Buying office furniture? You’re probably getting ripped off.
It’s hard not to write excruciatingly boring blog posts when it comes to furniture. After all, we’re talking about inanimate objects that sit in a room. Before I became the VP of marketing for Quality Group of Companies I didn’t put any brain power towards furniture. Your butt hurts after sitting for a while…stand up, how hard is it? My biggest furniture related concern was having to clean my desk of clutter.
Furniture is now my living, and necessity is a great motivator. I eat furniture, I breath furniture, and sometimes, (after eating something that doesn’t agree with me), I dream furniture.
Most of you are ready to quit reading, or hang yourself…
So, has the job changed my perspective of furniture? Am I now a super fan, researching all there is to know about furniture? No. Furniture is mind numbing. But, you don’t have to like something to learn about it, and if I were a consumer with a budget, I would want to know these three things.
First, you as a customer can probably name only a few furniture brands. And if you work with an architect, you can probably only name three…Herman Miller, Steel Case, or Hon. Why? Because that’s what designers learn in school. It’s the easy choice and it’s hard to move them off the name brand. But you’re paying for creativity, not laziness. And make no mistake, that slothful, cavalier attitude toward your budget will mean you’ll likely have to rid yourself of a limb or first-born child to pay for it.
Second, you as a consumer likely don’t know that there are literally hundreds of additional manufacturers who have products that are every bit as good, if not better. Equal or better in quality, delivery timelines, customer service, and even design. The kicker? Much more affordable! And no, less expensive does not mean it’s garbage. It means you’ll have more money to stick into the new audio-visual system you desperately need.
Third, you will likely choose what you know (or been told by your architect/designer) even though there are better products with better prices. Why? Heck if I know. You will have to have to respond and tell me. But, if you dare, I also know that you will be the office hero, heralded as a genius, an innovator, an out-of-the-box thinker… ooh, the glory! Your CFO will likely take you to lunch! (Actually, scratch that, you wouldn’t be able pry $8 bucks from their cold, dead fingers.) On top of it all, you’ll probably be able to afford a conferencing system that works, and doesn’t take the geek squad to figure out.
So, the choice is yours. Stick with overpriced, same old run of the mill, everyone has it, nobody cares, boredom… or venture off the path, push your designer to look deeper, and get the furniture you deserve at a price you can afford. Simple.
Take some deep breaths, keep your kids, and give me a call when you’re ready to assume your rightful position as office genius.