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Watson Furniture acquires Magna Design (ERMAN¬-ILLER¬lNDS¬ITSELF¬IN¬THE¬2ED¬s¬3TEELCASE¬%UROPEAN¬,AYOFFS

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The Monday MorRMRK5YEVXIVFEGOˆ1EVGL

THE BUSINESS OF THE CONTRACT FURNISHINGS INDUSTRY

BIFMA numbers shift like quicksand With prices so low, are industry stocks a bargain?

Few people can say they have the same job once held by design great George Nelson. But Herman Miller’s Don Goeman can.


Top News / March 23, 2009 Watson Furniture Group Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Magna Design Watson Furniture Group says it sees Magna Design as a “great fit for the company” Watson Furniture Group of Poulsbo, Wash., Wednesday announced the planned acquisition of Magna Design of Lynnwood, Wash. A series of positive meetings between Clif McKenzie, president of the Watson Furniture Group and Tom Sehrer, owner of Magna Design has produced a signed Letter of Intent for the acquisition. Watson Furniture Group says it sees Magna Design as a “great fit for the company.” An office furniture designer and manufacturer, Magna Design is a widely recognized brand with many market segment strengths including presence in key areas such as health care, conferencing, and casegoods. “We hold very high expectations about this acquisition for both the Watson Furniture Group and Magna Design,” said McKenzie from his corporate headquarters in Poulsbo. “Over the years Magna Design has built an extremely strong reputation for quality and excellent furniture craftsmanship, so we are proud to bring on this industry leader as a division of our company.” With some swift strokes on the white board, McKenzie recently listed the key issues that demonstrate the solid compatibility between the two firms. “The two companies have similar values, a comparable history, a committed work ethic, and a rock continued on page 10

Herman Miller posts 3rd quarter loss as sales plunge

Watson acquisition of Magna a good match for everyone

North American sales were down 27.7%

The acquisition made sense after Watson crunched the numbers

Herman Miller, Inc. Wednesday announced results for its third quarter of fiscal year 2009. Consolidated net sales for the quarter were $354.4 million, a decline of 28.5% from the same period last year and 25.6% from the prior quarter. The company moved quickly to adjust labor, overhead, and operating expenses. Excluding restructure charges, the adjusted operating income was 5.8% of sales and adjusted earnings per share were equal to $0.18. Including restructure charges of $23.4 million incurred during the quarter, earnings per share were $(0.10) compared to $0.65 per share during the same period last year. The company also generated $18.7 million in cash flow from operations for the quarter, further strengthening its cash balance to $172.4 million. The company completed most of the previously announced restructure actions during the quarter; however, the full benefits of the actions were not realized in the quarter. The company also implemented additional cost reduction actions near the end of the quarter. The net result of these combined actions is expected to reduce the quarterly operating expense levels by approximately 26% compared to fiscal 2008. On an annual basis, this represents a decrease in expense levels between $110 million and $115 million. Brian Walker, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “As we expected, business levels continued to decline with the overall economic stagnation that occurred during the quarter. Fortunately, our management teams were once again out in front of the rapid change and moved quickly to modify our cost structure and strengthen our cash position. Our people remain motivated and focused on the most important ways to serve our customers and improve our operating performance. We continue to challenge ourselves to find faster and more efficient methods to improve our position in the market and take advantage of competitive opportunities.” North American sales were $295.9 million, a 27.7% decrease from the prior year, while non-North American sales for the quarter were $51.8 million, a 28.0% decline from a year ago. The impact of foreign currency rates reduced sales by $10.4 million for the quarter. As anticipated, order rates fell sharply at the end of December but have since increased slightly and stabilized. Orders for the quarter were $279.4 million, a decrease of 38.5% from a year ago, with North American orders declining 35.5% and non-North American orders down 49.8% over the prior year. The impact of foreign currency rates decreased orders by $10.1 million for the quarter. The ending backlog of $206.8 million is a 32.7% decrease from the prior year level. Gross margin for the quarter decreased to 29.9% of sales from 34.3% in the prior year period. Despite solid manufacturing process improvements and reduced overhead spending, the gains could not overcome the impact of sharply lower volumes. Operating expenses of $85.3 million declined by $23.0 mil-

Clif McKenzie, president of the Watson Furniture Group in Poulsbo, Wash. knew Tom Sehrer, his Northwest counterpart and owner of Magna Design, though the two never competed because the office furniture company owners sold different product lines. McKenzie was surprised to find out Magna Design was being sold after decades in business. Magna announced it was closing Feb. 27, pulled under by the stagnant economy and prospects that looked even worse. When McKenzie read about Magna Design’s closing, he immediately sent Sehrer a message. Soon after, the two were talking on the phone. McKenzie struck a deal with Sehrer to buy Magna Design, a move that likely saved the name and product lines of a business started in 1953. “I know Tom and I know Magna,” McKenzie said. “We both are Northwest companies. Still, we never competed because our product lines are in different markets. I was completely unaware Tom had an interest in marketing his company until I heard they were closing their doors. “It struck me. I know Tom and it didn’t make sense to me that company, with that kind of legacy, would have to close because of economic conditions. We were losing a Northwest institution. We were losing the influence of a really good man in this market. I told him that I thought there was an opportunity and we just started talking. I found that we have a remarkable synergy of product lines.” Magna Design is a recognized brand with many market segment strengths including presence in key areas such as health care, conferencing and casegoods. Those areas fit perfectly with continued on page 10


Top News 24 BY 7 A heads up on what’s happening

No money on the table

Last week we saw a mild rebound in the share prices of office furniture makers. Still, good news is hard to find, but rest assured we’re looking. In the meantime there were some stories of note that should be reported. It’s no secret that clients (aka customers) are watching their dollars more closely than ever. Last week we learned that the Lake County commissioners in Tavares, Florida believe that by constantly rebidding a (small) project they can save taxpayers a considerable sum. The county commission is outfitting itself with new office furniture. They originally budgeted $250,000 for the furniture which included standard desks, chairs and some modular furniture. The the low bid came in at $150,000 or about $100,000 below their budget, which they believed was pretty decent for furniture of “medium� quality. At the property appraiser’s request, Tim Morris, vice president of office-furniture vendor Ernie Morris Enterprises, provided the county with an estimate that was about $20,000 less than the low bid they had already received for the furniture. The property appraiser brought the potential savings to the attention of the board, seeking to cut costs as tax revenues dwindle in the county. Commissioner Jennifer Hill wondered if the commission is comparing apples and oranges. “If you want to get cheap, you can get cheap -- real cheap,� she said. “You can get folding chairs.� Morris, who has previously been awarded public contracts to provide furniture for Lake County schools, said he did not bid initially on the tax collector-property appraiser project because the county has been “predisposed� to proprietary lines from Orlando (Florida) dealers. Morris told the commission his furniture lines are comparable in quality. Ed Havill, the property appraiser, expects the county will reap additional savings from having even more bidders. “The more, the merrier,� he said. Finally, unemployment in Michigan, especially in the office furniture region (Grand Rapids, Holland, Zeeland) continues to increase. U.S. Census statistics show Holland’s overall unemployment rate in January was 14.6 percent. The current unemployment rate is comparable to what Holland experienced in the early 1980s, Mayor Al McGeehan said. It’s quite a contrast, however, to city life in the late 1990s. “It’s been a roller coaster over the last 25 years,� said McGeehan. “Anyone that would have driven into town (in the 90s) could have found a job before sundown. The change we are experiencing has been dramatic and it’s been rapid. I am not surprised but deeply saddened by the current state of our state economy.� 6 www.mmqb.com

lion, or 21.2%, when compared to the same period last year. This improvement is attributed to lower variable costs, fewer people and programs, and general cost controls. Sequentially, operating expenses decreased $15.1 million, or 15% from the second quarter. The company expects annualized expenditure levels to decline further as the benefits of announced actions are experienced for a full quarter. Excluding the restructure charges of $23.4 million, adjusted operating earnings for the quarter would have been $20.6 million, or 5.8% of sales. Greg Bylsma, Chief Financial Officer, stated, “The rapid implementation of expense and overhead cost reductions during the quarter, along with our organizationwide focus on continuous improvement, enabled us to rapidly adjust to an unprecedented drop in market demand. These actions were somewhat offset by unfavorable raw material prices. We expect additional benefits from our cost reduction efforts and improvement in raw material prices through the balance of this fiscal year.� The company’s quarter end cash position increased to $172.4 million compared to $81.4 million at the close of the prior year period. Cash flow from operations for the quarter totaled $18.7 million compared to $35.5 million for the same period last year. The operating cash flow for the quarter included approximately $9 million of payments related to the restructuring actions. Capital spending for the quarter was $4.5 million compared to $9.2 million a year ago. Capital spending year-to-date totals $20.3 million, a 28.0% reduction when compared to the $28.2 million spent during the same period last fiscal year. Walker concluded, “With all of the uncertainty in the global economy, it is difficult to predict the length and depth of The Monday Morning Quarterback Copyright Š 2009 by Zig Zag Corporation. ISSN 1064-3575 All rights reserved. Founded 1990 Subscribe instantly at http://www.mmqb.com Editorial / Sales office: 847-681-1199 Fax us at 847-681-1847 &NBJMJOGP!NNRCDPNtIUUQXXXNNRCDPN Federal copyright law prohibits unauthorized reproduction or transmission of this publication (pdf ) in any form and imposes fines of up to $100,000 for violations. Do not copy, it’s stealing and we will find you! Really! 1EVGL The Monday Morning Quarterback 5


Top News Steelcase to axe 106 jobs in eastern France

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Steelcase announced Thursday that it will cut 106 jobs at its three eastern French plants in Wisches, Marlenheim and Rosheim, and at its offices in Schiltigheim. A total 42 jobs out of 200 will be cut at Wisches, while Marlenheim will lose 26 of its 225 workers and Rosheim will lose 24 jobs out of 60. The Rosheim site will be sold. The group’s facility at Sarrebourg, eastern France, which employs 320, will not be affected.

Value priced Office Furniture maker Iceberg cuts Jobs All layoffs are permanent

the recession. However, I am confident that our management team and culture of employee ownership and participation will enable us to find creative methods to adjust in this difficult environment. This quarter’s results, while disappointing in absolute terms, once again demonstrated this proven ability to adapt, innovate, and execute. Our lean business model and continued investment in our performance innovation strategy will prove resilient and valuable today, and when the economic environment improves.”

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Iceberg Enterprises LLC/Penguin LLC, a maker of computer support desks, chairs and tables, announced a layoff of 48 employees at their Howe, IN warehouse. The layoff also affects their Sturgis, Mich., manufacturing plant. Approximately 150 employees out of a total of about 250 between the two facilities will be affected. According to a WARN notice company officials filed with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the layoff is due to an economic downturn in their business and the non-renewal of a current Little Tikes toy manufacturing contract. All layoffs are permanent and will be effective May 12. “We are appreciative of the efforts of all our employees and are extremely saddened by these developments,” Iceberg/ Penguin Chief Executive Officer Howard Green said in a release from the company. “Looking forward, as the economy begins to recover, Iceberg is well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities and continue the growth strategy successfully implemented in the past,” said Green. There is no union representing employees at either facility, and the company has no policy for transfer, bumping or reassignment for salaried office or management personnel. Iceberg Enterprises is based out of Park Ridge, Ill, also operating the 150,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Mich., and the 175,000-squarefoot warehouse in Howe. www.mmqb.com


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Top News Revenues fall at 20-20 Technologies in the first quarter Revenues amounted to $15.6 million compared with $16.8 million in 2008. Company foresees only limited growth in their existing markets with existing products 20-20 Technologies Inc. Tuesday announced its results for the first quarter ended January 31, 2009. (All amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise indicated.) First quarter revenues decreased by 6.9% to $15.6 million, compared with $16.8 million a year ago. Acquisitions made in the first quarter of 2008 contributed $2.5 million, offsetting in part the fall in organic revenues ($3.7 million) resulting from the unfavorable economic conditions in all geographic markets. Europe accounted for 45.0% of revenues or $7.0 million for the first quarter, an increase of 16.0% over last year, mainly due to the Planit(x) Fusion acquisition. North American revenues were down 19.4% to $8.4 million. Revenues from license sales declined by

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26.6%, or $1.5 million, to $4.1 million for the first quarter. Expansion into the European markets via acquisitions in fiscal 2008 resulted in an increase of 6.2% for licenses sold in Europe compared to the first quarter of 2008, offsetting the 46.7% fall in overall North American sales. Maintenance and other recurring revenues increased by 2.2%, or $0.2 million, to $7.9 million. Finally, revenues from professional services increased by 5.3%, or $0.2 million, to $3.5 million. Operating income for the first quarter was $1.6 million, compared with an operating loss of $0.6 million last year. Adjusted operating income increased to $2.2 million, versus an adjusted operating loss of $0.1 million last year. EBITDA increased to $2.6 million (16.4% of revenues) for the first quarter compared with $0.3 million (1.6% of revenues) a year ago. This improvement reflects the restructuring and cost reduction plans implemented in 2008 and early in 2009. These plans generated cost reductions of approximately $1.7 million in salaries and

$0.9 million in other miscellaneous operating costs. Also, as a significant portion of the company’s operating expenses are in Canadian dollars, the latter’s year-overyear decline versus the US dollar favorably impacted operating margins by $940,000. The company generated net earnings of $0.2 million for the first quarter, or $0.01 per share, compared with net earnings of $0.5 million, or $0.03 per share, a year ago. “Revenues continue to be negatively impacted by market conditions, particularly in North America. We have successfully realigned our costs with revenues and have protected 20-20’s cash position. The cost-saving measures implemented have already had a positive effect in the fourth quarter of 2008 and continued to improve our EBITDA and operating income in the first quarter of 2009,” said Jean Mignault, Co-Chairman of the Board and CEO. Jean-Francois Grou, President and COO said that market conditions in North America further deteriorated during the first quarter. “Retailers and manufacturers continue to look for solutions but

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Top News stop short of making significant commitments, while dealers have significantly diminished their investments, notably in the residential sector. Business in the commercial sector continues to be better even though it is softer than a year ago. We expect that these conditions will remain similar in the coming months.” “While conditions in Europe vary from country to country in our different markets, 20-20’s business abroad has not been impacted by the recession to the same extent as our business in North America. For instance, our business in Germany for the time being has remained firm. The much lower sterling pound and Euro year over year, however, have negatively affected our overall revenue as reported in US dollars.” “We do not expect market conditions to improve in the coming quarters, and therefore foresee only limited growth in our existing markets with existing products. However, we do anticipate that additional license revenues from our strategic initiatives and a higher proportion of license sales in our revenue mix will improve our gross margin. Furthermore,

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with operational costs lower in 2009 than in 2008 as percentage of revenues, we are confident the result will be a much healthier bottom line,” indicated Grou. “We will maintain investments in short term strategic measures and aggressively pursue all opportunities and prospects, while staying close to our existing customers. 20-20 has very little debt and we are determined to keep it that way, while preserving cash on hand to weather any storm the economy creates. We believe that the steps we have taken to lower our expenses and improve our profitability notwithstanding the economic conditions, will allow us to continue to achieve the important metric we have established of a minimum EBITDA of $2 million per quarter,” concluded Mignault.

Champion blames economy, weather for loss in first quarter Company reported flat gross margins in their office furniture segment. Champion Industries, Inc., a commercial printer, business forms manufacturer and

office products and office furniture supplier in regional markets east of the Mississippi, Tuesday announced a first quarter net loss of $(293,000) or $(0.03) per share on a basic and diluted basis. This compares to net income of $1,278,000 or $0.13 per share for the three months ended January 31, 2008. Marshall T. Reynolds, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Champion, said, “Our first quarter was negatively impacted by both the economic headwinds and a devastating ice and snow storm which effectively shut down many of our core markets for the last week of our quarter. We had begun to take selective actions over the previous several quarters in an effort to address the economic climate but clearly we will need to accelerate our operational realignment. We understand the challenges of 2009 and will continue to focus our efforts on the positive long-term objectives of our company. Although we are focused on the long-term we realize that we must also address current responsibilities and operating needs.” Revenues for the three months ended

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Top News January 31, 2009 were $36.3 million compared to $40.3 million in the same period in 2008. This change represented a decrease in revenues of $4.0 million or 10.0%. The printing segment experienced a sales decrease of $2.7 million or 10.6% while the office products and office furniture segment experienced a decrease of $0.8 million or 8.3%. The newspaper revenues for the quarter were approximately $4.5 million compared to $5.0 million in the first quarter of 2008. Toney K. Adkins, President and Chief Operating Officer, noted, “It was a tough quarter. We saw sales decreases in each of our business segments and margin compression in our printing and newspaper segments with flat gross margins in our office products and office furniture segment. We were unable to reduce our SG&A as quickly as hoped due in part to bad debt expense charges. We also charged off a relatively large receivable for a customer in the real estate business during the quarter.”

Reynolds concluded, “In uncertain times a company must stay the course. We are in the process of introducing new technology through our third party ERP provider to streamline our product offerings, improve quality control, and to provide powerful new marketing tools and materials to our customers. We are also working on numerous new account initiatives as well as integrated alliances. All of these initiatives in the end are directly tied into our core products of printing, variable data output and postal optimization. Our efforts should bring creative new sources for our customers to leverage the utility of these products. We are in difficult times and we must adjust our strategy accordingly. To this end and in an effort to further reduce the company’s leverage position and in recognition of the company’s current credit position the Board of Directors is suspending the company’s quarterly dividend.” 6

Watson Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Magna solid dedication to the environment,” he said. The goal is to officially complete the transition by April 1, 2009. “Magna Design will join Watson Furniture Group as an independent division alongside Watson Desking, Activewerks, and Watson Dispatch,” McKenzie said. “We look forward to a smooth transition as we

include Magna Design in the Watson Furniture Group family.” McKenzie is very confident about the transition. “I was very encouraged when we began talks with the leadership at Magna,” he said. “Their product lines complement Watson Furniture Group product lines and operations,” he added. 6

Watson acquisition a good match for everyone Watson Furniture Group’s Watson Desking, Activewerks and Watson Dispatch. Magna Design will keep its name and act as an independent division. The acquisition made sense after McKenzie crunched the numbers. Moving Magna Design’s production from Lynnwood, Wash. to Poulsbo would help Magna’s financial difficulties. “The answer was to move production under our roof,” he said. “That changes the numbers substantially. To effectively be able to move their operations really lowers the overhead. This gives us the opportunity to shore up our operating base and put Magna’s lines in a world class production facility. What we are doing is removing the overhead associated with running this operation.” Terms of the deal were not released. The acquisition is expected to be complete by April

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1. McKenzie said Sehrer is expected to stay with the Magna brand for at least a year, but details of the transfer are not complete. The two firms are completely compatible, McKenzie said. “The two companies have similar values, a comparable history, a committed work ethic, and a rock solid dedication to the environment.” It was Magna’s competency in the healthcare furniture market that made the company attractive to Watson. “Magna made some inroads into healthcare,” McKenzie said. “I really like the Magna product in that arena. Our product developments hasn’t been in healthcare.” McKenzie said the move makes good sense for his company. “We’re thrilled,” he said. “I think it is a nice Northwest story. It really enables us to combine some strengths.” 6

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The Numbers

!"#$%&'%()*'+#*,-'-"# BIFMA does publish shipment and consumption estimates, but those numbers seem to shift like quicksand and are about as firm. By Rob Kirkbride No one doubts the office furniture industry is in for a rough ride the next few months. But what remains unclear is how much shipments and consumption will actually drop. That information is critical to manufacturers, dealers and designers as they plan for the next six months or year. Yet there is a nagging problem in the industry: There is no place to find this information with any accuracy. The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association does publish shipment and consumption estimates, but those numbers seem to shift like quicksand and are about as firm. Sometimes it seems as if the group uses a dart board for statistical analysis rather than East Coast statistical firm Global Insight. BIFMA Executive Director Tom Reardon said collecting accurate economic data is not an exact science and admits the predictions are sometimes off and need to be revised. “Has the forecast been accurate? No. I don’t know anyone that can predict the future,” he said.

pany that comes up with the forecast, would not comment on the accuracy of its forecasts. Spokesman Jim Dorsey said the company “generally does not comment on the work we do for specific clients.” Historically, the BIFMA forecast has been adjusted as the economy improves or worsens. Earlier this month, BIFMA again lowered its 2009 forecast for orders to a decline of 26.5 percent, compared with its prior estimate of a drop of 11.6 percent. It now sees shipments falling 19.3 percent versus its previous forecast of a decline of 13.1 percent. During the last industry recession, beginning in 2001, Reardon said the group’s economic forecast “did not predict the depth or duration of that.” The actual decline at the depth of the recession was 19 percent. The forecast painted a rosier picture. While BIFMA’s forecasting has been off, making it of little value to manufacturers, the group’s monthly, quarterly and annual surveys are accurate and dependable -- but they come out after the fact. The monthly report is the most current on the industry and represents about 75 percent of the total U.S. industry volume, Reardon said. BIFMA handles its monthly report through accounting firm BDO Seidman. Surveys are sent to all of BIFMA’s manufacturing members. Not all of them respond. Members who respond get more analysis back from the group. But Dauphin President Gary Chin said the survey has become too complicated to complete. His company used to “contribute religiously to the figures,” but it became too “onerous” to fill out. “We did that for many years,” he said. “But we are a pretty small fish. It became a lot more difficult for us. It used to be as simple as asking you what you ship. Then BDO got more into it. It became far more

Sometimes it seems as if the group uses a dart board for statistical analysis rather than statistical firm Global Insight. The forecasts are sometimes so different from what is going on in the economy that members are questioning the value of the predictions and system by which they are compiled. Reardon said BIFMA is revising the way the numbers are crunched to better reflect current economic conditions. “Yes, (the accuracy of the forecast) has been brought up by members. We’ve recently taken steps to refine and improve the accuracy. It remains to be seen if those adjustments will help in that regard,” he said. Global Insight, the Boston-based comwww.mmqb.com

work than we anticipated. We need to take care of us first before we do any surveys.” Still, the January survey -- the latest available -- was completed by 38 companies that account for about 75 percent of the industry’s volume. The January survey showed orders fell 25 percent to $565 million and shipments fell 26 percent to $630 million. Reardon said BDO Seidman sends the monthly reports to Global Insight, which also uses other national macroeconomic data to come up with the forecast. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the economy is hurting. Reardon said the 19.3 percent projected decline in production is the most pessimistic forecast the group has ever issued. “I was not really surprised (by the prediction),” he said. “Based on what we’ve been seeing and hearing from people and from other industries, I was not terribly surprised by the numbers. If you look at the economy, it’s not hard to see why the forecast is what it is. People are saying it is the worst since the Great Depression. Every decline is different. I’ve experienced several recessions in this industry and several in the auto industry. All of them have different personalities. It is hard to make any projections on this one based on the last one. That’s part of what makes forecasting so difficult. While we have quite a bit of history to draw on, it’s still not exact.” Chin said he does look at the BIFMA forecasts, but puts more stock in what he reads in The Wall Street Journal and hears as he travels around the world. “I get the opportunity to go overseas and I always make sure to listen to what’s going on in those other places,” he said. “If I just depended upon what I hear in the U.S., I would think the world would be exploding.” Will the BIFMA forecast have to be revised down again? It is hard to tell. But Reardon has a prediction of his own: “There’s more pain to come.” 6 1EVGL The Monday Morning Quarterback 11


The Stocks

.%($/%)+'*%/*01201 A retiree who bought the same number of shares when Steelcase went public would have lost $330,700 if they sold the 10,000 shares today. By Rob Kirkbride Nowhere else is the saying, “hindsight is 20/20” more true than the stock market. Heck, I thought I was smart when I bought General Motors for $10 a share. Mighty GM couldn’t possibly fall below $10, I reasoned. GM is trading for about $2.65 a share these days, and if not for a government bailout, would likely be bankrupt. Office furniture industry stocks tanked this year as well, but some are staging a bit of a comeback. Just over a month ago, I asked MMQB readers whether Steelcase stock at $4.36 would be a bargain. It appears as if it was. The stock is trading at about $4.86 a share (it has sunk as low as $3.03 this year). Anyone who bought 10,000 shares of Steelcase when I asked that question would be $5,100 richer if they sold them today. That still doesn’t change the bigger picture when it comes to Steelcase’s stock. A retiree who bought the same number of shares when Steelcase went public would have lost $330,700 if they sold the 10,000 shares today. To use a more recent example, someone who bought 10,000 shares of Steelcase a year ago when the stock was trading at $12.35 would be out $74,800 if they sold it at today’s prices. Ouch. I’ve reported this before, but it deserves revisiting. The stock drops certainly are not limited to our industry. According to a Bloomberg report, the global stock market lost $30.1 trillion dollars of value in 2008, which does not include losses in the housing markets or decline of any other asset. Again, what does that really mean? The world has a population of about 6.6 billion. It means that every man, woman and child lost an average of $4,545 in 2008. Of course, the losses are on paper, but they are enough to give even the 12 The Monday Morning Quarterback

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most hardened investor reason to take a deep breath. Last year, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 4,488.43 points, or 33.8 percent. That marks the largest loss since 1931. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index sank 39.5 percent, the same decline as in 1937. All but two of the 30 Dow industrials, Wal-Mart and McDon-

ald’s, fell by more than 10 percent. So let’s revisit other stocks in the industry. Compared to historic averages, all of them are doing poorly. While Steelcase is up slightly since we looked at stocks in early February, Herman Miller continues to spiral down. The company’s stock traded for about $11.91 a month and a half ago and $28.92 the same time last year. This past week, it traded at $10.32. The company’s market cap, which was $1.78 billion last February, now stands at $554 million. Knoll has done a little better, but not much. The company’s stock traded for $12.43 a year ago and now trades for about $6.41 a share. The company’s market cap is $302 million, less than half what it was last year. HNI Corp. is suffering as well. HNI’s stock, which was trading for about $30 at this time last year, now trades for about $10.28. It’s market cap was more than $1.5 billion last year. Now, it’s market cap is about $456 mil-

lion. Kimball International continues to beat its competitors when it comes to its stock price. The company’s stock traded a year ago at $11.70. It was trading this past week at about $11.70, up from $8.28 in early February. Inscape Corp. is holding its own. The company’s stock is trading at about $2.25 a share, slightly less than the $2.65 a share it was trading at early in February. Interface continues to fare poorly. The company’s stock is trading at about $2.05 a share, about half of what it was when it traded for $4.09 in early February. Its market cap is down to about $130 million. So with prices so low, are industry stocks a bargain? I’ll leave that to the experts to decide. “Virtually all relevant economic drivers and leading indicators of office furniture consumption are declining and in many cases have reached unprecedented levels,” Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch wrote in a note to clients, adding that white-collar employment continues to deteriorate while office vacancy rates are increasing. “While Street estimates may still be too optimistic, we suspect 2009 will ultimately mark the trough for earnings (though perhaps not for revenues).” Bugatch, who knows the industry’s stocks as well as anyone, certainly doesn’t seem bullish in the short run. What’s an investor to do? I am happy to talk to friends and family about my meager investments, but I never give anyone investment advice. Few would listen to me anyway, and rightfully so. As for me, I’m going to keep that GM stock and ride it into the ground as a lesson to myself: Even when you think a stock can’t go any lower, unless it’s at zero, it certainly can. Maybe that should be a cautionary tale for industry stocks as well. 6 www.mmqb.com


Designer POV

34(*54#67( The company has a history of working with great designers and funneling their talents into some of the most striking and successful products ever seen. By Rob Kirkbride

F

ew people can say they have the same job once held by design great George Nelson. But Don Goeman

Goeman is the executive vice president of research, design and development at Herman Miller. And while he can. would never compare himself to a great like Nelson, his body of work spanning nearly 30 “All the creative work that comes out years at Herman Miller of Herman Miller comes from a lot of is impressive in its own right. different places.” Consider the fact that www.mmqb.com

Goeman oversaw the development of the Aeron and Embody office chairs, Resolve, My Studio and Vivo systems, Leaf light and countless other products over the course of his career. At Herman Miller, the design director’s job is more orchestra conductor than pure artist. The company has a history of working with great designers and funneling their talents into some of the 1EVGL The Monday Morning Quarterback 13


Designer POV most striking and successful products ever seen in office furniture design. Goeman is intimidatingly tall and thoughtful and deliberate when he speaks. And he is humble. He expressed

concern that an article like this would take the spotlight off his research and design team, where he thinks it belongs. “There is a lot of pressure in a job like this,” he said, “but I don’t have to take it all on personally. All the creative work that comes out of Herman Miller comes from a lot of different places.” Goeman joined Herman Miller’s New Product Development arena in 1980, and during his 29 years with the company he has held a variety of new product design and development leadership positions. In 1997, the Product Development Management Association (PDMA) recognized Herman Miller for its product design and development practices as Corporate Innovator of the Year. His background is rooted in West Michigan. He is a graduate of Hope College in Holland and the University of Michigan. The design legacy at Herman Miller is unique in the industry. That makes Goeman’s job a bit easier. Instead of starting from scratch on every project, Goeman builds on what the company has done in the past, refining, improving and building on what came before. Performance and innovation drive design at Herman Miller, Goeman said. And after 29 years, he’s still excited about the direction new product development is going. Technology continues to invade the office and Goeman said there is opportunity when it comes to marrying furniture and tech products in a way that is unobtrusive and instinctual. “I think there is a real opportunity to take technological innovation and turn that into products that think and respond to you,” he said. “It’s a whole new way of thinking about objects and thinking about materials that go with them.” Design at Herman Miller goes beyond 14 The Monday Morning Quarterback

1EVGL

the product. The company -- and Goeman -- is keenly interested in how the product relates to the user. Goeman harkens back to Nelson when he talks about design creating social change and social change affecting design. Herman Miller’s founders and Nelson created the company legacy of working with outside designers. It is a tradition that lives on with Goeman. Like those who went before him, Goeman looks for designers to work with that “can provoke us to a new place,” he said. Goeman tends to look for designers that are good social assimilators -- those who can take what’s happening in the world around them and blend it into a new product that really resonates in the time it exists. “It is an often-repeated phenomenon at Herman Miller,” he said. “We are drawn to designers who have insight into social change and a strong vibe for how to translate that into the products they create.” By picking the right designers to work with, the company can step back a bit and let the design process work. “You’ve got to have a willingness to abandon yourself to the idea,” he said. “You can’t immediately judge a product as not appropriate before you let the process work.” A perfect example of the company letting the design process drive product development can be found in the creation of the Aeron chair, arguably the most successful and recognizable piece of office furniture ever sold. A lot of things were changing in the world in the mid-1990s. Things were changing socially as well. Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf came to Herman Miller with the right product for the right time. While Aeron’s shape and use of mesh seems commonplace now, it was a radical departure at the time. Goeman calls it a “disruptive” product -- one that shook up the industry. Not everyone at Herman Miller was convinced the Aeron chair would be a success. Focus groups hated it. But the chair was backed strongly by Herman Miller’s research and development experts. Presented with the skeletal chair without padding, less adventurous companies might have passed on the Aeron. Herman Miller pressed ahead. “I would say the success of the Aeron was a wel-

come surprise,” Goeman said. “I think all of us were surprised by the impact and reach of the Aeron.” The company’s design history and its willingness to let designers be creative makes Herman Miller an attractive company. Designers continually seek Goeman out. They want to work with Herman Miller. “The design and creative community already knows Herman Miller before we ever talk to them,” he said. “Herman Miller is almost always a part of the education process. That awareness of Herman Miller brings lots of introductions our way.” Goeman is always looking for new products that have an element of performance along with an “ah ha” factor, a product that delights. “It all has to do with function, performance and innovation,” he said. Almost everything is possible, almost anything feasible today, Goeman said. Products that once had a singularity of purpose can now move to new levels of complexity and performance. Goeman thinks about his friend Bill Stumpf, who he worked with from his earliest days at Herman Miller. Stumpf died a few years ago. “Bill always talked about the art of daily living,” he said. “I like to think about design like that as well.” 6

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Product Briefs

This week’s Introductions Details launches SOTO worktools

Details launches SOTO

Research into the habits of office workers has led to the development of SOTO worktools, a collection of organizational and productivity tools that work on and inside freestanding furniture. The SOTO collection (it stands for “state of the office”) by Details, a Steelcase company and the leader of the worktools product category, is now available. SOTO is a stylish and contemporary worktool collection exclusively created for freestanding applications, including the Details height-adjustable table line and the new Steelcase c:scape furniture. The entire collection is designed to meet silver Cradle to Cradle specifica-

www.mmqb.com

tions. However, the composition of the cord and driver on the LED light precludes full C2C certification for the light. Certification comes from McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, a product and process design firm that promotes “eco-effective” product development. Elements within the SOTO collection attach to a horizontal rail that clamps to the back edge of freestanding worksurfaces. The collection rounds out Details extensive lineup of worktools. SOTO was born from an intense process of user observation. The SOTO design team learned how people: plan their anticipated work; organize their active work; and display their personal objects. The research behind SOTO concluded that today’s office workers are blending their professional and personal lives like never before - not just bringing personal photos into their work space, but also cell phones, music players, and perhaps even gym shoes. The design process led to the cohesive set of worktools ready to serve the state of the office as it exists today; designed to link work, workers, and the workplace. The collection of connected worktools provides numerous solutions to address paper and object management, office organization, and lighting. Worktools include an LED task light that can be mounted to the rail or used freestanding; boxes for storing, piling, and organizing; and various shelves to hold documents, supplies, and personal items. There’s also a vertical display shelf that provides instant access storage, while serving as a privacy barrier between workstations in an open environment. The utility box also does double duty, not only storing writing utensils, but also hiding personal items, especially when nestled inside the display shelf. Much of the appeal of the new SOTO worktool platform lies in its ability to minimize visual clutter with clean lines and quiet aesthetic. “Worksurfaces are shrinking, thanks to the popularity of flat-panel monitors and the trend toward freestanding environments,” says Jeff Charon, SOTO category manager. “SOTO truly addresses the state of the office by providing solutions that help workers get the most from limited space.” www.steelcase.com 1EVGL The Monday Morning Quarterback 15


Weekly Figures Stocks

COMPANY

SYM

CLOSE

CHANGE

52/W LOW

52/W HIGH

P/E

MKT CAP

MMQB Contract Furniture Index

Aaron Rents

RNT

23.80

-1.08

15.11

30.22

14.28

1.28b

2000

Chromcraft

CRC

0.28

0.03

.20

4.75

NA

1.72m

1500

1000

2/23

3/2

3/9

3/16

3/23

CompX Int’l Inc.

CIX

5.45

0.24

4.30

9.70

NA

67.37m

Design Within Reach

DWRI

0.61

0.20

.31

4.50

na

8.83m

Flexsteel

FLXS

5.11

-0.07

5.11

14.50

46.04

33.60m

Herman Miller

MLHR

9.95

0.13

7.91

32.07

3.89

534.13m

HNI

HNI

9.72

-0.01

7.70

34.37

9.50

430.83m

INSCAPE

INQ.TO

2.25

0.45

C1.60

C4.50

28.12

C21.94m

Interface

IFSIA

2.31

0.28

1.45

15.67

na

145.99m

Close

Previous

Change

Kewaunee

KEQU

8.50

0.00

6.50

18.80

5.78

21.73m

1627.68

1583.79

+43.89

Kimball Int’l

KBALB

6.60

0.63

4.05

12.75

na

244.64m

52 week low

Knoll Inc.

KNL

6.06

-0.19

5.33

18.68

3.33

285.30m

1363.30

Leggett & Platt

LEG

11.94

-0.04

10.03

24.60

19.23

1.87b

YTD Gain or Loss: -24.78%

Office Depot

ODP

1.38

0.28

.059

14.39

na

379.27m

Stocks on Wall Street lost ground on Friday, partly owing to a drag from financials, but the major averages, including the MMQB Index, finished the week higher than where they started. For the week, the MMQB Index climbed 2.6%, the Dow rose 0.7%, the S&P gained 0.4%, and the Nasdaq added 1.8%, marking the first twoweek gain since the spring of 2008. A new 52-week low was achieved during the past week by Flexsteel. There were, of course, no new 52week highs.

OfficeMax

OMX

2.71

0.15

1.86

22.22

na

206.74m

Staples

SPLS

17.01

0.81

13.57

26.57

15.03

12.16b

Steelcase

SCS

4.99

0.30

3.03

13.93

8.07

667.32m

1.25

0.25

C0.86

C6.50

na

C23.65m

MMQB INDEX FOR THE WEEK:

52 week high 4231.94

16 The Monday Morning Quarterback

20-20 Technologies TWT.TO United Stationers

USTR

25.15

3.96

18.20

53.60

6.09

na

Virco

VIRC

2.32

0.37

1.65

5.41

26.07

33.47m

1EVGL

www.mmqb.com


Weekly Figures U.S Office Furniture Production Est. SOURCE: BIFMA

Year

Volume

% change

Value of U.S. Office Furniture Market (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

SOURCE: BIFMA

Year

Production

%Change

Imports

Exports

Consumption

%Change

2008

$11,160

-2.3%

$2,510

$679

$12,991

-3.2%

5.5%

$2,563

$565

$13,419

4.4%

2008

$11.2 billion

-2.3%

2007

$11,420

2009e

$9.0 billion

-19.3%

2006

$10,820

7.4%

$2,531

$492

$12,859

7.9%

2010e

$8.9 billion

-1.1%

2005

$10,070

12.7%

$2,280

$438

$11,912

12.3%

2004

$8,935

5.1%

$2,022

$347

$10,610

5.4%

2003

$8,505

-4.3%

$1,870

$307

$10,068

-2.5%

2002

$8,890

-19%

$1,777

$338

$10,328

-16.4%

2001

$10,975

-14.4%

$1,806

$430

$12,351

-17.0%

2000

$13,285

8.5%

$2,094

$496

$14,883

9.5%

e=estimate Revised 3/2/2009

U.S Office Furniture Consumption Est. SOURCE: BIFMA

Year

Volume

% change

Revised 2/23/2009

2008

$12.9 billion

-3.2%

2009e

$10.5 billion

-19.0%

2010e

$10.5 billion

-0.1%

Year 2008

27.6%

11.3%

5.4%

14.5%

9.2%

26.4%

5.6%

The chief office furniture trading partner with the U.S. is Canada, receiving about 50% of all U.S. office furniture exports, and currently providing about 45% of all office furniture brought into the States. That percentage was closer to 60% in the late 1990’s but imports from other countries, particularly China, have gradually been increasing their share of the U.S. market.

2007

27.9%

11.0%

7.3%

12.7%

7.5%

28.8%

4.8%

2006

26.5%

10.9%

7.4%

13.3%

7.2%

30.2%

4.5%

e=estimate Revised 3/2/2009

Annual Shipments by Product Category Seating

Desks

SOURCE: BIFMA

Storage

Files

Tables

Systems

Other

2005

26.3%

11.1%

7.6%

14.6%

7.5%

28.8%

4.2%

2004

26.5%

11.0%

7.9%

14.1%

7.2%

29.4%

3.9%

2003

26.6%

11.0%

8.0%

13.5%

6.8%

30.5%

3.5%

2002

25.7%

11.9%

6.3%

14.3%

6.8%

30.9%

4.1%

2001

25.2%

11.5%

6.0%

12.6%

7.1%

33.7%

3.9%

2000

24.9%

11.9%

4.9%

12.4%

6.4%

36.6%

3.0%

"Okay, my client tells me they need a table to seat 40, fold up, and fit into a suitcase ... So, of course I think: Nevers Studio!" All Nevers collections have been thoughtfully designed and engineered to specifically support technology-rich meeting environments.

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1EVGL The Monday Morning Quarterback 17


Industry Briefing Events NEW YORK / May 5-7, 2009 Lightfair International - the Future. Illuminated. Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY. www.lightfair.com LAS VEGAS / May 14-16, 2009 HD 2009 Expo and Conference at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. www.hdexpo.com CHICAGO / June 15-17, 2009 NeoCon World’s Trade Fair at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart www.neocon.com TORONTO / September 24-25, 2009 IIDEX/NeoCon Canada at the Direct Energy Centre. www.iidexneocon.com BALTIMORE / October 28-29, 2009 NeoCon East at the Baltimore Convention Center www.neoconeast.com

BRIEFING ErgoGenesis Rescinds Energy Surcharge ErgoGenesis, manufacturer of BodyBilt ergonomic seating, announced Tuesday an end to their Energy Surcharge that was implemented in July 2008. ErgoGenesis cited a reduction in overall energy costs as being the driving force behind ending the surcharge at this time. “Our dealers and customers have been extremely understanding during the past several months while this surcharge was in place, and we appreciate them so much,” said Bernie Lynch, National Sales Manager. “We are pleased to be able to take this action now, and provide some economic relief of our own.” With this surcharge rescinded, the overall cost of ErgoGenesis products have now returned to their January 2008 levels. Says Lynch, “It is our desire to keep our prices extremely competitive, particularly in this tight economy. We expect to be more aggressive 18 The Monday Morning Quarterback

than ever in seeking out new sales opportunities, and of course our pricing will play a big part in that.”

Seen:

Brooks Named President of Maxon Maxon Furniture Inc. last week named Redus Woodrow Brooks (Woody) as President effective immediately. In this capacity, Woody will oversee the development and implementation of strategic initiatives to achieve company growth objectives. Woody has extensive experience in all aspects of the office furniture business to include sales, marketing, manufacturing and organizational development. Woody will report to Jean Reynolds, Vice President of Corporate Marketing and e-Business for the HNI Corporation. Prior to joining Maxon, Woody was the President and COO of Modular Office Solutions in addition to Vice President and General Manager of IntraSpec Solutions in Minneapolis, MN. IntraSpec Solutions was previously a division of Omni Workspace, a sister operating company of the HNI Corporation. During his tenure at Modular Office Solutions the company introduced lean principles to all functional areas of the business, resulting in improved performance and sales growth.

Teknion becomes Partner of 2009 IDEC Annual Conference Teknion Corporation announced last Monday that it is partnering with the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) to sustain the pool of qualified interior design educators. As the Visionary Partner, Teknion will lead an industry coalition including office furniture manufacturers, interiors product manufacturers, architectural and interior design firms, design schools, publishers and interior design professional associations for the 2009 IDEC Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo. from March 25-28. Over the last few years, the number of qualified interior design educators has not kept pace with demand. There is a growing student interest in interior design

1EVGL

(From L to R) Monique Birault of USC, Susan Papadakis of Warner Brothers, Linda Kayne of Kimball Office and Marike Smith

LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. Social media provide important new ways to network in a grim economy. But turning a business contact into a meaningful relationship also requires quality time. Which is why Kimball Office and its Select dealer United Interiors recently provided a Spring Stimulus for LA’s design and building community. “Architects, designers, developers and others related to the building industry have been hit particularly hard by the recession,” said Holly Rau, Market Sales Manager, Kimball Office. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to talk to each other face-to-face about their firm, their experience and potential projects.” The event gave nearly 100 architects, designers, facility professionals and real estate brokers a chance to meet, mingle and gain exposure that could lead to future work. Among the diverse firms represented were HDR Inc, Interior Architects, Perkins & Will, Rossetti Architects, Warner Brothers, the University of Southern California, Barrister Executive Suites, and CB Ellis. The event also provided a forum for launching “Hum. Minds at Work”, Kimball Office’s new open plan solution.

education, increased number of interior design and specialty programs, and retirement of baby boomer educators. IDEC is dedicated to sustaining interior design education and welcomes Teknion’s sponsorship and leadership to bring stakeholders together.

“The IDEC conference and the IDEC Sustaining Interior Design Education Initiative is an opportunity to come together as an industry, engage in dialogue and create a unified voice to ensure the education of interior designers well into the future,” stated Lourdes Collins, Teknion’s National Pro-

RESERVE YOUR NEOCON SPACE TODAY 6 Special NeoCon Issues Pre and Post Show Coverage lizwolf@mmqb.com

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Industry Briefing gram Manager for Architecture and Design. Collins continued, “IDEC has created a task force of industry pioneers - including interior design practice leaders Eileen Jones of Perkins+Will and Nila Leiserowitz of Gensler, and interior design education leaders Denise Guerin of the University of Minnesota, Joy Dohr of the University of Wisconsin, and Andrew Furman of Ryerson University. This IDEC- designated group will spearhead the implementation plan to increase the number of qualified interior design educators in the next two to five years.” Jeffrey Beachum, Executive Director of IDEC commented, “We appreciate Teknion’s support. It will make a tremendous difference in launching this important initiative to ensure interior design education and sustainability of the profession.” Collins concluded, “We are excited to work with IDEC and honored to support this important industry conference.”

OFS Brands ranked 35th in FDM 300 OFS Brands was recently ranked 35th in Furniture Design Magazine’s annual top 300 list. Companies are ranked based on annual sales volume for the most recent fiscal year. The FDM 300 includes the largest manufacturers of cabinets, furniture, millwork, store fixtures, and office and contract furniture in North America. OFS Brands is the parent company to OFS and First Office, which cater to office and contract furniture; Carolina, which represents Healthcare; and Loewenstein, which represents Hospitality and Education.

Compatico in Partnership Compatico Inc. and BRC Canada said recently that they have formed a strategic partnership for the sales and distribution of all Compatico products in the Canadian marketplace. The partnership combines two complementary office furniture companies that focus on meeting customer leadtimes and budgets while still offering substantial finwww.mmqb.com

ish options. “The fit between the companies is good for our Canadian customers,” said Compatico vice president of sales & marketing, John Rea. “Both companies, Compatico (systems) and BRC Canada (laminated casegoods) have trusted reputations for quality and customer service.”

Office Funnies by Jamie Cosley:

More Bretford furniture products earn Greenguard Certification Bretford Manufacturing, Inc., last week revealed that more of its laminate tables, carts and accessories are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Certified  by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI). The newly approved models have achieved the GREENGUARD standard for low emitting products and for the Children & Schools product certification program. With these additions, a total of 88 Bretford products now bear the GREENGUARD logo and can be specified to help commercial facilities achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) points, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings.

PAOLI Seating Achieves Environmental Certification Seventeen Paoli executive, management, and conference chair series have been certified as meeting criteria of the ANSI/ BIFMA Furniture Emissions Standards. The certified chairs qualify for environmental quality credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system. The components and raw materials of the chairs were tested under rigorous protocol and certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) as conforming to the indoor air quality criteria established by BIFMA. The chairs have received the SCS Indoor Advantage certification. Certification to BIFMA’s indoor air quality standard is voluntary.

Achieving this certification demonstrates Paoli’s ongoing environmental commitment and reinforces the company’s role as a leading supplier of furniture with reduced environmental impact.

Indian Wipro enters Premium Office Furniture market Pune, India-based Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting group, part of diversified Wipro Ltd, will soon start production of branded premium office furniture at its new factory at Waluj near Aurangabad, said company vp and furniture division head, Parag Kulkarni. “Our popular range of furniture is manufactured through captive vendors. However, we needed a greater control over the design, production and finishing process for the premium range so we set up a separate factory at Waluj,” Mr Kulkarni added,”Some sectors are expanding even in the current market conditions. Banks, insurance companies, telecom operators are investing in offices in many cities and villages. They are potential customers, as they need sophisticated furniture. The premium furniture available currently is sold by foreign brands, which is priced higher and not available at all places while the I’M range will be 35% costlier than our current range but cheaper than foreign brands.” The country’s premium segment comprises about 35% of the total modular market. Furniture comprises 10% of Wipro Consumer Care and Lightings’ revenues while lighting contributes 20% of the parent company’s revenues, the balance being FMCG goods.

National Office Furniture’s EnvyWorks Achieves SCS Indoor Advantage Certification Already earning Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Sustainable Choice Gold mark, National Office Furniture’s EnvyWorks casegoods recently achieved SCS Indoor Advantage certification by meeting indoor air quality criteria. The criteria for the Indoor Advantage certification are based on the Furniture Emission Standard (FES) established by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA). Indoor Advantage certification can help contribute points towards earning a USGBC LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. “Product certifications ensure that end users and the environment truly benefit from sustainable efforts,” says Mendy Claridge, Product Line Manager, LEED AP, “We are proud to announce this latest certification for EnvyWorks.”

ODDS & ENDS NOW REPPING: Contract New England, Inc. in the New England area for Indiana Furniture. Devin McGlynn is principal of Contract New England, Inc. based in Boston, MA. NOW REPPING: Blessing Associates in Eastern PA, DE and Southern NJ; Westside Sales Associates in Northern CA and Reno, NV; and Office Furniture Concepts in LA and MS – all for Nevers Industries, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN. 6

1EVGL The Monday Morning Quarterback 19


MarketPlace To place a Marketplace Ad simply go to: http://www.mmqb.com and click on “Place a Job Ad” or “Place a Classified Ad.” Questions? Call us at 847681-1199 x1. Ads close Friday 6:00 pm for Monday’s edition.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT / SALES REP. OPPORTUNITY

Work for the premiere Herman Miller dealer in the Bay Area! Key Deliverables: Demonstrate initiative by prospecting and closing sales leads within variety of commercial markets. Consistently exceed customer expectations by adding real value at each phase of the sale, by being accountable to customers, and by making and keeping commitments. Provide a consultative approach to selling by working to understand the customer’s critical business needs and by delivering appropriate solutions with a sense of purpose and urgency. Ideal Profile: Personality: Self motivated, resourceful, quick study, relationship driven, multitasker, strong work ethic, high energy, positive, assertive, detail oriented, strategic, team player, persistent, resilient. Knowledge: Prospecting, probing, influencing, closing. Comfortable with technology, at ease with C-level executives, consultative selling, creating and delivering presentations, familiar with contracts and proposals. Knowledge of contract furniture industry and related products, applications, and design concepts preferred. Motivations: Long term career, growth, recognition, money, affiliation, achievement, freedom, security. Send us your resume: pdonlon@pivotinteriors.com EOE

SALES REPRESENTATIVE - AZ & NM WIELAND - Healthcare Sales WIELAND is looking for a sales professional to represent our healthcare seating products in the Arizona and New Mexico market. Our company is a leading provider of lounge and patient room seating products to healthcare facilities across the country. Our continued growth in the healthcare market provides a tremendous opportunity for the right individual or rep organization. This position will be responsible for developing all segments of our healthcare marketing including end users, dealers and A&D. A successful sales background in healthcare or experience working in the healthcare environment is preferred. Please send inquires along with complete background information to: sschneider@wielandhealthcare.com Wieland website: www.wielandhealthcare.com

20 The Monday Morning Quarterback

INTERIOR DESIGNERS/CAD AND PROJECT MANAGERS Stable Company Seeks Senior Professionals with Proven Interior Design or Project Management Experience

We have an ongoing need for experienced (5 yrs +) in the office furniture industry. We are seeking to fill both project management and space planning/CAD positions to support our government customers in the DC metro area. CAD applicants must be proficient in AutoCAD 20/20, CAPS or GIZA. Team management and architectural background is a plus. Project managers must have relevant casegood furniture experience including managing projects from beginning to installation. Applicants for both positions must have outstanding customer service, proven experience working in the systems furniture industry and proficiency using Microsoft Office. Send resumes with salary requirements to Apply@JMCBusinesssystems.com. IN SUBJECT LINE WRITE: MMQ

LOOKING FOR A DISTRIBUTOR! FURSYS, high quality office furniture company, is looking for a distributor in the U.S. High quality office Furniture Company, Fursys, Inc in Korea is looking for distributors in the States. Established in 1983, Fursys has sales of USD 200 million and works with international dealers in 40 countries all over the world. Fursys has been number one in the Korean market and now we are ready to expand and serve the USA with you, an experienced distributor. If you are interested in this position, please do not hesitate to call Wook, Kim at 82-2-3400-6457. Phone: 82 2 3400 6457 FAX: 82 2 443 3812 Email: cruise704@fursys.com

OUTSTANDING SALES CAREER OPPORTUNITY

GM POSITION WITH EQUITY IN ORLANDO FL

Outside Sales Representatives

This is a great opportunity for the individual who wants to own a Steelcase dealership.

NATIONAL BUSINESS FURNITURE-Join the successful leader in office furniture sales National Business Furniture, the 30 year leader in catalog and on-line business furniture sales has expansion opportunities for top notch outside sales representatives residing in or near Houston, Washington DC, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and St Louis. Will consider placement in other major cities with good customer base. Stable company. No caps on commission. Generous full benefit package, car allowance, computer, solid customer base, large vendor selection, access to government contract, excellent design and customer service support. 3-years of business-to-business end-user office furniture outside sales experience required. Must be comfortable working from home office and have ability to travel within territory including use of personal vehicle. Comfortable with sales process. Well organized. 3-4 months on salary and then draw against commission Visit www.nationalbusinessfurniture.com for company information. Send resume and earnings expectations to: hr@nbf.biz Attn: OSGH

DEALER REPS.....DO YOU CALL ON THE VA? Service disabled veteran-owned teaming partner We are a service disabled veteran-owned dealer holding our own GSA contract. We can help you secure local projects with the VA, and other Federal agencies. For more details, please contact: alan@sdvfurniture.com

Storr Office Environments is seeking an individual to lead a newly acquired dealership and aggressively grow market share in the Central Florida market area. The ideal candidate will have prior sales management experience and ability to develop and direct a leadership team. As a Leader with Storr you will work with other experienced leaders from other Storr dealerships and sell a comprehensive portfolio of products and services. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to purchase a majority interest in the company. For more information about Storr check our web page at www.storr.com Please e-mail your resume to: tvande@storr.com

HEALTHCARE DIVISION SALES LEADER Join this Seattle Steelcase Dealer with 60 years of market leadership! BarclayDean, an award winning Steelcase dealer in the Seattle area, has an exciting new opportunity for a Senior Sales Professional to lead our Healthcare Division. Ideal candidates will have a proven history of success building and leveraging strong relationships in the A&D and Healthcare communities, running a business unit and increasing market share. Must possess the drive/vision to make an immediate impact on our organization. Senior level strategic sales experience is required. Contract furniture industry knowledge preferred. Apply online at www.hrpmsi.com/jobs/hdsl.htm

ATT’N: DEALER REPS - BIG SPIFFS Want to Maximize your earnings in this tough economy? We can help! We are a key manufacturer of ergonomic seating, accessories and productivity enhancing work tools. We have revamped our compensation structure to maximize the return for our people in the trenches, our dealer sales people! We are offering spiffs as high as 20% of net sale on everything we carry and we guarantee our prices to be competitive with what you are currently selling. E-mail davem158@gmail.com for all the details. We are looking forward to sending you some big checks!!

1EVGL

www.mmqb.com


MarketPlace SALES MANAGER

TERRITORIAL SALES MANAGER

Are you a hunter, hungry for sales? Can you succeed in a Stock Economy?

Are you a hunter?

If you possess the drive, the passion, the motivation, and the determination to be a proven hunter in the sales field, this is the opportunity for you. ErgoGenesis, manufacturers of BODYBILT® ergonomic seating and ErgoFusion ergonomic accessories, is currently seeking a Territorial Sales Manager for the Following areas: s Seattle, WA s San Diego, CA s Washington D.C. s Chicago s Dallas, TX s Southern NJ/PA This is a great opportunity for a selfmotivated, disciplined individual with strong contract furniture and business sales experience. Excellent income potential, attractive benefits, company vehicle, and travel expenses are all available for the right candidate. (EEOC/AA Employer) Requirements: s Proven Performer in the Southern New Jersey/Pennsylvania market s New Account Conversion Ability s Conversant in GSA and Commercial Sales s 3 or more years in the contract furniture industry ONLY HUNTERS NEED APPLY to: employment@ergogenesis.com

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OPPORTUNITY 40-year-old, progressive high-end casegoods manufacturer Family owned Canadian domestic manufacturer committed to working hard at developing a market presence is seeking a self-motivated, experienced individual to be a strong addition to our team as Director of Business Development for our office division. The responsibilities encompass all aspects of marketing and product development including, but not limited to: developing and managing a sales rep base, dealer and design community contact, territory travels, catalogue design, market show preparations, sales meetings, customer service and dealer distribution network. Applicants must be assertive, creative, flexible and have a sense of urgency. Writing, speaking and computer skills, along with leadership ability, an asset. Must be able to present our company, our products and programs in a professional manner. Please forward resume and salary expectations to Human Resources by fax: 416 745 1803 or via email to: hrm@ledafurniture.com

www.mmqb.com

Can you succeed in a Stock Economy? If you possess the drive, the passion, the motivation, and the determination to be a proven hunter in the sales field, this is the opportunity for you. ErgoGenesis, manufacturers of BODYBILT® ergonomic seating and ErgoFusion ergonomic accessories, is currently seeking a Territorial Sales Manager for the Southern New Jersey/Pennsylvania markets. This is a great opportunity for a self-motivated, disciplined individual with strong contract furniture and business sales experience. Excellent income potential, attractive benefits, company vehicle, and travel expenses are all available for the right candidate. (EEOC/AA Employer) Requirements: s Proven Performer in the Southern New Jersey/Pennsylvania market s 3 or more years in the contract furniture industry ONLY HUNTERS NEED APPLY to: employment@ergogenesis.com

KI SALES REPRESENTATIVES Join the trusted furniture market resource. KI is looking for experienced salespeople to join our sales team. Positions are available in Raleigh, NC and Los Angeles, CA. Candidates with previous contract furniture industry or related experience selling to the government market are invited to apply for the Government Sales position in Raleigh. Your track record of success in strategic GSA selling will be recognized. Use your government expertise to build a strong territory. The Sales position in Los Angeles will be calling on decision-makers to market KI’s products. KI sales reps also work closely with influential architects and designers to increase KI’s consideration in targeted projects. Candidates with 2-4 years of related selling experience are preferred. Your relationships with end users and the architect and design community will be rewarded. If you thrive on furnishing knowledge and providing solutions to clients’ needs, visit www.ki.com and apply today. Females and Minorities are encouraged to apply. EOE

MARVEL GROUP, INC. WANTS WINNERS! Come grow with us! We want your high energy and experience for our growing Office Furniture Team. We are looking for proven performers. If you are self-motivated and interested in excellent commissions and know the Contract Furniture Industry, contact us today. Please call 773-843-2964 or e-mail: fortinjoe@marvelgroup.com

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT / SALES ASSOCIATE

SERVICES

Ground Floor Sales Opportunity Midwest “Green” company concentrating on the manufacturing and distribution of products used in office furniture panels. Need experienced sales professional to launch products. This is a salary plus commission position. Position requirements include minimum 10 years sales experience in the office furniture market or product development with an office furniture company, bachelor’s degree in business related field, excellent communication and organizational skills, history of obtaining customer orders, ability to address both commercial and technical sides of the product, confidence to function at executive management level, capacity to be credible and persuasive with key decision makers, target driven and results focused. Actively seek new customers through appropriate means, coordinate presentations to potential customers, build estimates, close sale based on the needs of the customer, work with manufacturing for scheduling and product development. Prefer candidate currently living in Western Michigan, Northern Indiana area. Send resume to: officepanels@yahoo.com

TERRITORY SALES MANAGER Seeking Superstars! Are you a hunter? Can you succeed in a Stock Economy? If you possess the drive, the passion, the motivation, and the determination to be a proven hunter in the sales field, this is the opportunity for you. ErgoGenesis, manufacturers of BODYBILT® ergonomic seating and ErgoFusion ergonomic accessories, is currently seeking a Territorial Sales Manager for the Following areas: s Houston, TX s San Diego, CA s Washington D.C. s Los Angeles, CA s Chicago s Dallas, TX s Southern NJ/PA This is a great opportunity for a selfmotivated, disciplined individual with strong contract furniture and business sales experience. Excellent income potential, attractive benefits, company vehicle, and travel expenses are all available for the right candidate. (EEOC/AA Employer) Requirements: s Proven Performer in the market s New Account Conversion Ability s Conversant in GSA and Commercial Sales s 3 or more years in the contract furniture industry ONLY HUNTERS NEED APPLY to: employment@ergogenesis.com

WEB BASED OFFICE LAYOUT DESIGN AND RENDERING Increase sales by showing the best features of your products. Millipede is a fully integrated web-based application that enables a furniture manufacturer to offer 3D photo-realistic designs of their products at their web site. Since it is totally web-based, designs are instantly available to clients, dealers, and the A&D community. The user can make a design from scratch using our unique error free technology and/or view offerings from a pre-configured design library. The selection can then be viewed in full 360 degree 3D. What-if scenarios can easily be made by changing finishes, and/or parts with an instant price recalculation. Once the final plan is made, it can be saved in dwg format, printed, and /or ordered. It is compatible with all installed electronic design tools. Incorporation fees start as low as $1,500/ line for pre-configured designs and $5,000/line for design from scratch. For a Millipede demo go to www.millipe.de For more information contact Jim Smith (800) 350-7434

SEASONED OPERATIONS MANAGER NEEDED Growing company needs experienced leader Operations Manager needed in San Diego to manage our Furniture Installation & Corporate Relocation Field Staff. Must have furniture experience. Email resume to: info@4myoffice.com.

SPECIFICATION SERVICES Design and specification services for dealers and manufactures. Servex-US is an independent design and specification department for Steelcase, Herman Miller, Allsteel, Teknion, AIS, Allsteel, Knoll and many more. We have 20 full time designers that work with over 500 dealers primarily in North America. We work on a per-project basis and charge $42 an hour using 2020 CAP and Giza. As dealers adjust to the economic climate Servex can assist you in designing and specifying your projects. We offer fast turnaround times and affordable rates. We also have a photo rendering department that can work from CAP or Giza files to produce renderings at $55 an hour. Contact Nick Fernandez: 212 647 0110 or email nfernandez@servex-us.com. Visit our website at www.servex-us.com.

1EVGL The Monday Morning Quarterback 21


MarketPlace LOOKING TO ACQUIRE SEEKING BUSINESS TO ACQUIRE Seeking to acquire business or product line.

Job Search Snapshot:

Coffee first, MMQB second

A leading U.S. manufacturer of seating products selling to universities & K-12 schools is looking to acquire companies selling products into any of these markets. Backed by private investment capital, we have experience acquiring and integrating companies and providing attractive exit strategies for owners of businesses. Contact Gary confidentially at 847-926-0295

PARTS FOR SALE SAFEGLIDES®FELT FLOOR PROTECTORS! Protect Your Floors

The only glides recommended by flooring manufacturers and installers. Safeglides provide maximum protection against marring, scratching, or denting wood, cushioned vinyl, tile and marble. The wood felt and plastic are skillfully and permanently bonded. They won’t rust or corrode like metal glides. They’re quiet and glide easily and safely across smooth, clean surfaces. All glides are heavy duty. Safeglides protect beautiful floors by virtually eliminating scratching. The wool felt glides provide an excellent buffer to keep furniture moving across the floor as easily as possible. The wool felt protectors keep wood, vinyl, tile, stone, terrazzo, and marble flooring looking great longer. The glides are designed for contemporary and antique furniture as well as wicker and rattan. Available in White or Brown. 3 sizes to choose from. Problem Solver Ph:800-286-5471 Fax:631-269-7345 Email: psorders@problemsolver.us Web: www.oodlesofpartsplus.com

WORKSURFACES- STEELCASE, HAWORTH, HERMAN MILLER

Check out our straights, corners, contours, curved corners, transactions, 3mm edgebanding, 90 & 180 degree edges, 1-1/4 & 1-1/2 thickness, etc. Whether you need 10 or 10,000 worksurfaces, National Office offers a limited lifetime warranty and lead-times to meet your project deadlines. Our extensive finish library is guaranteed to satisfy your customer’s need for matching existing worksurfaces or creating a new look. For projects attaining LEED certification, we offer Sierra Pine SDF which is formaldehyde free and made from 100% recycled wood. Let us bid your next project. For more information, samples and prices contact our wholesale division: 800-321-6165 www.gen2officefurniture.com, a product of National Office, Cleveland, Ohio. 22 The Monday Morning Quarterback

1EVGL

MMQB

THE BUSINESS OF THE CONTRACT FURNISHINGS INDUSTRY

www.mmqb.com


MMQB - March 23, 2009  

The Monday Morning Quarterback - March 23, 2009

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