because the people who work to produce these items are just down to earth, quality people. Bad, because so much comes from one area. In the past 10 years or so, many foreign lines have made their way into the discussion, but the big boys are in Michigan. So, as with many other industries you have manufacturers, distributors, dealers and installation companies. All working to get cubicles into your office. Way too many layers of cost to make this a good model.

If you learn anything from this posting it is this. Furniture is furniture is furniture.......keep it simple and it will work. The only reason to put up cubicles in an office is to shoehorn as many people in as possible within code. So keeping it simple makes more sense. However, all of these layers will put pressure on simplicity. The latest and greatest has been recycling for 10 years......it never meets expectation or justifies cost increase.......remember, keep it simple.

To close out to today, What is the warranty? Do you pay labor charges for warranty? Of the cubicles you sold in 2002, how many are still standing?

If you hear these to aronyms run, I will explain later......COM, COL

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