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Preliminary Questions an Office Furniture Dealer Will Ask

Posted by officestations on March 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Generally office furniture dealers will find that the best starting point, when dealing with a prospective client is to get their floor plan. The first thing we need to determine is the general areas on the floor plan that will require the workstations.

After that, the next couple of key point is how many persons, or personnel will be using the workstations, and how large do the workstations need to be.

Once a determination has been made of those main factors, we are then able to proceed and start to create a generalized space plan, while always keeping in mind that the larger the workstation, the less personnel we will be able to fit into that particular space, and that my readers is where I find most of my clients end up stopping. After doing those first few steps, most individuals realize the amount of work and technical ability that goes into buying and installing office furniture, and then they decide to set out and find a “one stop” shop for all of their office needs.

Hiring an experienced office furniture dealer is one of the most important things any business owner can do. The experience of a qualified furniture dealer will allow the space plan and the actual installation to be worry free. Their experience allows them to not only allot for the different positions (i.e. call center, sales and service, and executive suites) that may require different sized cubicles based upon, how much storage and hardware need to be allocated in the allotted space.

So for example, if we briefly look at the smaller cubicles, i.e. call centers and/or cubbies, they can range in size from as small as 3 feet wide to 5 feet wide, and then if we look at sales and service, they can be from 5x5 to 8x8 and generally that would require an L shape and then there would be the larger manager stations, and if they require guest seating within them, then you could be looking at a minimum space of 6x10, so now that we have determined what some of the basic sizes and general uses of the standard workstations, the next consideration and what some would deem as just as important is the cubicle height. This factor can enclose an office space and make it feel too claustrophobic or too low in height which can give a more larger, open look throughout the office but can also dramatically lessen the acoustics of the office. So finding the happy medium between the different sizes, can be extremely difficult.

So cubicle height can sometimes be as important as cubicle size, as large and tall panels can carry a better acoustic ability then low, so finding a happy medium that can accommodate flow and function is quite critical. Once we have been able to make a determination of size and function at which time we can generate a space plan that gives a good overall view of the cubicle layout within the office suite. Once we have that in place from there we can guide our client through the sea of our cubicle options. Which always brings us back around to budget. So at this point, armed with a space plan and a budget we are then able to supply our client with many of our cost effective and additionally valued engineered systems we can offer. Which is why we designed our website to show the many different sizes and configurations of office cubicles, which is why was designed, in order to show the many different options available in the world of cubicles. We have found this has helped our clients make a more educated and informed decision when they are choosing office furniture.

Below are some of the questions that an office furniture dealer will ask. Did we miss anything? Leave your questions or comments in the comments section.

Preliminary Questions an Office Furniture Dealer Will Ask

1. How many office systems do you need?

2. When do you need product by?

3. Dimensions of the area and/or of the particular office system you are looking for (length, width, height, power or no power base)?

4. What kind of shelving and/or accessories do you also need? (i.e. lateral files, open shelf files, overhead files, pencil tray, task lining, etc.)?

5. Do you need chairs (with or without wheels)?



Used Office Furniture: Information Every Business Owner Needs to Know

Posted by officestations on March 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

So the other day, someone asked me how much for a cubicle? And I thought to myself… that’s a very broad question… As there is so much information that is needed to generate a number for a cubicle… But because the gentleman seemed to be impatient and get to the point, I thought I’d give him a general answer, trying not to be too sarcastic, I replied back, $100 to $6,000, and with that answer, the tension was so thick, I felt like you could cut the air with a knife.

After a very long pause, the customer’s follow up question was the same as every other customer I have encountered, “Why is the difference so much?” and again, I felt that same feeling of tension as I answered his question, and the 30 others that followed after that.

After that conversation, it finally dawned on me, that one of the key aspects of a successful business is to have an efficient and functional office environment, which oddly enough starts with the kind of office furniture that the owner chooses. And that’s what lead me to this blog post. I feel that a lot of business owners need to realize what the difference is between the different types of office furniture. So below are a few definitions of the common types of office furniture that a business owner may need. , which I knew all along, so at that point I felt as if I had inadvertently made the potential client feel that he needed to gather a lot more information.

Common Definitions in regards to Used Office Furniture

Adjustable Glides - Support devices for leveling or stabilizing units. Alternately referred to as "glides", "levelers", or "height adjusters".

ANSI - American National Standards Institute. An accredited BIFMA standards developer that coordinates development and use of voluntary testing standards to support safe, healthy and sustainable work environments.

Asynchronous Control - Allows the backrest and seat to move simultaneously but independently for the user to maximize his/her comfort.

Base Cap - A solid wood cap that fits over a prong of the metal understructure base.

BIFMA - Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association. A non-profit organization that provides an effective forum for office and institutional furniture manufacturers to collaborate on appropriate industry issues.

Box Drawer - A drawer that is generally 6" in height. Derives its name from the card boxes in which bankers kept account information.

CARB - California Air Resource Board. An environmental state-funded group that works to attain and maintain healthy air quality, protect the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants, and provide innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations. Established Regulation 93120 which sets acceptable emission levels for products used in the state of California.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - One of the gases in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is released into our atmosphere when carbon-containing fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal are burned. As a result of the world-wide consumption of such fossil fuels, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased over the past century. CO2 is the most common Greenhouse Gas.

Carbon Offset Credits - A credit from another organization's project that results in less carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than would otherwise occur. Carbon offsets are bought and sold through a number of brokers, online retailers, and trading platforms. For example, wind energy companies often sell carbon offsets. The wind energy company benefits because the carbon offsets it sells make such projects more economically viable. The buyers of the offsets benefit because they can claim that their purchase resulted in new non-polluting energy, which they can use to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions. The buyers may also save money as it may be less expensive for them to purchase offsets than to eliminate their own emissions. Other examples of carbon offsets are solar energy, the protection and restoration of land, and the reduction of methane emission in livestock operations.

Casters - Wheels or rollers which are fitted to a chair base to provide mobility.

Catalyzed Lacquer - A chemical reaction induced by material unchanged chemically at the end of the reaction.

Center Drawer - Commonly referred to as the "pencil drawer". This drawer is mounted beneath the worksurface, centered between the pedestals. Center drawers are sold both standard with desks or in some cases, must be purchased separately.

Certified Wood - A credible guarantee that wood based products originate from an environmentally responsible source; assures the public that certain wood and paper products come from responsibly managed forests. USGBC LEED recognizes the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood label.

Chain of Custody (COC) - A certificate with a unique number that provides a system for tracking wood through each stage, from the forest to the product's point of sale. It assures the public that the product was produced from a well-managed forest. A part of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

Chassis - The body of a desk. Refers to those elements that are below the worksurface. Includes end panels, pedestals and modesty panels.

Chemicals of Concern - Chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment or individuals. These can be present in end products, manufacturing processes, maintenance procedures, etc. Various organizations publish lists of these chemicals such as the EPA, World Health Organization, etc.

COL - Customer's Own Leather.

COM - Customer's Own Material.

Cradle-to-Cradle - A term used in life cycle assessment to describe a material or product that is recycled into a new product at the end of its defined life. Manufacturers can obtain Cradle-to-Cradle certification for their products from McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.

Credenza - A unit with pedestals, generally 18" to 24" deep, used in combination with a desk for additional storage. Storage credenzas have center storage areas. Kneespace credenzas have kneespace areas for greater accessibility.

Cubicles - defined as the partitions or dividers that separate the office spaces and they can be up to five to six feet high.

Design for Environment (DfE) - A term describing techniques used to design products with consideration for their environmental impact. DfE seeks to discover product innovations that will meet cost and performance objectives while reducing pollution and waste throughout the life cycle.

Design for Disassembly - The design and engineering of a product so that it can be dismantled for easier maintenance, repair, recovery and reuse of components or materials.

Directional Fabric - A fabric with a pattern that must be carefully matched to be aesthetically pleasing.

Double Pedestal Desk - A worksurface with pedestals at both ends of the unit.

Drawer Configuration - The pattern or layout of drawers within a pedestal. Often seen as box/box/file or file/file.

Emission - The release of any gas, particle or vapor into the environment.

End Panels - Slab end vertical panels that help support the worksurface, located at each end of a desk.

Environmental Management System (EMS) - A systematic approach to dealing with the environmental aspects of an organization. It is a 'tool' that enables an organization of any size or type to control the impact of its activities, products or services on the natural environment. See ISO 14001.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - The U.S. federal government organization that sets and enforces environmental regulations nationwide.

Ergonomics - Refers to one's relation to and interaction with the working environment. In seating, this term more specifically relates to offering the seated individual proper support and the adjustments that will allow for comfort during a variety of tasks.

Executive Chair - A high back chair designed for the person who spends much time seated at a desk. Usually sets upon a 5-prong base which is fitted with casters.

Expanded Vinyl - A thick vinyl which employs a woven fabric backing and is impregnated with color. It complies with most fire codes.

File Drawer - A drawer that is generally 12" to 13" inches in height. This drawer is deep enough to support hanging file folders.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - A non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forests. FSC certification is available to landowners or companies that sell timber or forest products, to establish that they have practiced forestry consistent with Forest Stewardship Council standards.

Formaldehyde - Industrial chemical used to make other chemicals, building materials, and household products. It is one of the large families of chemical compounds called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It can be used in adhesive for pressed wood products, preservatives in some paints and coatings, certain insulation materials, etc. It is a colorless, strong-smelling gas.

Full-to-Floor Pedestals - When pedestals extend to the floor below the worksurface.

Furniture Emission Standard (FES) - Voluntary testing and conformance standards developed by ANSI/BIFMA to measure the emission levels of furniture. Known as ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 Low-Emitting Furniture and Seating. Utilization of FES is recognized in LEED-CI under the Environmental Quality credit for low emitting furniture.

Ganging - The method of joining individual elements into one unit.

Graining - The process of printing a natural woodgrain pattern onto another surface that may or may not be wood product. National Office Furniture does not use this process on any product.

Green Energy - Sources of energy considered to be environmentally friendly and non-polluting.

Greenguard - A certification and labeling program for interior products that addresses indoor air quality.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) - Gases in the atmosphere which reduce the loss of heat into space (especially carbon dioxide). This gas buildup contributes to global temperatures through the Greenhouse Effect.

Grommet - A plastic or metal covering for an opening primarily in casegood tops for routing wires and cords away from the worksurface.

Guest Chair - Often referred to as Guest Conference or Side Chair, is a chair used by those who visit an office for the purpose of a meeting or conference. Design possibilities include a fixed base with glides, four-leg model, sled base, or cantilever base.

High Pressure Laminate (HPL) - Produced by taking several layers of phenolic resin impregnated kraft paper, overlaid with either a woodgrain or solid color paper and a plastic cap sheet, sandwiched together and pressed in a heat-up and cool-down cycle at approximately 300 degrees F and 1,200 psi. and is then adhered to core board.

Hub Liner - A self-lubricating nylon liner which prevents excessive side-to-side wobble in the chair, thereby protecting the spindle from wearing against the base hub.

Indoor Air Quality - A term used to describe the characteristics of the indoor climate of the building with special concern for the impact on occupant health.

Indoor Advantage - An air quality certification from SCS Global Services (SCS) that ensures products meet the accepted criteria for VOC emissions established by ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 Low-Emitting Furniture and Seating. Certification conforms to USGBC LEED-CI for EQ4.5.

Indoor Advantage Gold - An air quality certification from SCS Global Services (SCS) that conforms to the same standards as Indoor Advantage, as well as additional conformance to USGBC LEED-CI for EQ4.1, EQ4.2, EQ4.4, Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), California 01350 Special Environmental Requirements and the California Department of General Service (DGS) Indoor Air Quality Specifications for Open Panel Office Furniture.

ISO 14001 - The standard within the ISO 14000 series that specifies the requirements of an environmental management system. It was developed by the International Standards Organization, a non-governmental organization that is chartered to develop voluntary technical standards that aim to make the development, manufacture and supply of goods safer, cleaner and more efficient.

Knee Tilt Mechanism - A control mechanism that allows a chair to move vertically from the front portion of the seat.

L Unit - Consists of a single pedestal desk with one storage pedestal and a connecting "return", also with one storage pedestal. An L unit is designated "right" or "left" depending on the placement of the return.

LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A voluntary nationwide green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is a nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of green buildings. There are four levels of LEED certification for new buildings-Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Certification is based on a point system with points awarded for performance in categories of water, energy, materials, indoor environment, innovation in materials and sustainable sites.

level® - A third-party certification that ensures products meet the requirements of the multi-faceted BIFMA e3 Sustainability Standard. level® can be designated as 1, 2 or 3, with 3 being the most stringent.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - The comprehensive examination of a product's environmental and economic effects and potential impacts throughout its lifetime including raw material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, and disposal.

Lumbar - The vertebrae section between the thoracic vertabrae and sacrum. The "small" of your back.

Management Chair - A midback chair designed for the person who spends much time seated at a desk. Usually sets upon a 5-prong base fitted with casters.

Mechanism - The part of a chair that connects the seat assembly to the base. The mechanism allows adjustments such as tilt, swivel seat height, etc., to provide the user with optimum comfort and productivity.

Mid-Pivot - A control in which the pivot point is located towards the front of the seat, allowing minimal rise of the front seat edge.

Non-Directional Fabric - A fabric which will appear smooth, with no visible pattern.

Non-Expanding Vinyl - A thin vinyl where the color is on the surface only. Althought fairly durable, it does not meet the same flammability codes as expanded vinyl.

Overhang - Produced by recessing the modesty panel; when the worksurface overhangs the modesty panel. Overhangs vary from 6" to 11". Allows the visitor to position a chair close to the desk.

Pedestals - Storage components which consist of drawers in various configurations.

Pneumatic Lift - A lever located beneath the seat that utilizes a gas cylinder to quickly raise or lower the seat height.

Post Consumer Recycled Content - Material that has been recovered after its use as a consumer product and is used to make another product. Examples include tennis shoes used to make playground surfaces or aluminum soda cans recovered to make more.

Posture Control - Allows the backrest to tilt independently of the seat, allowing for adjustments in back pitch.

Pre-Consumer Recycled Content - Left-over or scrap material generated by a manufacturing process that is collected and reused to make new products. An example is fabric scraps from an upholstering process that are used to make automotive insulation.

Rapidly Renewable Materials - Materials that can be harvested within 10 years. Cork, bamboo and whiteboard are examples.

Recyclability - The ability of a product or material to be recovered from, or otherwise diverted from, the solid waste stream for the purpose of recycling.

Recycled Product - A product made in whole or part from material recovered from the waste stream.

Renewable Energy - Energy derived from sources that do not become depleted such as the sun, wind, ocean, biomass, and heat from the earth's interior.

SCS Global Services (SCS) - A third-party provider of certification, auditing and testing services, and standards, founded in 1984. SCS offers the Indoor Advantage, Indoor Advantage Gold and Sustainable Choice certification programs.

Seat Suspension - A system that supports the upper part of the seat assembly.

Sheen Level - The degree of luster of the finishing materials, usually topcoats.

SILVERGUARD® - A natural, environmentally friendly, bacteria-fighting defense to inhibit odor and stain causing bacteria, plus the SILVERGUARD® technology is EPA registered and FDA approved. SILVERGUARD® stays fresh and lasts long due to the proprietary manufacturing process which promotes a controlled release of antimicrobial properties. It continues to provide its bacteria-fighting protection after repetitive cleanings. The elemental protection of silver in SILVERGUARD® is an antimicrobial agent. It is safe and efficient in diminishing odors, promoting freshness, and extending the life cycle of a product by attacking bacteria and other destructive organisms.

Suspension - The system that is used to support the drawer and facilitate its movement in and out of the pedestal. General capabilities are 3/4 suspensions and full suspensions.

Sustainability - "Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Sustainability Standard (SS) - An open, consensus-based method to evaluate the sustainable attributes of furniture. Developed by BIFMA. SS covers multiple aspects including raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, product usage, reuse/recycle, and product disposal.

Sustainable Packaging - Pack that maximizes the use of recycled material, and is healthy and safe for individuals throughout its life cycle.

Swivel Tilt - A mechanism that allows the chair to rotate or swivel side-to-side as well as tilt back.

Synchronous Control - Allows the back and seat to move in a synchronized 2 to 1 ratio motion.

Task Chair - A chair designed to support individuals who perform task-intensive functions such as data input or technical writing. Usually sets upon a 5-prong base which is fitted with casters.

Terratex - A registered trademark of True Textiles. Each Terratex fabric must meet these four criteria: Made of 100% post-consumer and/or pre-consumer fiber, or compostable material; Made using processes that reduce waster, emissions, energy water usage, and toxic by-products; Meets or exceeds the same quality standards of fabrics manufactured using virgin materials and conventional processes; Made of a single fiber type, without backcoating, so that it too can be recycled or composted.

Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL) - Produced by a single melamine resin impregnated sheet thermofused directly to the core board at approximately 320 degrees F and 350 psi. During the process, the resins liquify and flow, thermofusing the woodgrain sheet to the core (there is no glue line) and because the resins are fully impregnated into the overlay sheet, they produce a hard, durable laminate face.

Tilt Tension Control - Regulates how easily the chair will tilt. It is adjusted to user's body weight.

UV Finish - The use of ultra-violet light to cure a finish. Characteristics of UV finish include excellent durability and reduced emissions.

USGBC - U.S. Green Building Council. A non-profit organization consisting of professionals from the building industry devoted to promoting buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. USGBC developed the LEED certification guidelines.

Veneer - Thin sheet of wood sliced or sawn from a log, bolt or flitch. Veneer may be referred to as a ply when assembled into a panel.

VOCs - Volatile Organic Compounds. Materials that are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Consistently found higher indoors, VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Workstations - defined as the more complicated parts of the system- the desks, drawers, files, space that are inside the cubicle areas that organize employee’s office area and give them a desk area to work from and because of this, workstations are quite enormous.

Worksurface - The top of the desk.




12 Tips to Make Buying Used Office Furniture Easier

Posted by officestations on March 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Since I sell used office furniture, a lot of my friends, associates, and acquaintances, are always asking me questions in regards to buying used office furniture, and most of the time I say the same thing, so, I thought this post would be a great thing to put on the companies blog.

What are some tips that you use when searching for used office furniture? Do you think this post is missing anything? Leave your ideas, comments, and suggestions in the comments section.

Tip #1: Check the Recycled Office Furniture Directory to find buying resources in your area.

Tip #2: Always make sure you have a good understanding of what you're buying and that you trust the seller.

Tip #3: Understand the difference between re-manufactured, refurbished, and reused furniture.

Tip #4: Compare new and used furniture prices, warranties, and service options.

Tip #5: Check the dealer's reputation to be certain they have solid references.

Tip #6: Look for a warranty when buying re-manufactured furniture.

Tip #7: When buying used furniture it is important to keep in mind who exactly the dealer or Broker is that you are buying from.

Tip #8: Never buy an item that you have not seen, and always do your research to make sure that the Broker or dealer is reliable and will come through with your order.

Tip #9: Keep in mind that the type of office furniture you choose to buy can sometimes help exude the power a manager or owner has in the office.

Tip #10: Even if your business is small or just starting out, it is in your best interest to but a few good, quality pieces of office furniture that will stand the test of time.

Tip #11: Consider making your furniture versatile. For example, instead of putting storage cabinets under your tables, consider using the cabinets as an actual table.

Tip #12: If you are going to go into a showroom to look at furniture, have your measurements ready to go.