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Hot Tips: How Your Furniture Purchase Can Pay for Itself

TMCnews Featured Article

June 23, 2006

Hot Tips: How Your Furniture Purchase Can Pay for Itself

By TMCnet Special Guest
David Kendrick, President, Interior Concepts

Our economy is on the rebound, office space vacancies are down while rents and construction costs are on the rise: space is at a premium. And because the cost of doing business is also on the rise, due to increases in cost for employee medical insurance and the costs for basic commodities necessary to conduct business, companies are being forced to work more efficiently and do more, with less. 
When it comes time to purchase furniture for agents, supervisors, or administrative employees a company's bottom line can be directly impacted. But if companies make the “right” furniture decision, a furniture purchase can actually pay for itself. 
Below are tips to consider when making your furniture purchase.
Look for a furniture company that is experienced in call centers
Seek a partnership with a company that will allow you to work with the same group of people regardless of your center's location. This can best be accomplished through a direct relationship with the furniture manufacturer-- if they provide this type of service. When a choice is made to work with a company that knows the industry, the customer will recognize the difference in the quality of the service and solutions being offered – this can impact the operations and ultimately the profitability of the center.  
Get the very best use of space by maximizing all available square footage
How can furniture design impact the bottom line when leasing or building space? The customer either directly or indirectly pays for every square foot of space that they use. Conversely, this means that every square foot of space not being used is money being expended and which can never be recovered.  Translating into a “lost opportunity” cost. Why pay for space that is not being used? One way to overcome this is to look for a furniture manufacturer with a thin-line panel system (typically a one-inch width panel) that also offers custom design and manufacturing. When the furniture is custom designed specifically for the floor space it allows the customer to more effectively utilize their space. This approach can translate into more stations placed within the space, and hence more revenue potential and/or lower cost. In addition to an increased number of stations, you can give your employees larger, more comfortable workstations and/or increased aisles and common areas.   
Save time and money when laying power and data lines
Look for a furniture system with a large and easy to use wire management system.   An “easy to use” wire management system (as opposed to restricted, in panel raceways) takes less time to run power and data lines and is less costly compared to more traditional systems furniture products. Cabling estimates with the right wire management system can range up to 40% less when compared to panel systems with base electrical and/or restricted wiring raceways. With the proper wire management all wiring/cabling can be totally concealed yet easily accessible. This also eliminates the safety hazard found with base electrical systems and exposed wiring, known as the "spaghetti effect".   
Incorporate ergonomic accessories into the workstation design and reduce workers compensation claims
With regard to ergonomics, the proper ergonomic accessories combined with proper training, can result in significant savings for the customer through reduced worker’s compensation premiums. It’s the “you can pay now” or “you can pay later” scenario. While the initial building/furniture/technology investment can be sizeable, it is a fraction of annual labor or employee expenses. Thus, the “people investment”, i.e., investments in the stations/equipment to make the employees comfortable/productive is a good investment with an excellent return.
Purchase furniture that offers a Lifetime Warranty
A Lifetime Warranty means low maintenance and a low total cost of ownership. Look for a quality system from a quality company. Call centers should be able to purchase furniture that will withstand years of daily use.
Space planning services offered at no charge or obligation
Select a furniture manufacturer that offers space planning at no charge or obligation. This is an excellent benefit that allows the customer to visualize/confirm the best design/layout for their call center. 
Interior Concepts specializes in designing and manufacturing furniture to provide cost-effective utilization of floor space. Whether utilizing available floor space to increase the number of agents or to enhance the work area for each individual agent, the objective of Interior Concepts is to improve performance and profitability.
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