Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inside the Cubical: Part 2

I ended the last post with:
If you hear these to aronyms run, I will explain later......COM, COL
So what do they mean? COM, customers own material, COL, customers own leather. Why do I say run? Increased cost, unsustainable maintenance. Of the thousands of workstations and hundreds of projects I have been involved with, never has the fabric or finishes led to a decrease or increase in productivity. Money is money. Apply the same principles that you use personal for procurement as you do for commercial purchases. 


Any increase to cost without a direct, hard benefit to the business is a waste, period.


All manufacturers of office furniture have fabric and finishes that are offered at no additional cost. Hundreds if not thousands of choices. If something can not be selected within that offering, then fire your designer. When they push back claiming it will make a difference, then ask for the data to support that!!!! It will be a quick discussion.
At one time or another many of us will be sitting in an office environment. When I tell you that thousands of dollars are spent on   the design , it is an understatement. The more time spent discussing, the more the price goes up. If ever there were an application of KISS(keep it simple stupid) this is it. Furniture, fixtures and equipment need not be liabilities. If these simple rules are adhered to, then you can be confident that you will get value.



  1. Ask for the care and maintenance documentation before you purchase. You can gain insight into whether they truly believe in the product by how much they invest in documentation. If it takes more than 24 hours to get it to you, then beware.
  2. Ask for the warranty statement with every option. Also, their competitors warranty statement for competitive product. They have it.
  3. Ask for a written statement on the turnaround time for warranty parts. In other words, a detailed timeline of how long it will take to get something fixed. It will break!
  4. Keep ergonomics and safety resources at the ready. Let them evaluate. Do not let them lead! 
  5. In this case, smaller is better. People 50+ want bigger workstations and higher panels, people under 40 don't really care. They want teaming space, small touch areas and lots of caffeine
  6. When it comes to privacy here is my statement. Unless you are in HR or VP or above, then privacy is irrelevant. If you can't say it out loud than chances are you should not say it at all
  7. Always ask for thorough documentation of pricing. Furniture has the most insane method of pricing. Off list. There is an inflated list price then discounting off of that. Way to confusing. Look for cost plus. How much does it cost the seller and how much profit are they making. There will be push back, but it is the only way the ensure accuracy
  8. Whenever possible buy direct from a manufacturer. It eliminates a layer of profit that may not be needed. If a dealer pushes back, offer to pay the professional services separately to them. This really cleans up the value analysis.
  9. Never, never, never buy anything from the furniture industry that has not been out in circulation for at least 12 months. If it is under 3 years in production ask for detailed manufacturing data and warranty claims!!!!!!
Always keep this in mind when planning a project related to office space. Keep people honest. Don't try and steal something. Value brings Value.

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