Monday, June 21, 2004

Today’s Tenants Benefit from Bringing Furniture Providers into the Planning Mix

By Dan Morley, president/principal, Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi)

In Corporate America today large and small companies alike are using the design of their offices to communicate a positive image to employees, stockholders, customers and peers - making the design process a critical component in effectively and efficiently conveying this key message.

In the office space planning stages, more often than not, architects and tenants overlook furniture procurement, which can lead to serious blunders in the process and can considerably delay completion and occupancy dates. Due to an absence of conversation between architect and the furniture provider during the design phase, offices can be designed in a non-standard size requiring custom sized furniture when standard furniture sizes have already been agreed upon. The lack of coordination can cost the client time and money, adding to unnecessary stress.

As such, it is imperative to secure a smart, experienced furniture provider at the beginning of the design process. Furniture providers are proactive and work side-by-side with the architects, tenants and brokers to meet construction document requirements, the desired corporate image and time constraints. This role in the design process is so unique that we can suggest specific furniture materials, sizes and functions to reflect the needs and specifications of customers. Additionally, furniture providers can get the best bids on furniture and even suggest remanufactured furniture lines, both of which dramatically drive down costs for clients.

As an example, in a recent assignment for CB Richard Ellis, when bfi was called upon during the Company’s early relocation planning stages, we put an experienced team together to create the ideal furniture solution. This approach included the utilization of a rather distinctive remanufactured product line in addition to a combination of several new furniture solutions. Files, chairs and tables were selected by bfi from other manufacturers to fulfill CBRE’s space and performance needs. CBRE’s first-class image was achieved through several innovative product solutions, enabling the Company to save between 20-25% over the original budget and was completed in an extremely tight, two-week time frame. Our furniture choices also fostered its desired open communication between the Company’s over 120 employees at this location.

In Corporate America, companies are more frequently adopting rebranding initiatives, as in the instance of BP Castrol. bfi was called in to provide the leading oil, gas and energy company a furniture solution that reflected its new work space strategy and supported the aesthetics and flexibility of its design and branding culture. From the start of the assignment, bfi offered its expertise in office furniture procurement, furnishing the redesigned, open work environment with Herman Miller Ethospace Systems furniture. bfi also provided a smart furniture solution that also included 36 group and conference/huddle areas within the Wayne, New Jersey location.

Whatever image your company is striving to attain, bfi is able to access a myriad of furniture lines for clients, fitting every budget and every design preference and need, retaining the best possible bids. By adding a furniture advisor to your design team at the commencement of your project, your redesigned, rebranded or upgraded office space furnishings will be delivered on time, without worry and with complete aesthetic satisfaction, as well as increasingly cost effective.

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For over 50 years, Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi), has been a leader in furniture specification and furniture project management market. With offices in Elizabeth, Cranbury and Parsippany NJ; New York City and Melville, Long Island, bfi is a nationwide organization offering product and service procurement, delivery and installation, furniture inventory and reconfiguration services and 24/7 on-line customer service. Representing over 200 office furniture manufacturers and recognized as one of America’s largest Herman Miller, Inc. dealerships, bfi employs over 150 professionals serving a diverse customer base in the corporate, governmental, architectural and design and real estate sectors.

For more information, contact bfi’s Elizabeth, New Jersey headquarters at 908-355-3400 or visit www.bfionline.com.

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