Top Office Furniture Manufacturers Rely On E-Commerce Acquisitions To Stay Relevant Through The Pandemic
The business model for office furniture manufacturers and their contract furniture dealers must evolve as a result of the changing workplace in the wake of the pandemic. Will cubicles with high walls return to the workplace or will the WFH model shift purchasing decisions from facility managers, architects and interior designers to the employees working from home? In the short term, home offices will surely be upgraded to more ergonomic, height-adjustable desks, purchased by employees with reimbursements funded as expenses by their employers. In the long term, we are likely to see a combination of remote workforces operating from home offices, together with downsized office spaces, remodeled with more expensive workstations with high panels and socially distanced layouts, funded as capital equipment expenditures which can be depreciated over time. In the meantime, the manufacturers who had the foresight to acquire established e-commerce channels, will gain a larger share of the market. Rather than considering e-commerce the enemy to the manufacturers’ survival, some companies have bolstered their range through strategic acquisitions such as Kimball International / Poppin.com, Herman Miller / Design Within Reach and Knoll / Fully.com.
Paris Trading Floor Project Completed Despite Lockdown And Riots
Trading desks manufactured by LaCour were shipped from New Jersey to Paris, France and installed without a hitch in the midst of the pandemic lockdown. The project was completed minutes before riots broke out in the streets of Paris to protest the lockdown. The shipment was routed via the port of Rotterdam, Holland to bypass delays at the port of LeHavre, France. The Dutch installation crew were equipped with parking permits from French Police and special dispensations allowing them to work until 6 pm every day, at which time they had to return to a rented apartment to comply with the evening curfew.
Overseas Brokers Handles LaCour Trading Desk Project in Australia
LaCour has continued to expand its partnership with Overseas Brokers to handle their global transportation by sea and air, cross-border customs formalities, delivery and installation of their products, all over the world. LaCour is a major manufacturer of custom-designed trading desks, and we’ve completed projects in London, Monte Carlo, Geneva, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Juan, and Brisbane, Australia. Next up is Paris, France.
Take a look at photos from a 300 desk project we handled, on behalf of LaCour, from New Jersey to Australia, for a metals and energy trading company. The photos show the process at destination starting with grounding of ocean containers at site, installation of frames, attaching work surfaces and placement of pedestals. Through Overseas Brokers’ global network of trusted logistics partners, we are able to make this a cookie cutter process for global distribution, easily duplicated worldwide – without the need for a local dealer in every market.
CBRE Publishes Insightful Forecast For The Future Of Office Furniture In The Workplace
CBRE, the largest commercial real estate services company in the world, has published an excellent study of measures required to combat exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace. The study includes detailed graphics explaining how furniture and layouts can be reconfigured in the short, medium and long term.
Office Design Likely to Come Full Circle From Private to Open Space and Back To Private Space
The workplace has evolved from an emphasis on private office suites, to open-plan workstations, to free-flowing collaborative open spaces. In the post-pandemic universe, we are likely to see a return to private spaces with micro private offices, larger workstations with barriers to transmission, fewer large conference rooms, elimination of small huddle spaces and a new functional style integrating tech-based solutions with social distancing and enhanced digital interaction.
(Photo credit: Work Design