Monday, May 23, 2005

Survival Tips For Smart Moving

BY DAN MORLEY, PRESIDENT

Upgrading to a new facility involves numerous decisions. As a business owner that’s nothing new to you, though. You constantly make high-pressure decisions, so why should moving decisions be any different?

The fact is, unfortunately most owners make avoidable moving mistakes. Here are some frequent mistakes that businesses make in their relocation undertaking.

MISTAKE 1: Forget budget. Full speed ahead. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get the job done. But by rushing though a budget, you’ll often find yourself forced to eliminate important elements that would have made a project more productive and more appealing to new and old clients. Take the time and really devise an appropriate budget.

MISTAKE 2: I want the lowest price possible. Moving offices involves multiple purchasing decisions. To maximize budgets you’ve got to interrelate these purchases (phones, computers, furniture, carpet, security, movers, construction, etc.). Oftentimes, this lack of coordination leads to tremendous bottlenecks, increasing time and, therefore, costs.

MISTAKE 3: I’d rather do it myself. Companies that try to control every aspect of a project themselves frequently make critical mistakes. They try to become experts at carpeting, blueprints, ergonomics, lighting, and everything else under their control. Spending excessive time and effort trying to complete moving yourself can take away from the success of your core business.

Before jumping in consider all the details: phones, computers, information systems. How and when do you unplug everything without destroying your entire record-keeping and communications system?

MISTAKE 4: What does everyone else think? One of the biggest mistakes can be asking too many people to get involved. Too many opinions and ideas can slow down the decision-making process and cause the move to take forever.

MSTAKE 5: I sign all the checks. I make all the decisions. By never asking for any employee input, however, it can create dissension during a time that should spark excitement. My advice? Show concern. Consider the psychological effect of change on the employees. All it requires is a partner who knows how to prepare employees for the transition from old office to new.

MISTAKE 6: First thing tomorrow. Waiting too long to address key facility issues and postponing decisions can cost the company money, efficiency, and overall appearance. Procrastinating over the interior portions of the office (color schemes, carpeting) can leave you with limited options (colors, products) which otherwise would have been available.

MISTAKE 7: Just do it. While the ability to forge ahead and complete a project is necessary, making quick and rash decisions in the interest of time can be quite detrimental. Building a new facility without any planning could leave your company without any room to grow, or a little research could prove that your current facility with proper remodeling would have been sufficient. The key is to know your company’s goals and directions, which will help to create an integrated plan.

Moving a headquarters or office space to an unfamiliar facility is a serious undertaking and one that involves significant patience, understanding and expertise. Having been key components in several office moves for our clients, bfi has a strong moving management team and is a well-oiled machine in terms of guiding and advising these corporate clients. As such, if you’re planning on relocating your team, we strongly urge you to follow the advice we’ve compiled above to make your transition smooth and seamless. Happy moving!

###

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.

bfi Appoints Ann Issackedes Senior Account Executive

PARSIPPANY, NJ (MAY 23, 2005) – Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi), one of the New York Metropolitan area's largest office furniture dealerships, announced that Ann Issackedes has joined bfi as Senior Account Executive. In this position, Ann's responsibilities will include facilitating client needs as they relocate or change their office environments, providing creative and specific furniture solutions, and helping to create work environments that allow business to flow and operate more efficiently.


"Ann's education and expertise make her a great addition to our team," said President of bfi, Dan Morley. "As our business grows, we are committed to continue to attract quality candidates such as Ann Issackedes to our organization."


Ann Issackedes joins bfi from Bill Behrle Associates. As a Senior Account Executive at Behrle, Ann specialized in furniture sales and design for New York City law firms and corporate headquarter standards programs. Prior to Behrle, Ann worked with Furniture Consultants in New York City, Tobron Office Furniture, also in New York, and ran her own furniture sales and consulting firm. Ann began her career at Knoll International.


Graduating with a degree in business from Skidmore College in New York, Ann Issackedes has also completed design coursework at Berkeley College. A member of the New Jersey Board of ICREW for the past four years, she has served as co-director of special projects for the past two. Ann Issackedes resides in River Edge, New Jersey.


For over 50 years, Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi) has been a leader in furniture specification and furniture project management markets. With offices in Elizabeth, Cranbury and Parsippany, New Jersey, 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.

Monday, May 09, 2005

bfi Participates in 6th Annual Box-A-Thon Charity Event

NEW YORK, NY (MAY 9, 2005) – Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi), one of the New York Metropolitan area’s largest office furniture dealerships, recently participated in the 6th Annual Design Literature and Sample Box-A-Thon. The Box-A-Thon, run by Info Edge and SpecSimple.com, enlists the help of New York’s busiest design firms and furniture dealers to help support some of the finest New York area design schools.

“Participating in our first Box-A-Thon was just a phenomenal experience,” said Susan Luss, architecture and design business development manager for bfi. “We were able to not only raise a lot of money, but to also provide students with a tremendous amount of supplies and samples, which will truly enhance their learning experience throughout college. It was great to participate with so many different peers of the design and furniture industry, and we’re looking forward to being involved with such a meaningful event in the future.”

A huge success, this year’s Box-A-Thon recruited the help of more than 75 firms, the donation of more than 300 boxes of materials, and raised more than $7,000 to be donated to the participating schools. An added benefit is that materials, which would have otherwise been thrown away, are now saved and recycled in their use at the various design schools.

The Box-A-Thon, in its sixth year of operation, is a unique charity event that benefits design schools and the design industry alike. It begins when architecture and design firms box various excess supplies including resource books, fabrics, samples, brochures, and various professional design materials. bfi and other furniture dealers then transport the boxes to the participating schools. These supplies are used throughout the semester by architecture and design students as cost effective training materials and manuals. In addition to donating supplies, firms were given the opportunity to pledge $25 per box, the proceeds of which go to scholarship and material funds for the participating schools.

For over 50 years, Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi) has been a leader in furniture specification and furniture project management markets. With offices in Elizabeth, Cranbury and Parsippany, New Jersey, 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.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Nelson Miniature Chests Reintroduced at ICFF 2005

Herman Miller for the Home is bringing back another classic to the North American marketplace, the Nelson Miniature Chests designed in 1952 by George Nelson. The return of the delicately crafted chests is timed to coincide with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2005. Herman Miller will be showing the chests in Booth 1012 of New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center during the May 14-17 gathering.

The chests are available in six-drawer and nine-drawer models, and come with two base options. They are made of teak stained with a rosewood finish. The suggested retail price ranges from $999 to $1395.

"The Nelson Miniature Chests are extremely popular with collectors," said Marg Mojzak, senior manager of Sales, Marketing and Distribution. "And for the growing number of people who love mid-century modern pieces, the return of the Miniature Chests will be warmly welcomed. They are beautiful, flexible, and work well with a wide range of decors."

George Nelson designed the chests soon after returning from his first trip to Tokyo in 1951. The chests echoed Japanese tansu, cabinets with many small drawers. They were intended, in Nelson's view, to demonstrate what he liked most about Japanese design--"a sense of fitness in the relationship between hand, material, use, and shape."

The reintroduced chests have hand-fitted drawers to ensure proper alignment. Each of the models has one "jewelry" drawer with dividers to organize and store smaller items.

"It's always a pleasure to add another George Nelson design to the collection of classics at Herman Miller for the Home," added Gregg VanderKooi, product manager. "The Nelson Miniature Chests will have big appeal in the marketplace."

Nelson Miniature Chests are covered by the Herman Miller warranty for one year.

Herman Miller for the Home products are available at select retailers and online stores. A complete listing may be found at HermanMiller.com. Herman Miller also is making the reintroduced Nelson chests available to contract customers through its dealer distribution channel.

Herman Miller provides complete solutions that help create great places to work. Through research, design, manufacture, and distribution of innovative interior furnishings, complemented by furniture management and strategic consulting services, the company serves organizations and individuals around the world. During fiscal 2004, Herman Miller's award-winning products and services generated $1.34 billion in revenue. In 2005, the company was again cited in Fortune magazine as the "Most Admired" company in its industry and was named among Business Ethics magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol MLHR.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Herman Miller Receives Regional EPA Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest office recently honored Herman Miller, along with other organizations and individuals, with its seventh annual Environmental Awards.

EPA regional administrator Wayne Nastri presented awards to 37 individuals and organizations for their efforts to protect and preserve the environment during 2004.
"The EPA applauds the outstanding achievements of these environmental heroes," said Nastri. "Thanks to their efforts, our air, water and land will be cleaner and safer for generations to come."

Herman Miller was acknowledged for its ongoing work "to minimize the environmental impact of its fabrics, materials, and finishes while maximizing product quality." It was also noted that the company conducted approximately $200 million of business in the region during 2004.

The EPA presented the awards to businesses, government officials, tribes, environmental organizations, and citizen activists from California, Arizona, Nevada and the Pacific Islands. The winners were selected from a pool of more than 175 nominees.

Other award recipients included rocker Neil Young, recognized for using biodiesel-fueled trucks and buses on a recent concert tour; the California Stormwater Quality Association; and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of Scottsdale, Arizona.

The EPA Pacific Southwest office encompasses Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and over 140 Tribal Nations.