You also need value, long life products, and quality. A bit of thinking and hunting around can find you an excellent supplier and save a fortune, particularly over time.
Step 1: Systematically, assess what you needIt’s a very good idea to do a basic inventory of the things you need. This saves time when you do your real inventory, and it also helps create a picture of the overall needs of the office.
The typical inventory is all functional:
- Workstations- Good workstations are a real blessing to office furniture acquisition, particularly for big offices. Good, solid, high quality workstations with built-in drawers or supplied drawer cabinets are very good value.
- Office chairs- If you’re buying 100 chairs you’re entitled to be fussy. Look for high quality ergonomic chairs. Don’t get the cheap ones, they’re lethal. They’re basically OHS lawsuits on wheels. Anything ergonomic about the cheap chairs is largely accidental. Look for chairs with proper armrests and adjustable backs. They should look good and have good warranties.
- Office cabinets- The old “filing cabinets” have reinvented themselves and gone upmarket. They’re now used as high quality secure storage for those important hard copy documents and materials. A few of these can solve a lot of space problems.
- Desks- You can get excellent desks from office furniture suppliers, and save money while you’re at it. Set a figure for the desk(s) you need and shop around. You’ll get what you want, at a decent price from these suppliers. (While checking out the desks, also look for built-in desk features for computers, etc. Some of the new desks on the market are truly excellent organizers.)
Stage 2: Décor and design considerationsYou may be surprised to learn that you can get a very good office suite with a great look far more easily than you’d suspect looking at catalogs. The trick is to match your office décor, flooring and furniture. There’s some new “visualization” software provided by upmarket carpet manufacturers which can help you do a full layout.
The usual problem for office décor is that commercial flooring tends to vary from the bland to the hideous, unless you know how to get the right flooring design. This software allows you to check out carpet designs against typical office layouts, and it’s extremely efficient. If you’re also looking for good carpet, it’s a godsend to office managers.
A typical “décor check” is basic but effective:
- Check office flooring colors and designs.
- Check office furniture for match with flooring.
- It’s a Yes/No answer.
Get a good office furniture supplier and be as fussy as you like. You’ll definitely get what you want.