Buying new office furniture is a lot like buying a new vehicle. Smart shoppers always plan ahead.
If you wait until your vehicle breaks down before going car shopping, you might be stuck buying whatever is on the lot. The dealership may not have the model, color or features you want, but you have no choice.
Likewise, walking into a furniture showroom ready to make a purchase means your choices are limited to whatever fits inside the building. That may not be best for your workplace or your budget.
Most business executives will only purchase new office furniture a few times over their careers. That’s why it is so important to get it right. Below are three questions to help start the furniture-buying process:
What is the furniture-buying timeline?
We live in a world where next-day shipping, or even same-day delivery, is common. Unfortunately, that’s fostered unrealistic expectations for furniture delivery, especially bulk orders.
OFDC has created a furniture-buying timeline to help its business partners understand the ordering process:
- 9 months out: Study furniture styles and trends. Office furniture comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. It can be traditional, transitional, contemporary, industrial or another style, and often reflects the personality of a company and its employees. A tech startup, for example, might opt for a more modern look with clean lines and shared workspaces. Meanwhile, a law firm could choose a classic look with dark oak finishes.
- 6 months out: Schedule a professional consultation. OFDC offers free consultations to review a business’ needs and measure spaces. This is also when the budget conversation starts. Effective workspace planning requires a lot of time and expertise. Great workspaces help great employees thrive.
- 3 months out: Place the order. For larger orders, manufacturers often need a 12-week lead time to produce, package and ship materials to a customer’s exact specifications. Disruptions in the supply chain from material shortages, labor shortages and severe weather can derail timelines. That’s why manufacturers stress the importance of submitting orders as early as possible.
- 1 month out: Confirm the installation date. Most businesses don’t have the luxury of closing down for a day or two while crews remove old furniture and assemble new furniture. OFDC offers professional installation services to ensure that furniture is assembled quickly and to a manufacturer’s exact specifications.
- 1 week out: Review the installation logistics. Furniture installation is a highly choreographed enterprise. Time is money for a business, so OFDC’s experienced installation team strives to minimize operational disruptions.
How much does office furniture cost?
Online-only retailers can offer a wide selection of office furniture at unbelievably low prices, and it might even arrive tomorrow. However, cheap prices often mean you’re getting a cheap product. Like they say, you get what you pay for. Heavy items like furniture can easily be damaged during shipping. Once furniture arrives, businesses are responsible for assembly and installation.
On the other hand, OFDC offers a concierge approach for office furniture. From placing the order to delivery and installation, OFDC handles all of the minutia so you can focus on your business. Our goal is to create a workspace design project that flows smoothly, from start to finish.
Not sure how to budget for office furniture? OFDC’s new “Budget Builder” tool allows you to calculate ballpark estimates to better understand the costs of creating a dream office. Results show approximate costs for a personal workspace for each employee, as well as outfitting a lobby and conference room.
Why do businesses need new furniture?
Office furniture is designed to be durable and functional. It isn’t meant to last forever. Beyond chairs, desks and storage solutions simply wearing out, below are four common reasons businesses need new office furniture:
- Consolidation: Many businesses are reevaluating their leases, consolidating multiple operations under one roof. With more employees working remotely, some employers no longer need one workspace for every employee on the payroll. Some businesses have even provided allowances so employees can select desks, chairs and storage solutions for their home offices.
- Expansion: Business is booming across Florida. This has prompted companies to add locations to better serve their customers and clients. New business offices, distribution centers, manufacturing plants and other commercial buildings are opening every day.
- Reconfiguration: COVID-19 changed the office environment in 2020. Beyond the pandemic, though, many businesses are changing the look and feel of their offices. Cubicles have regained popularity because they add physical barriers between employees who work in shared spaces. Moveable offices featuring desks, tables and chairs on wheels also are transforming workspaces.
- Changing needs: Technology is changing the way businesses utilize their space. For example, electronic filing systems have eliminated the need for entire rooms dedicated to document storage. Desktop printers also have replaced large copy machines, and fax machines are nearly obsolete. Businesses need functional office furniture that reflects their current needs.
Is new furniture on the horizon for your business? Complete our online Complimentary Consultation form to learn more.