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MMQB THE MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK

5.04.09

Where Do We Go From Here? Amidst the chaos, it’s a comfort to know that critical mass continues to form around certain ideas. Trends mean the world is not completely random, that a lot of people are seeing things the same way.


Top News / May 4, 2009 CompX First Quarter Sales Hammered Sales slide 30% in latest quarter. Furniture component maker CompX International Inc. announced Friday sales of $28.5 million for the first quarter of 2009, down 30% compared to $40.5 million in the same period of 2008. CompX reported an operating loss of $937,000 in the first quarter of 2009 compared to operating income of $3.5 million in the same period of 2008. Net loss for the first quarter of 2009 was $580,000, or $0.05 per share, compared to net income of $1.6 million, or $0.13 per share, for the same period of 2008. Net sales decreased principally due to lower order rates from their customers across all business segments as a result of general unfavorable economic conditions in North America. The decrease in operating income is primarily due to the effects of the lower order rates and reduced coverage of overhead and fixed manufacturing costs from the resulting under utilization of production capacity, partially offset by the positive effects of cost reductions implemented in response to the lower order rates and the favorable impact of relative changes in foreign currency exchange rates. “Market demand continued to weaken in the first quarter resulting in additional cost reduction actions within our operations as we worked to align our cost structure with sales volume,” commented David A. Bowers, President & CEO. “Although we anticipate the remainder of the year to continue to be a challenge due to the economic environment, we expect to be well positioned to take advantage of the recovery when it occurs due to our lean cost structure and diversified product offering.” 6

Interface Reports First Quarter Sales Fell 23.9% The corporate office segment saw the largest sales decline in the quarter Interface, Inc. Wednesday announced that sales for the first quarter of 2009 were $199.3 million, compared with sales of $261.7 million in the first quarter of 2008, a decline of 23.9%. Approximately 9% of the sales decline was related to fluctuations in currency exchange rates relative to the year ago period. Excluding the previously announced restructuring charge of $5.7 million, operating income for the 2009 first quarter was $8.8 million, or 4.4% of sales, compared with operating income of $31.0 million, or 11.8% of sales, in the first quarter last year. Including the charge, operating income in the 2009 first quarter was $3.1 million, or 1.5% of sales. Income from continuing operations, excluding the restructuring charge, for the first quarter of 2009 was $0.5 million, or $0.01 per share, compared with income from continuing operations of $14.1 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2008. Including the charge, the company reported a first quarter 2009 loss from continuing operations of $3.5 million, or $0.06 per share. Net loss for the 2009 first quarter was $4.2 million, or $0.07 per share, compared with net income in the year ago period of $14.1 million, or $0.22 per diluted share. “Historically, the first quarter is our seasonally slowest period, and this year market conditions were even more challenging due to the global economic recession,” said Daniel T. Hendrix, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We did see initial signs of stabilization by the end of the quarter, as our consolidated order trend settled at an approximate 25% decline versus the prior year, and our backlog increased $8 million versus the beginning of the year. These factors, which have continued into the second quarter, encourage us to believe that we may be seeing the bottom of the cycle. Overall, the corporate office segment saw the largest sales decline in the quarter, while geographically the emerging markets and the U.K. were the hardest hit. The effects were less pronounced in the Americas, where our market diversification strategy has positioned us with a presence in certain segments, such as government, that have held up better in this environment.” Hendrix continued, “Throughout the quarter, we continued to actively manage our cost base to adjust to current demand levels and position our business for economic recovery. As a result of these efforts, we saw sequential monthly improvements in operating profitability in both February and March, as our costcutting and restructuring initiatives began to take hold. With most of our restructuring activities behind us, we expect to realize close to the full amount of the projected annualized cost savings from these actions beginning in the second quarter.” Patrick C. Lynch, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, commented, “From a financial perspective, our focus remains on cutting costs, generating solid cash flow and reducing

Office Furniture USA continues RecordSetting Pace for Franchises Company set a new record - for new showrooms opened In 2008, Office Furniture USA set a company record with 36 new dealer partners added. In the first quarter of 2009, the company set a new record - for new showrooms opened. A total of 15 showrooms were opened in the first quarter of 2009, an average of more than one showroom per week. Dealer showrooms were opened in Augusta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ga.; Columbus, Miss.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Lake Oconee, Ga.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Louisville, Ky.; Miami, Fla.; Muncie, Ind.; Newport News, Va.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Raleigh, N.C. “A showroom is a key factor in our business model,” said Dennis Arnold, president of Office Furniture USA. “It provides a way for potential clients to see products from the different manufacturers in our program. It’s also a physical touch-point for the sales rep, providing them with a differentiator in their selling process vs. other dealers in their area.” The company continues to add new dealer partners across the country. Three dealers were added since the beginning of the year, in Mansfield, Ohio; Findlay, Ohio; and Los Angeles, Calif. Since January 2007, Office Furniture USA has added 63 new dealer partners to its network. “We continue to identify the best, most successful dealerships in the U.S. as potential partners,” Arnold said. “While we want to expand our base of dealer partners, we also want to focus on professional, high-quality dealers who will bring a lot to the table. With these new dealer partners, we’ve been very successful in attracting the type of dealerships we want in our program.” Office Furniture USA has 187 dealer-owned franchises. 6


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

Will it only be about price? The Wall Street Journal had an interesting story last week concerning corporate purchasing. It seems that companies are finding ways to save money during this “grinding” recession - by “shopping” even office pens. What does this mean for big ticket items like office furniture? Well, that’s an easy one - it means bigger discounts (if that’s possible) and less margin (if that’s possible). In the office supply business you’ll recall how the big three (Depot, Max and Staples) killed off the little office supply retailers in towns and villages across the country (and around the world). Now comes the revenge, delivered (naturally) by the Internet. “Online discounters and retail giants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. are cranking up their efforts to woo customers of the big office superstore chains. The result: a wave of price-competition that is benefiting lower-cost vendors and encouraging companies to switch suppliers. Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club, a warehousestore chain, last month began sending employees to small businesses to compare office-supplies prices, and plans to provide cost comparisons for 100,000 businesses by late May.” Amazon.com Inc. launched its own office supplies store on its U.S. site in June 2008. “We were already in the business for ink and toner for printers,” said Paul Ryder, an Amazon vice president. “We just said, ‘Why don’t we go all the way into office supplies?’” Seems competition is coming from everywhere, and not just in the supplies side of the business. Now furniture buyers (at the value end anyway) are becoming smarter shoppers. Earlier this year, when the city of Bandon, Ore., was looking for 300 metal chairs for a community center, it invited three retailers to enter bids: among them Staples and BizRhino.com Inc., an online retailer that launched its new Web site in February. BizRhino’s bid of $12,911.52 won out over a $14,726 bid from Staples, the city said. Rex Emami, director of operations for BizRhino. com, of Torrance, Calif., said he’s still “making a good profit” on the Bandon sale because of lower overhead. His company has three employees. Staples said the Bandon loss was a “onetime” event. Nevertheless, selling value priced office furniture still seems to be a good bet. Office furniture carries, according to the Journal, a pretax gross margin of as much 60%. It’s a good bet that more and more office furniture will be selling online soon.

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our overall debt. The first quarter typically is a heavy cash use period for us. However, our tightened spending policies resulted in a net use of cash in operating, investing and financing activities during the first quarter of 2009 that, excluding bond repurchases, was $18.0 million less than the prior year period. Including the bond repurchases, the net cash use in operating, investing and financing activities was $7.7 million less than the first quarter last year.” Hendrix concluded, “As the global leader in modular carpet, Interface has undertaken a number of initiatives to better position itself to handle the cycles typically associated with our marketplace and specifically to enhance our position in the current economic downturn. We have diversified our business in terms of both end markets and geographies served, sold non-core assets, improved the efficiency of our manufacturing processes, and realigned our cost structure to match current demand levels. While still cautious, we are encouraged by the stabilizing trends we saw during the first quarter, and we expect to see improved performance in the second quarter and to increase profitability over the remainder of the year.”

FOREIGN MFG’S Austrian Office Furniture Maker Cuts Jobs Bene AG plans to cut 125 of its 1,060 jobs in the country It’s not just North American office furniture makers that are having problems. Austrian office furniture supplier Bene AG said last week that it plans to cut 125 of its 1,060 jobs in that country. In addition, the company will lay off 60 The Monday Morning Quarterback Copyright © 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 Email: info@mmqb.com • http://www.mmqb.com 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! May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 5


Top News WHOLESALE CHANNEL

MMQB.COM ONLINE POLL

United Stationers Sales Decline 9% in First Quarter

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workers who will be called back after two months. “Thus Bene reacts on time to the considerably changed economic conditions on the markets,” the company said in a press release. In the next few months, Bene sees a considerable acceleration of the consolidation processes in the office furniture sector, which will be coupled with strong sales and price pressure. In the mediumand long-term, Bene sees a clearly positive economic environment for continued growth.

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United Stationers Inc. reported first quarter 2009 sales declined 9% per selling day, and diluted earnings per share were $0.57, or $0.66 after excluding severance charges. Cash flow from operations was $115.8 million, or $138.8 million on an adjusted basis. The combined year-overyear decline in debt and accounts receivable sold was $174.4 million. “We continued to face challenging market conditions in the first quarter driven by weakness in employment trends and manufacturing,” said Richard W. Gochnauer, president and chief executive officer. “We took a number of actions to reduce costs and working capital as sales declined. This enabled us to generate particularly strong cash flow, and further enhance our financial strength and flexibility. We remain on track to deliver our projected War on Waste (WOW2) initiatives. In addition, we took further steps to trim costs to bring our total cost reductions in closer alignment with sales. At the same time we maintained high service levels and continued to invest in new capabilities and growth initiatives, making progress on our long-term growth strategies while managing effectively through the recession.” Sales for the first quarter were $1.12 billion, down 9% per selling day compared with $1.25 billion a year ago, with one less selling day in the current quarter. Continued weakness in the economy contributed to reduced sales in all product categories with the exception of janitorial/breakroom, which remained at last year’s level. From a customer channel perspective, continued strong growth in new channels helped to partially offset declines with national accounts and independent reseller channels. The gross margin rate for the quarter was 14.7%, comparable with the yearago quarter. Gross margin was positively affected by inflation, which was offset by lower purchase volume-related allowances earned from suppliers. First quarter 2009 operating expenses

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8 The Monday Morning Quarterback

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Top News were $135.4 million or 12.1% of sales, compared with $139.9 million or 11.2% of sales in the first quarter of 2008. Operating expenses in 2009 included a $3.4 million charge for severance costs in connection with the previously announced workforce reduction. Without this charge, operating expense was $132.0 million, or 11.8% of sales. Total expense dollars were down as a result of aggressive cost containment actions that more than offset higher bad debt reserves. However, the operating expense rate was negatively affected by deleveraging of costs as sales declined. Operating margin for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, was 2.6%, versus 3.5% in the first quarter of 2008. Excluding the severance charge, first quarter 2009 operating margin was 2.9%. Diluted earnings per share for the latest quarter were $0.57, compared with $0.88 in the prior-year period. Adjusted for the severance charge previously noted, earnings per share for the current quarter were $0.66. Net cash provided by operating activities for the 2009 three months was $138.8 million(1), excluding the effects of accounts receivable sold. Cash flow used in investing activities totaled $2.0 million in the latest quarter, compared with $8.0 million in the same period last year. Capital spending for 2009 is expected to be approximately $15-$20 million. Strong cash flow resulted in a reduction of $174.4 million in outstanding debt plus securitization financing during the past 12 months. Outstanding debt was $552.5 million and total committed debt capacity was over $900 million at March 31, 2009. During the first quarter of 2009, the company entered into a new accounts receivable securitization program that was structured to maintain the related accounts receivable and debt on its balance sheet. In contrast, the previous securitization facility was structured for off-balance sheet treatment. “Strong cash flow is a hallmark of our business - even more so in a declining sales environment when working capital contracts,” said Gochnauer. ���Our goal is to keep working capital aligned with sales, enabling us to maintain high service levels, a strong balance sheet and access to cost-effective credit.” “While we are encouraged by some rewww.mmqb.com

cent trends, we expect markets to remain weak in the near term and are planning accordingly,” said Gochnauer. “Adjusting for the effects of the Easter holiday timing, April sales show a slight decline from the first quarter sales trends. On a more positive note, the economy has generated renewed interest among customers and suppliers around utilizing United’s capabilities to reduce their supply chain costs and inventory investments. The slower economy has also expanded interest from customers in selling more of our complete portfolio of products. The cost reductions we implemented will have a greater impact in the second quarter, and we will make further adjustments as needed to align costs with sales. We are encouraged by our strong cash flow and will maintain disciplined management of working capital. We remain confident in our team’s ability to provide high-value services to our customers and suppliers and take the necessary steps to manage through the recession while building for the future.”

SUPERSTORE CHANNEL OfficeMax Profit Tumbles as Customers Cut Back First-quarter profit plunged 79%, after the recession and rising job losses led to a cutback in spending from both its regular and business customers OfficeMax Incorporated Thursday announced the results for its first quarter ended March 28, 2009. Total sales decreased 17.0% in the first quarter of 2009 to $1,911.7 million compared to the first quarter of 2008. Net income decreased in the first quarter of 2009 to $13.1 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, from $62.4 million, or $0.81 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2008. Sam Duncan, Chairman and CEO of OfficeMax, said, “Although our financial results declined in the first quarter versus the prior year period, we continued to make improvements to our business and to contain costs. We believe the actions we have been taking significantly benefited our company’s performance this quarter. We improved Retail segment operating expense as a percentage of sales compared to the first quarter of 2008 as

a result of reorganizing our management, more efficient execution, and tighter cost controls. Our efforts to streamline our business are enabling us to operate profitably and preserve cash and liquidity to carry us through this very challenging economic environment.” Results for the first quarter of 2009 and 2008 included certain charges and income that are not considered indicative of core operating activities. First quarter 2009 results included a $9.9 million pretax charge related to Retail store closures in the U.S. and Mexico, and a pre-tax benefit of $2.5 million recorded as other income related to tax distributions from the company’s investment in Boise Cascade, L.L.C. First quarter 2008 results included a pre-tax $20.5 million benefit recorded as other income related to tax distributions from the company’s investment in Boise Cascade, L.L.C., which was partly offset by a $4.2 million pre-tax charge related to the consolidation of manufacturing facilities in New Zealand and employee severance for restructuring the Retail field and ImPress print and document services management organization. Excluding the items described above, adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2009 was $17.4 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $52.6 million, or $0.68 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2008. OfficeMax Contract segment sales decreased 22.4% (15.4% after adjusting for the foreign currency exchange impact) to $927.6 million in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008, reflecting a U.S. Contract operations sales decline of 18.9%, and an International Contract operations sales decline of 30.1% in U.S. dollars (a sales decrease of 7.6% in local currencies). U.S. Contract sales in the first quarter reflect weaker sales from existing corporate accounts and our continued discipline in account acquisition. Contract segment gross margin decreased to 21.0% in the first quarter of 2009 from 22.7% in the first quarter of 2008, primarily due to softer market conditions and a sales mix shift to a higher percentage of lower-margin consumable items. Contract segment operating expense as a percentage of sales increased to 18.7% in the first quarter of 2009 from 17.5% in the first quarter of 2008, primarMay 4, 2009

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Top News ily due to deleveraging of fixed operating expenses from lower sales. Contract segment adjusted operating income decreased to $21.5 million, or 2.3% of sales, in the first quarter of 2009 compared to adjusted operating income of $62.0 million, or 5.2% of sales, in the first quarter of 2008. OfficeMax Retail segment sales decreased 11.2% to $984.1 million in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008, reflecting a same-store sales decrease of 12.7%, partially offset by sales from new stores. Retail same-store sales for the first quarter of 2009 declined across all major product categories primarily due to weaker small business and consumer spending. Retail segment gross margin decreased to 27.5% in the first quarter of 2009 from 28.5% in the first quarter of 2008, primarily due to deleveraging of fixed occupancy costs from the same-store sales decrease and new stores, and a sales mix shift to a higher percentage of lower-margin technology category sales, partially offset by improved margins on certain products. Retail segment operating expense as a

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percentage of sales was 24.9% in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 25.7% in the first quarter of 2008, and reflects reduced payroll, targeted cost controls, and reduced depreciation expense as a result of store impairment charges incurred in 2008; partially offset by deleveraging of fixed operating expenses from lower sales. Retail segment adjusted operating income decreased to $25.3 million, or 2.6% of sales, in the first quarter of 2009 from adjusted operating income of $31.2 million, or 2.8% of sales, in the first quarter of 2008. OfficeMax ended the first quarter of 2009 with a total of 1,020 retail stores, consisting of 939 retail stores in the U.S. and 81 retail stores in Mexico. During the first quarter of 2009, OfficeMax opened 6 retail stores in the U.S., and closed 6 stores in the U.S. and 2 in Mexico. For the full year 2009, OfficeMax expects to open up to 12 retail stores, and to close between 15 and 25 retail stores. The OfficeMax Corporate and Other segment includes support staff services and certain other expenses that are not fully allocated to the Retail and Contract seg-

ments. Corporate and Other segment operating expense was $9.4 million in the first quarter of 2009. As of March 28, 2009, OfficeMax had total debt of $342.2 million, excluding $1,470.0 million of timber securitization notes, which have recourse limited to the timber installment notes receivable and related guarantees. As of March 28, 2009, OfficeMax had $149.3 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $486 million in available (unused) borrowing capacity under its $700 million revolving credit facility. The company’s unused borrowing capacity as of March 28, 2009 reflects an available borrowing base of $551 million, no outstanding borrowings, and $65 million of letters of credit issued under the revolving credit facility. During the first quarter of 2009, OfficeMax generated $3.1 million of cash from operations, a decrease from the first quarter of 2008 primarily due to lower net earnings and the timing and associated decrease of payables and accruals, mitigated by reduced inventory levels. OfficeMax invested $10.9 million for capital expenditures in the first quarter of

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Top News 2009 compared to $33.3 million in the first quarter of 2008. OfficeMax expects capital expenditures for full year 2009 to be in the range of $50 million to $70 million. In the near-term, April sales trends, including the negative impact of the timing of the Easter holiday, are more unfavorable compared to the first quarter trends. With respect to the full year, given the projected weak economic outlook, OfficeMax remains cautious in its expectations for 2009. The company expects sales to decline in 2009 on a yearover-year basis as a result of the difficult economic environment. In addition, the company is cycling significant expense reductions completed in 2008. As a result of these factors, and based on the current outlook, OfficeMax expects continued deleveraging of costs and expenses for the remainder of 2009. Duncan concluded, “We are committed to placing OfficeMax in a stronger position for when the macro economy and industry trends improve. To do this, we are executing important initiatives that are centered on three key areas: growth, differentiation, and productivity. Further, we are strictly managing capital and we remain confident in our ability to generate positive cash flow for the year. We believe that all of our efforts will help us navigate the current environment and strengthen our business for the long-term.”

Office Depot Sales Fall 19% in First Quarter During the first quarter Office Depot closed 107 stores Office Depot, Inc. Tuesday announced company sales for the first quarter decreased 19% to $3.2 billion. Total company operating expenses, adjusted for charges, decreased by $192 million from the first quarter of 2008. EBIT, adjusted for charges, was $57 million in the first quarter of 2009 or 1.8% as a percentage of sales, compared to $124 million or 3.1% as a percentage of sales in the prior-year period. The company reported a net loss of $55 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared to earnings of $69 million in the same period of 2008. The loss per share

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on a diluted basis was $0.20 for the quarter, versus earnings per share of $0.25 in the first quarter of 2008. Adjusted for charges, the company reported earnings of $27 million and earnings per share on a diluted basis of $0.10 for the first quarter of 2009, versus earnings of $78 million and earnings per share of $0.29 in the same period one year ago. In the first quarter of 2009, the company’s cash flow from operations was $98 million and cash flow before financing activities was $160 million. First quarter 2009 sales in the North American Retail Division were $1.4 billion, down 16% compared to the same period last year. Comparable store sales in the 1,138 stores in the U.S. and Canada that have been open for more than one year decreased 17% for the first quarter. While most of the decline can be attributed to macroeconomic factors as consumers and small business customers reduced their spending, especially on large ticket items like furniture and computers, the decision to be less aggressive with advertising promotions in certain categories also contributed to the sales decrease. The North American Retail Division had an operating profit of $81 million for the first quarter, basically flat with the operating profit of $82 million reported in the same period of the prior year. The benefit to operating profit from higher product margins, lower charges for shrink and inventory valuation, unprofitable store closures and expense reduction, was offset by the flow through impact from the sales volume decline in the first quarter. During the first quarter, Office Depot closed 107 stores and relocated one store, bringing the total store count to 1,160 as of March 28, 2009. Inventory per store was approximately $635 thousand at the end of the first quarter of 2009, down about 27% from the prior year. This decrease is primarily due to improved inventory management and reduced exposure to big ticket inventory items. First quarter 2009 sales in the North American Business Solutions Division were $914 million, down 17% compared to the same period last year, driven by continued significant spending cuts by the Division’s customers in all segments. The North American Business Solutions Division reported an operating profit of

$33 million for the first quarter of 2009 compared to $60 million for the same period of the prior year. The decrease in operating profit during the first quarter of 2009 primarily relates to the flow through impact from the sales volume decline, the negative impact of product margins, including a less profitable mix, cost increases that were not fully passed on to customers and increased promotional activity in the Direct channel. These impacts more than offset reduced selling expenses, lowered general and administrative costs, and increased vendor program funds. The International Division reported sales of $875 million in the first quarter of 2009, a decrease of 24% compared with the same period last year, while sales in local currency decreased by 9%. Division operating profit was $19 million in the first quarter of 2009 compared to $60 million in the same period of the prior year. The decrease in operating profit was driven by the flow through impact from the sales volume declines, an increase in promotional activity, cost increases that could not fully be passed on to the customer and unfavorable foreign exchange rates that more than offset an improvement in operating expenses. The company recognized about $120 million of pre-tax charges related to the strategic business review actions taken in the first quarter of 2009. The charges related primarily to lease accruals, severance expenses and inventory write downs related to facilities that closed during the period. During the balance of 2009, the company expects to recognize approximately $110 million in additional charges related to actions covered by both the strategic review and legacy 2005 initiatives. The actions taken as part of the strategic business review should benefit full year 2009 EBIT and cash flow by approximately $130 million and $85 million, respectively. In addition to the cash flow benefits provided by the actions taken as part of the strategic business review, the company continues to pursue other internal sources of liquidity. In the first quarter of 2009, Office Depot realized approximately $160 million in cash from these initiatives, including sale leasebacks of owned properties in the U.S. and Europe, dividends received from a joint venture, www.mmqb.com


Top News tax refunds and the benefit from reduced capital spending. At the end of March 2009, the company had nothing drawn on its asset-based loan (ABL) facility, and had $160 million in outstanding letters of credit against the facility, leaving it with $630 million of availability. With $630 million of ABL availability and $176 million in cash on hand at the end of March, Office Depot exited the first quarter of 2009 with $806 million in total available liquidity. The company expects the ABL availability to increase by $100 million to $150 million in the second quarter as inventories ramp up to support the third quarter Back to School season.

TECHNOLOGY Mobelwerk Svoboda Selects 2020 Technologies’ inSight Enterprise inSight was positioned against strong competition and was ultimately granted the go ahead to replace Svoboda’s legacy ERP system 20-20 Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday the signing of an agreement to implement its Enterprise inSight manufacturing solution at Mobelwerk Svoboda, a leading Austrian office furniture manufacturer. Svoboda is well-known for its office furniture products, and in particular, its custom-tailored workplace solutions. “We decided to implement Enterprise inSight following an extensive selection and review process. It was ultimately the 20-20 team’s deep understanding and experience with the furniture manufacturing industry that led us to this decision,” said Bernhard Holzer, Managing Director at Svoboda. Enterprise inSight was positioned against strong competition and was ultimately granted the go ahead to replace Svoboda’s legacy ERP system. It will support all business processes - from order entry through engineering configuration and into shop floor execution - to achieve reliable, flexible and lean practices. By implementation, Svoboda’s showrooms will already be using inSight’s powerful order and configuration capabilities to reduce errors and streamline order information flow throughout Austria. “20-20’s Enterprise inSight is the ideal fit for Svoboda’s highly configurable product www.mmqb.com

portfolio as its engineering configuration methods will strongly support the company’s mass-customization approach. inSight’s open and flexible system will allow for a most secure staged implementation approach while interfacing with the legacy system as Svoboda requires,” said Jean-Francois Grou, 20-20 Technologies President and Chief Operating Officer. As Svoboda reviews and optimizes its business processes throughout the implementation processes, it will benefit from inSight’s architecture that can tailor its system behavior to reflect Svoboda’s specific requirements. Svoboda is a privately owned business with headquarters in St. Pölten, Austria and employs 285 people. Its revenues reached US$57.4 in 2007-08. Within this same period, exports to European countries grew significantly as did its well-established Austrian businesses.

REMANUFACTURING Remanufacturer Smart Office Systems in Bankruptcy Deal with Kentwood Office Furniture withdrawn Lansing Michigan based office furniture remanufacturer Smart Office Systems has filed for bankruptcy protection after the recession crushed its business. The company remanufactured Haworth and Herman Miller systems furniture. The company also acted as a dealer for new furniture from Global Total Office, HON, National, Izzy and many others. “It’s unfortunate but we thought it was the right thing to do,” CEO Paul Covert told the Lansing State Journal. Privately owned Smart Office Systems, with more than 50 workers as of November 2008, opened a new 82,000-squarefoot headquarters last fall. Covert said the company, which filed for bankruptcy April 16, has laid off a “handful” of workers. In its filing, Smart Office Systems estimated its had assets of $500,000 to $1 million and debt of $1-$10 million. Smart Office Systems had filed a motion to sell “substantially all its assets” to Kentwood Office Furniture LLC of Grand Rapids, but Kentwood withdrew its offer April 27, according to court records. 6 May 4, 2009

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WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

When you have massive layoffs and the disbanding of entire interior design departments you start to wonder if all of this was some sort of illusion. A look at the latest industry trends. BY STACY FEENEY

leanings and it now encompasses the entire enterprise: Is a product truly sustainable? Is the company that makes it in it for the long run? Does the design itself embody a timelessness that will endure? These are important questions that we all need to consider as we develop and implement our ideas. Authenticity is really about whether something exhibits a deep sense of being real: Levi’s are authentic; a Montblanc pen is authentic; they are true to themselves, true to the people that created them and true to the people that use them. Furniture is no different.   Any thoughts on why there’s a recent focus on authenticity? The reason I think authenticity has become more relevant is due in no small amount to recent events; people are searching for stability, calm, confidence, and they want to surround themselves with objects that embody a sense of being real, true and enduring.

Amidst the chaos, it’s a comfort to know that critical mass continues to form around certain ideas. Trends mean the world is not completely random, that a lot of people are seeing things the same way. MMQB’s Stacy Feeney recently talked with industry veterans in the areas of design, sales and employment to understand emerging trends. What trends are you seeing in the industry?

Brian Graham, Principal of Graham Design, San Francisco, CA

The two trends I’m seeing in the furniture world that I inhabit are sustainability and authenticity. I think the word sustainability has grown beyond the realm of its environmental 14 The Monday Morning Quarterback

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How about the economy? Downward pressure on pricing has been, and will continue to be, a factor in the evaluation and decision making process of design. I see it in the increased rigor that a product goes through as it’s being considered for development and introduction into the marketplace. And I welcome that increasing level of scrutiny, because in the end it will deliver a more well considered and meaningful product. I’m hearing and seeing and reading all of the same bad news as everyone else, and it can be both depressing and, oddly enough, cathartic. When you have massive layoffs and the disbanding of entire interior design departments you start to wonder if all of this was some sort of illusion. And in a way I think it was. With all of this negativity swirling around us it’s hard to think positively about the future. What I think we should all remember is that design is an optimistic act. Everyday we are asked to look beyond the limitations of present circumstances to envision the opportunities of tomorrow. We need to remind ourselves and our clients that we are deeply engaged in the business of possibility and that it is in our very nature to go beyond

what’s expected, or required, perhaps even what we’re been paid for, to create something that is truly transcendent. What trends are you seeing?

John Inmon, market manager, Colorado, Herman Miller, Inc.

One trend we’re seeing is that clients are engaging project management firms more often in their relocation projects. Many firms do not have dedicated internal personnel to handle all the aspects of relocating their business. In recent years we’ve also seen an increased sophistication or understanding in many project management firms. Many project managers came from the construction industry and tended to commoditize office furniture the way drywall or traditional construction materials were perceived. We’re being brought into projects right on the heels of the architect now that some PM firms have recognized the need to have

Many project man the construction in to commoditize of way drywall or tradi materials we furniture vendors and architects on the same page during the development phase. How has this changed the sales process? Furniture vendors are being invited to meet with prospective clients before project award as well. Given that a client’s relationship with their furniture vendor will continue well beyond project completion (moves/adds/changes, etc.), many PM firms want to ensure a good fit between client and vendor. What is different for employers/employees now than two years ago?

Stephen Viscusi, CEO of The Viscusi Group and Founder of www.BulletproofYourResume.com

I’m telling manufacturers that are clients, as well as people looking for jobs, www.mmqb.com


to follow the Obama dollars in their state. That is, in the states where the money is going to be -- and if your governor is giving back the Obama dollars he’s an idiot, because the money will help our industry. What advice do you have for people trying to get a job? Most critically, people need to realize that they need to use keywords in their resumes. Use the phrase “new business development” in your resume if you’re in sales. If it’s not in there, you’re wasting your time. The number one thing to remember is that as a headhunter, I’ve rarely had an opportunity to fill a position where somebody’s looking. Someone is always getting the axe who doesn’t know it. Therefore, when you network, which is important, don’t ask your friends who has openings or is looking -- just see where they can introduce you. Just like everyone has

nagers came from ndustry and tended ffice furniture the itional construction ere perceived. a boss they don’t like, everyone has an employee they don’t like. You never know where the axe will fall and if your resume is on someone’s desk, they will give you a call. Also, people need several types of resumes today including those to post on job search sites such as www.monster. com, www.careerbuilder.com or www. theladders.com. Human beings rarely read resumes today -- it’s computers. Also, don’t be naive. Contingency headhunters aren’t the way to find a job during the recession. If you’re unemployed and looking for work, you should be approaching companies yourself. Think of it this way: Who wants to pay a fee to a contingency recruiter for setting up an appointment for you to meet with them, especially when you’re unemployed? Who do you think you are, Madonna? Remember, if you’re employed and www.mmqb.com

you want to see what’s going on out there and want to put your resume online, go for it, but “cloak” it. I once found one of my employee’s resumes posted online with her name out there for all to see. She became my former employee that day. What are you seeing among employers? Our retainer searches are down about 40 percent on the sales level, but on the CEO and VP of sales level, interestingly enough, business is the same if not picking up a little. It seems to be that board members or private owners tend to be blaming the VP of sales for the economy instead of the recession. So we have a lot of high-level searches going throughout the world. I counsel my clients not to blame the candidate, but 95 percent of our searches are confidential, which means we’re always replacing someone who doesn’t know they are getting the axe. The dealers have been decimated the most and have let the most people go. Manufacturers in many areas are replacing slackers with new people. What trends are you seeing in the industry?

Brett Kincaid Director of Design for Steelcase North American Studio

The biggest trend that we see is a tidal wave of smaller trends. The most important thing for us is understanding the diversity of work today. More of our customers are getting a specific understanding of their needs around technology and work flow and they have a clear understanding of their own brands. They are becoming more sophisticated and expecting solutions tailored to the specific needs they have. An example? Take collaboration. We hear it as a general buzzword. As we deal with companies we often get into a conversation about collaboration that exposes the type of teamwork that is very specific to a company. From small-group to largegroup or touchpoint to constant dayto-day collaboration, they understand exactly how they want to work and are looking for a solution specific to that.

The new products we develop have the flexibility to adapt to their needs. What’s driving that? It has progressed fairly quickly in our industry. We as a company have spent a lot of time and energy understanding work. We look at social behavior and technology and how these things come together. We share that information with architects, designers and corporate customers. Over the last 5-10 years that conversation has gotten to a level of maturity where many people are confident in knowing what their company needs. And we are confident in our understanding of what those needs are. It has provided us with ability to react. Is this a larger trend? Our industry isn’t alone in this trend. If you look at consumer products -cars, even bicycles -- you see this idea of one size fits all is being replaced by products, objects, services that target a specific lifestyle. Companies have that same expectation. Mass customization in consumer products has enabled that to some extent, but even amongst production products that are not really customizable there is a focus on specific lifestyles. Are there any trends you’re seeing in more tangible terms such as color or materials? In the past there have been strong trends in corporate interiors. I think they were rooted in pragmatism. There was an attempt to find something that not necessary appealed to everyone, but wasn’t offensive. But as customers work with architects and designers to establish their brand externally and internally, we see the desire to have very specific colors and materials. We’re seeing a huge diversity in request for color and materiality. People see so many materials in the world and they want to be able to use those to express themselves, their customer identity or corporate brand. We don’t see the same strong trends that we did in the past. The idea that something is “the new black” doesn’t really apply now. For every trend there’s a counter trend that is equally viable. 6

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The Monday Morning Quarterback 15


TESTING, TESTING

Furniture testing in North America is relatively straightforward compared to European standards. Healthcare furniture has its own set of standards as well. Advanced Furniture Testing can help its customers sort through it all. BY ROB KIRKBRIDE

Every few seconds, a bag filled with 125 pounds of sand lands on the seat of an office chair with an audible thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. The office chair is attached to a computer with electrodes that measure how it is holding up to the structural assault. For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the battering continues until some component of the chair finally breaks. The test simulates the average size person lifting slightly off their chair and sitting down again (125 pounds is not average, but the test takes into account that some 16 The Monday Morning Quarterback

May 4, 2009

of the weight is held by the users legs). Tests like this are running continuously at Advanced Furniture Testing, a year old company that is one of the first in the U.S. to focus solely on measuring the durability and finding the breaking point of furniture. It was founded by three former Herman Miller test lab engineers who saw a niche in the marketplace. “I saw a need for a testing lab that really understood furniture,” said President Doug Woodard, who spent many years at KI’s testing lab in Green Bay and four

years at Herman Miller. “I found that the outside companies that were testing furniture wouldn’t set up the tests properly and the lead times were very slow.” And there wasn’t another company focused so keenly on the furniture industry -- even in furniture-heavy West Michigan, said Jason Wisniewski, vice president, who had an 18-year career at Herman Miller prior to AFT. “It was odd that in this part of the country there was no lab devoted to furniture,” he said. “There’s so much testing around here for the auto industry. A lot of those labs www.mmqb.com


just use furniture as fill in work.” Its focus on furniture has Advanced Furniture Testing humming. The company counts Herman Miller, Haworth, Steelcase and many small and mid-sized companies as customers. All of the industry’s largest manufacturers have their own test labs, but many are finding that outsourcing some of the work can save money. The company’s growth is evidenced by the number of chairs floating around its test lab on the north side of Holland. If you didn’t know they were testwww.mmqb.com

ing furniture, the facility, found in the middle of a nondescript industrial mall, is like a mad scientist’s lab. Custom built testing machines are pulling on chair backs. Another machine tests chair casters by pulling them back and forth over a series of surfaces. Another machine replicates someone sitting down and standing up -- over and over and over again. All the machines at Advanced Furniture Testing are custom made. In addition to in-house testing, the company also sells its machines to companies that have their own testing labs.

Like many engineers, Woodard, Wisniewski and the company’s other vice president, Jonathan Roblin, also an exHerman Miller employee, are scientific and deliberate about the way they work. They are serious about their job, which is essentially to push furniture to the breaking point. “It takes thought to do this job correctly,” Woodard said. “You must focus on the details.” The scope of their work depends on the customer. Some companies just want a simple report on how a piece of furniture performs. Others are looking May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 17


18 The Monday Morning Quarterback

May 4, 2009

www.mmqb.com


to meet strict government standards. Larger companies are testing products to the point of failure. Some products fail quicker than others. Wisniewski said it can be tough to break the bad news to clients. It is especially difficult when the product made it through a testing lab in China. “We just have to tell them that our testing is a bit more rigorous than China,” he said. “We have to give the bad news sometimes.” The company has seen more product failure because of the industry’s move toward more components made in China. While some Chinese parts makers are reliable, others are failing at a surprising rate. Advanced Furniture Testing is A2LA accredited and Woodard said it is the cornerstone of the company’s internal quality system. “It is very important that an independent laboratory have a quality system to insure accurate, repeatable www.mmqb.com

results,” he said. “Our quality system complies with the ISO 17025 requirements and is a step above ISO 9000.” Regardless of where the furniture is made, Advanced Furniture Testing not only tests a product until it fails, the company also can pinpoint how it failed. The computer controlled testing equipment can determine the stress levels on a product and when it breaks, stop the test before it tears apart the chair. That gives manufacturers valuable information on the furniture’s performance and potential failure points that can be reengineered. “Our goal is to be as accurate as possible,” Woodard said. In addition to chairs, the company also tests file cabinets, carts, desks and just about any other product that can be found in an office. Advanced Furniture Testing does not conduct flammability or environmental tests, but it is adding services to test furniture finishes.

The business is still growing, despite the office furniture recession. Advanced Furniture Testing has lost some business from major manufacturers, but hopes its new services will add more companies to its customer base. Advanced Furniture Testing executives are heavily involved with BIFMA. Woodard has served on BIFMA working groups for the last 12 years. The involvement gives the company a chance to be on the cutting edge of testing requirements. Furniture testing in North America is relatively straightforward compared to European standards. Healthcare furniture has its own set of standards as well. Advanced Furniture Testing can help its customers sort through it all. “If someone has a piece of furniture out there that needs to be tested, I’m confident that we can do a great job,” Woodard said. 6 May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 19


Cappellini

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May 4, 2009

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Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2009

While the world is reeling from the economic downturn, few of the fashionistas in Milan seemed to care. The international economic downturn apparently has little impact. BY TODD OLSON

Italian design can range from the sublime (think the Ferrari California) to the downright nutty. So it is no surprise that the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan had something for every taste, no matter how esoteric. The show, held every year for five days at the end of April at the Fiera Milan Rho Pero convention center, plays host to some of Europe’s biggest and best contemporary commercial and residential furniture design companies.

While the world is reeling from the economic downturn, few of the fashionistas in Milan seemed to care. The international economic downturn apparently has little impact. Instead, manufactures gathered to display their newest products and meet with buyers and distributors to solidify orders and sales agreements. Long time attendees said this year’s show had as many attendees and exhibitors as previous years. Exhibitors would not admit to any decline in orders. Spread over 10 halls, covering almost 500,000 square feet, the halls were filled with over 1,200 exhibitors. Over 350,000 visitors would walk the grid of booths and see a seemingly endless variety of furnishings for office and home. Moroso had a very strong showing. Known for partnering with A-list designers, they expanded their design influence by collaborating with fashion house Diesel to create a rockand-roll/denim influenced line branded “Successful Living with Diesel.” While not the main focus of their booth, it was the area that was garnering the most attention. The rest of the booth focused on Moroso’s Afrique theme with tribal designs and color schemes. The “Moment” collection from design house, Front, highlighted upholstery printed to simulate wood or draped fabric on sofas along with side tables with tops that appeared three-dimensional. The collection elicited second looks from many passersby. Moroso and Diesel shared in the www.mmqb.com

cross-marketing effort with the new Moroso products on display at the Diesel flagship boutique in Milan’s central shopping district. Pedrali, known for its exquisite and extensive line of seating did not disappoint and displayed a large selection from its line of chairs and tables with the major focus being on its stunning, new Miss You chair. Also highlighted in its booth was the award winning Frida chair and the Queen chair in a variety of colors. Swedish company, Offecct was another stand out. Their new Palma chair, commissioned from Dutch designer Khodi Feiz was spotlighted. Designed to be as comfortable in the home as the office, it is a further interpretation of last year’s hit Palma lounge chair. Offecct expanded its line of unique acoustical wall panels with the addition of Soundwave Village. The panel’s inspiration is an aerial view of the rooftops of Malmo, Sweden. Not all manufacturers elect to exhibit at “The Rho.” Throughout Milan there are satellite design fairs running in conjunction with i Saloni. The largest concentration of companies is in Zona Tortona. Furniture design giants such as Bernhardt, Poltrona Frau Group, including Cassina and Cappellini, show only in this area, while Moroso had a satellite showroom in addition to their comprehensive booth in the main show that was dedicated to showcasing its design partnership with Diesel. Poltrona Frau displayed its trend-setting leather upholstery with details that will likely show up in their competitor’s products in years to come. They shared their “Milano Design Village” space with Cassina who showcased some of their classic pieces along with several new tables, cabinets and chairs. Cappellini was also present and showed off many of their classic design pieces and best sellers. Bernhardt Design showcased a new seating collection designed by husband and wife team Harry and Claudia Washington from El Salvador. The Calibra Collection is another in Bernhardt Design’s Global Edition line and emphasizes Bernhardt’s initiative to find design talent in emerging creative centers like Central America and other lesser-known design communities around the world. Dedon also took up residence in the Zona Tortona. Known for its high quality and durable outdoor seating products, Dedon, provided a more entertaining twist to showcase some of their new product options, colors and patterns, including Scotch plaid and houndstooth patterns. While it will be several months until final numbers tell the full story on attendance and orders taken, first impression from i Saloni leads one to believe that the furniture design and manufacturing industry is optimistic for the future. 6 May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 21


Moroso

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May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 23


Moroso had a very strong showing. Known for partnering with A窶人ist designers, they expanded their design influence by collaborating with fashion house Diesel.

24 The Monday Morning Quarterback

May 4, 2009

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May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 25


Bernhardt Calibra

26 The Monday Morning Quarterback

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May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 27


Weekly Figures Stocks

COMPANY

SYM

CLOSE

CHANGE

52/W LOW

52/W HIGH

P/E

MKT CAP

MMQB Contract Furniture Index

Aaron’s Inc.

AAN

33.73

5.07

15.11

35.11

20.23

1.81b

2500

Chromcraft

CRC

0.52

-0.06

.20

4.45

na

3.19m

2000

1500

4/6

4/13

4/20

4/27

5/4

CompX Int’l Inc.

CIX

6.15

-0.10

4.30

8.25

na

76.02m

Design Within Reach

DWRI

0.85

-0.13

.31

4.50

na

12.32m

Flexsteel

FLXS

6.71

0.39

4.98

12.55

60.45

44.12m

Herman Miller

MLHR

14.80

1.12

7.91

30.54

8.13

796.03m

HNI

HNI

15.07

-0.55

7.70

34.37

14.73

667.96m

INSCAPE

INQ.TO

C2.20

0.10

C1.60

C4.50

27.50

C21.42m

Interface

IFSIA

6.07

1.15

1.45

14.33

na

383.63m

Close

Previous

Change

Kewaunee

KEQU

9.30

0.25

6.50

18.80

6.33

23.77m

2021.68

1985.50

+36.18

Kimball Int’l

KBALB

5.12

-0.77

4.05

12.75

na

189.78m

52 week low

Knoll Inc.

KNL

7.07

-0.24

5.33

18.68

3.89

332.86m

1363.30

Leggett & Platt

LEG

14.51

-0.41

10.03

24.60

35.05

2.27b

YTD Gain or Loss: -6.57%

Office Depot

ODP

2.70

0.26

0.59

14.39

na

742.05m

Stocks in New York finished the day and the week in positive territory as investors took in more signs that the economic decline may be slowing. The major indices were positive for the seventh time in eight weeks after a downturn last week. The MMQB Index rose 1.6%, the Dow rose 1.7%, the S&P added 1.3%, and the Nasdaq tacked on 1.5%. A new 52-week high was achieved during the week by Aaron’s Inc. There were no new 52-week lows recorded during the week.

OfficeMax

OMX

7.35

1.13

1.86

22.22

na

560.71m

Staples

SPLS

20.12

-1.79

13.57

26.57

17.77

14.38m

Steelcase

SCS

4.60

0.18

3.03

12.86

na

614.10m

MMQB INDEX FOR THE WEEK:

52 week high 4181.68

28 The Monday Morning Quarterback

20-20 Technologies TWT.TO

C1.80

0.35

C0.86

C6.15

na

C34.06m

United Stationers

USTR

34.36

2.01

18.20

53.60

8.33

814.57m

Virco

VIRC

2.97

-0.83

1.65

5.24

33.37

42.85m

May 4, 2009

www.mmqb.com


Weekly Figures U.S Office Furniture Production Est.

Year

SOURCE: BIFMA

Year

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

Volume

% change

Production

%Change

Imports

SOURCE: BIFMA

Exports

Consumption

%Change

2008

$11,160

-2.3%

$2,510

$679

$12,991

-3.2%

$11,420

5.5%

$2,563

$565

$13,419

4.4%

2008

$11.2 billion

-2.3%

2007

2009e

$9.0 billion

-19.3%

2006

$10,820

7.4%

$2,531

$492

$12,859

7.9%

2010e

$8.9 billion

-1.1%

e=estimate Revised 3/2/2009

U.S Office Furniture Consumption Est. SOURCE: BIFMA

Year

Volume

% change

2008

$12.9 billion

-3.2%

2009e

$10.5 billion

-19.0%

2010e

$10.5 billion

-0.1%

e=estimate Revised 3/2/2009

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.

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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%

Revised 2/23/2009

Annual Shipments by Product Category

SOURCE: BIFMA

Year

Seating

Desks

Storage

Files

Tables

Systems

Other

2008

27.6%

11.3%

5.4%

14.5%

9.2%

26.4%

5.6%

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%

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%

May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 29


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 Barcalounger Home & American of Martinsville Enter into a Services Agreement Barcalounger Home announced Tuesday that it has entered into a shared services agreement with American of Martinsville. As a result of this agreement, Barcalounger Home will be relocating its manufacturing and corporate headquarters to Martinsville, Virginia where American of Martinsville is headquartered and closing its facility in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Barcalounger Home and American of Martinsville are both owned by Hancock Park Associates in Los Angeles, California. Barcalounger Home’s primary product offerings include recliners & upholstered seating for the residential furniture industry, while American of Martinsville’s product focus is in the contract industry’s hospitality and senior living markets. Each company will continue to maintain its own

30 The Monday Morning Quarterback

corporate brand identity and develop business plans to meet their respective markets; however, through this shared services agreement American of Martinsville will provide Barcalounger Home with manufacturing support at its Redd Level plant, an approximately 1 million square foot facility in Martinsville, Virginia. In addition to domestic manufacturing, both companies are importers and will benefit through shared import services. Operational support services, including customer service, product development, finance, information technology and human resources, will be provided to Barcalounger Home by American of Martinsville through this agreement also.

Aaron’s Revenues Up 15% in Quarter Aaron’s, Inc. Monday announced revenues and earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2009. For the first quarter of 2009, revenues rose 15% to $474.0 million compared to $412.7 million for the same quarter a year ago. Net earnings from continuing operations were $35.4 million versus $22.6 million in 2008, a 57% increase. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $.65 compared to $.42 per share for last year’s quarter, a 55% increase. “We are pleased with these record revenues and earnings and that once again our results exceeded expectations,” said Robert C. Loudermilk, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Aaron’s. “Our business has been especially strong in recent quarters as more consumers are finding it extremely attractive to use the Aaron’s option of obtaining basic home furnishings necessities with no credit checks and the ability to return the merchandise at any time. Although we have done well through the years in different economic environments, both good and challenging, we believe the current conditions have helped accelerate the number of customers coming into our stores. We currently see no indication that this trend will diminish in the fore-

May 4, 2009

Won:

The passion one feels for the “right” office chair is a love story like no other—after all, many people spend more time at work than with their significant others. A humorous three-minute video created by Box Studios, a Denver-based interior design firm, that recounts just such a romance with the Allsteel Acuity chair, won top prize in Allsteel’s YouTube video competition. Allsteel challenged architects and designers to create a short video ode to Acuity, offering a trip to Milan and the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in April as the grand prize incentive. Austin Karr and Jay Neill were the designers behind the winning Box Studios submission. Their portrayal of one man’s whirlwind affair with an Acuity chair earned them the all-expense paid trip to Milan. The tongue-in-cheek production shows a designer taking Acuity on long walks through the city, to enjoy drinks with friends, and to play football in the park. But the budding romance comes to an abrupt end when the designer catches his Acuity cheating on him — with another Acuity. “This competition was so much fun,” Karr said. “We filmed about three hours of video, and we were laughing hysterically the entire time. When we found out we won, we were completely shocked. We’re so excited to experience the Milan furniture fair. It’s not often we get to attend a show like that.”

www.mmqb.com


Industry Briefing seeable future.” Same store revenues (revenues earned in company-operated stores open for the entirety of both periods) increased 12.3% during the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008. Same store revenues also increased 7.9% for Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership stores open over two years at the end of March 2009. The company had 760,000 customers and its franchisees had 395,000 customers at the end of the first quarter of 2009, a 20% increase in total customers over the number at the end of the first quarter a year ago. The customer count on a same store basis for company-operated stores was up 17% in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year. As previously announced, on November 6, 2008 the Company consummated the sale of substantially all of the assets of its Aaron’s Corporate Furnishings division. The company no longer includes the revenues and expenses of the Aaron’s Corporate Furnishings division in its continuing operations, and now reports the net earnings or loss of the division as discontinued operations. Prior periods are restated to reflect this change in accounting treatment. The Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership division increased its revenues in the first quarter of 2009 to $469.3 million, a 15% increase over the $406.3 million in revenues in the first quarter of 2008.

Haworth Researchers Present at AIA Conference Haworth researchers, Dr. Jay Brand and Dr. Sally Augustin, spoke at AIA’s National Convention and Design Exposition today. The convention, held April 30 through May 2 in San Francisco, is the largest annual gathering of the nation’s architects. Brand, cognitive psychologist at Haworth, presented workspace and exterior view strategies to encourage positive perceptions of corporate offices, and explored implications from increasingly mobile workers and their distributed work styles. Brand serves as both an internal and external consultant in apwww.mmqb.com

plied psychology—particularly industrial-organizational psychology and cognitive science. Augustin, environmental psychologist, presented research and trends from several continents and how national cultures should influence the physical design of workplaces. Augustin applies her knowledge of environmental psychology, the interconnections between emotions and place/product and qualitative research in her role at Haworth. Her research and insight helps designers apply this knowledge to designing workplaces, healthcare facilities, schools, homes or retail settings.

HON to Host 450 Customers at new HQ More than 450 key dealer principals, dealer representatives and designers are making their way to Muscatine, Iowa as guests of The HON Company. These key customers are visiting the company’s recently renovated headquarters to attend sales training classes about two of HON’s newest product launches: Abound™, a unique frame and tile workstation system; and Vicinity, a dynamic storage and desking collection. The two-day sessions began in early March and will last through June. “We’re honored to have such enthusiastic support from our customers,” said Ric Andersen, vice president of sales. “And we’re not only using this time to share information on new products, but we’re also inviting our guests to spend time in key departments in which they interact most – from customer support to marketing and sales.” Andersen continued, “The response we’ve received from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive – from the innovative features of the products to the energetic atmosphere for the future that they feel in our building. They realize HON is weathering the economic storm and is committed to growing our business, as well as theirs.”

Introducing:

British steel furniture manufacturer Bisley is launching an innovative mobile storage unit - Bite® to New York’s design community on the 6th of May, in association with VITRA and UK Trade & Investment. The event, which is being held at Vitra’s showroom on Ninth Avenue in NYC, is being hosted by Her Majesty’s Consul and Director, North East Region, John Lindfield. Bite® is a 37” tall mobile storage unit which wraps around the bench, not only providing multi-functional storage but also helping to create a sense of personal space within the open working environment. Bite® brings a new perspective to personal and team storage for bench-style working. “Office workers who discontinuously gather in project-based teams have hitherto been poorly served by the furniture solutions on offer,” explains Bisley director of design John Fogarty. While work surface needs have been met by a proliferation in “bench” products, personal storage has been generally limited to mobile pedestals. Fogarty adds: “Where attempts have been made to bolster this using taller conventional trolley-type solutions, these have occupied too much collaboration and circulation space around the workspace.” A multitude of features include an upper cantilevering secure compartment, for storing valuables such as laptops. It features a letter box for delivering mail, and a lid which opens up to create a mini-screen that can be used as a pin board or wipe-clean surface. “In use, the upper and lower elements bridge the work surface, providing spaceefficient and ergonomically-sound storage immediately to hand,” explains Fogarty. When not in use, the unit can be “parked” away from the desk.

S&P sees Bad Times for Hotels Just ahead of the HD 2009 Expo in Las Vegas, Standard and Poor’s has released some disturbing statistics. The delinquency rate for securitized loans backed by hotel properties may nearly quadruple to 8 percent by year end and continue increasing until 2011. With hotel operating metrics on the downward slide, the agency expects high-priced hotels will be the most vulnerable in the months ahead as increased competition forces them to make the steepest price cuts. The ratings agency, which in February reported a 2.01 percent

delinquency rate for securitized hotel loans, also warned that 2011 could be a “challenging year” because that’s when 182 CMBS hotel loans with an outstanding balance of $10.4 billion mature. S&P blamed the extended run of hotel delinquency increases on the recession, which it expects to last through the third quarter. Hotel properties, because of the transient nature of their room leases, are most vulnerable to economic slowdowns. The rating agency noted that the hotel sector underperformed other property types during the recessions of 1990-1991 and 2001, and did not begin recovering until 16 months after the end

May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 31


Industry Briefing of that recession. S&P expects that hotels’ revenue per available room will decline this year by more than its previous 10 percent prediction. It has not yet set a new forecast.

Detroit Office Vacancy to hit 24% Detroit has hit another pothole. A new Grubb & Ellis Co.’s Q1 report states, “overall transaction velocity throughout the local (Detroit) market has slowed, available sublease space has increased dramatically and vacancy rates rose as the troubles in the automotive industry continue to paralyze the region’s commercial real estate market.” During Q1, office vacancy rose to 23.9%, an 80-basis-point rise over the previous quarter. The class A market, which had previously fared better due to companies taking advantage of lower lease rates to upgrade, saw an 80-point increase. Vacancy for that class is now at 18.8%. Class B space is 27.2% unoccupied, while class C space is 25.4% vacant. The Pontiac market has fared the worst, holding the highest office vacancy at 37.9%. The Troy market as well as the CBD saw vacancy rates rise to 29.2%. For all of Q1, Detroit saw only 6,438 square feet of absorption. Troy, on the other hand, accounted for more than half of the quarter’s negative absorption with 177,000 square feet. Auburn Hills posted the best vacancy rate at 8.7% but Grubb & Ellis points out this number is misleading as more than 40% of the leased space is on the market for sublease now that Volkswagen has moved to Virginia.

Staples CEO’s Compensation Falls in 2008 As office supply retailer Staples Inc.’s profit fell in 2008, CEO Ronald L. Sargent’s compensation fell 58 percent to $12.6 million, less than half of what he received the year before, according to Associated Press calculations based on a regulatory filing last Monday. Sargent’s salary was about $1.1 million in both 2008 and 2007, having risen just $3,225.

32 The Monday Morning Quarterback

But his grants of restricted stock and options fell 60 percent between 2007 and 2008. The stock and options he got in 2008 were valued at $11 million on the days they were issued, down from $28.1 million worth of stock and options the previous year. The 53-year-old, who is also chairman of the Framingham, Mass.-based retailer, didn’t receive a performance-based cash bonus in 2008. His bonus was $621,000 the previous year. Sargent received other perks valued at $483,963. That sum included almost $211,000 in dividend equivalents, $50,000 for tax services and $29,000 for life insurance. He received perks worth $471,292 in 2007. For the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, Staples’ profit fell 19 percent to $805.3 million, or $1.13 per share. Sales increased to $23.08 billion from $19.37 billion, helped by the summer acquisition of Dutch office supply chain Corporate Express NV.

PRODUCTS Steelcase Introduces New Raised-Access Flooring Steelcase Inc. Thursday unveiled a new access floor at the AIA 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The company said that its new nesso access floor “offers increased aesthetic and performance features that allow this floor to go further, and do more, than traditional access floors. “The new floor provides a surface that feels solid, strong and safe, like walking on concrete, and also offers a range of premium finishes, including marble, granite, slate, ceramic, linoleum, rubber, wood and vinyl - allowing it to be used in places traditional access flooring hasn’t typically been specified.” Designed in Italy, nesso, which means link in Italian, connects the infrastructure throughout the workplace, allowing easy access to power and data, so organizations can create better connected and harder working spaces. nesso was designed to complement

May 4, 2009

Honored:

The American Society of Interior Designers – Georgia Chapter (ASIDGA) recently honored the Kimball Office’s Atlanta showroom with a Gold Design Excellence Award in the retail category. It was designed by idea|span, one of Atlanta’s top 25 interior design firms. “We are very excited by this award,” says Mona Hoffman, Vice President of Marketing for Kimball Office. “We wanted a showroom that would be an inspiring and memorable experience for every person who walks in. idea|span did an exceptional job helping us realize that goal. This award is a good measure of our shared success.” Located in the heart of the city’s Buckhead/Lenox neighborhood, the 5,676-sq.-ft. space serves as a resource to help customers bring their ideal offices to life. It demonstrates furniture layouts and workspace ideas specific to the Atlanta and Southeast region.

Seen:

On April 15, KI’s Boston showroom was the gathering place for the local A&D community, educators and design experts seeking insight and information on ways to advance student learning through design. KI’s K-12 Education Summit featured presentations and exhibits from local architects, KI experts and environmental organizations on color in K-12 interiors, architectural walls, energy efficiency, LEED and GREENGUARD certification, buying contracts and more. After the formal presentations, attendees had the opportunity to meet with presenters and colleagues one-on-one to discuss their challenges and ask questions. Attendees could also enter to win a KI Virtual Classroom, including 30 Intellect™ Wave desks and chairs, an Instruct teacher’s desk and an Intellect Wave task chair. Youth Build Boston, a non-for profit organization dedicated to teaching Boston’s youth skills that develop personal and neighborhood responsibility, took home the prize. www.mmqb.com


Industry Briefing the company’s collection of solutions for more open, connected workspaces; recent Steelcase® product introductions also include c:scape and media:scape. “Access flooring easily integrates technology and allows organizations to create a collaborative and connected work area, in addition to providing significant cost savings,” said Mike Lobbestael, general manager, Architectural Solutions Group for Steelcase. “Based on research indicating that the lack of premium finishes was preventing the use of access floors, Steelcase aimed to deliver a solution that combined the performance and visual appeal of other flooring options, with all the proven flexibility that raised access flooring provides.” Floor finishes offered by nesso come fused to fire-rated core material comprised of gypsum, recycled paper and cardboard. Floor panels are installed on adjustable-height pedestals and a rigid understructure in two-foot square modules, resulting in a surface that is strong, safe and flexible. The nesso access floor panel design also meets the Class A requirements for Interior Finishes.

PATENTS Knoll Support Arm Patent Stephan Copeland, Marion Station, Pa., has developed a mechanical support arm for holding equipment. The inventor was issued U.S. Patent No. 7,478,786. The patent has been assigned to Knoll Inc., East Greenville, Pa.

According to the abstract released by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: “A mechanical support arm for holding lamps, flat screen monitors or other equipment which comprises a base member and two links joined by pivoting joints and held in posi-

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tion by friction in the joints. The amount of friction required to hold the equipment in position is reduced by the use of springassisted counterbalances that compensate for the majority of the weight. The novel aspects of the invention include the design of the pivots, which are linked rings able to rotate about axles disposed at the pivot points, and the manner in which the springs are attached to the pivot points to reduce the amount of force that need be exerted on the arm to place the object being supported in the desired position.” The original application was filed on Feb. 20, 2004

ODDS & ENDS NEW REPPING GROUP: Bayley Associates is open for business in Southern California. After 25 years of industry sales experience at the Dealer, Independent, Factory Rep and Bayley Regional Sales Manager level, owner Mark Bayley has decided to fulfill what has been a lifetime ambition to have his own independent rep organization. Bayley says his “diversity has allowed for him to establish a wide range of relationships with Corporate, A&D, Educational and the GSA customers in the Southern California and Southern Nevada Counties.” AWARDED: Synergy (a Nashville/ Knoxville-based Knoll Dealer) was awarded a 4 year contract with Healthtrust Purchasing Group (HPG) for the Contract Office and Healthcare Environment. Healthtrust Purchasing Group (HPG) which recently acquired Consorta is a Brentwood Tennessee based Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) with members in all 50 states. CERTIFIED: AAA Business Supplies & Interiors, a Northern California independent office products and furniture dealer, has been certified as a “Green Business” by the City & County of San Francisco as part of the Bay Area Green Business Program. 6

Seen:

Dealers from around the United States joined the management team of Indiana Furniture in Aruba on April 23, 2009, to celebrate the successes of 2008. Staff with spouses in Aruba. Back Row (Left to Right): Mike Blessinger, Rich Slayton, Bret Ackerman, Mark Stuckey, Shane Wilson, Roger Crowder, Kirby Boner, Mark Plummer. Front Row (Left to Right): Nancy Blessinger, Naida Slayton, Lauri Ackerman, Cheryl Spott, Nancy Wilson, Patty Streiner, Danielle Crowder, Tina Plummer

The festivities started with a tropical sunset Bon Bini (welcome) reception in the courtyard of the Renaissance Festival Plaza. Bon Bini Reception (Left to Right): Tripp Vint III, Becka Vint, Ken Owen, Tammy Owen, Lauri Ackerman, Bret Ackerman, Roxanne Burton, Doug Burton, Rich Slayton, Naida Slayton Kevin Halligan, Shane Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Kevin Ketter

Indiana Furniture’s Jeep Rally (Left to Right): Kevin Halligan, Shane Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Kevin Ketter May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 33


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

Seeking Experienced Project Managers and Designers Growing Company Seeks Proven Professionals with Design or Project Management Experience

Contract Furniture Dealership with growing and solid customer base continues to have a need for professionals in our Springfield, VA location. We have an ongoing need for applicants to provide outstanding customer service to government and private offices throughout the DC Metro Area. Project Managers, and designers with extensive experience with systems furniture will be considered. Typing skills, proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite and attention to detail is necessary. In addition to the requirements above, applicants applying for CAD-Interior design positions must have experience with AutoCAD. Project Manager Positions require a valid driver’s license, a car, and the ability to pass a security clearance. Send resumes with salary requirements to Apply@JMCBusinesssystems.com. IN SUBJECT LINE WRITE: MMQB 34 The Monday Morning Quarterback

Outstanding Sales Career Opportunity 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

INDEPENDENT SALES REPS WANTED BRC Canada seeks Independent Sales Representation for selected US Territories. BRC Canada, a successful high quality laminate furniture manufacturer is currently seeking Independent Sales Representatives for selected markets in the United States. BRC, established in 1979, offers a broad range of mid-market product solutions. Private Office, Desking, Reception, Tables, Ergonomic Accessories, Height Adjustable Table Systems and Educational Furniture. www.brccanada.com As well as an extensive standard product offering, BRC provides full custom manufacturing capabilities. BRC, is an ISO certified facility. All BRC products are ANSI BIFMA tested and certified. BRC, maintains a number of Environmental Certifications with lab testing and documented practices readily available for review. Motivated Sales Professionals should have an established dealer network and contacts. High Commissions, New Image And Literature, Spiff Programs, Quick Ship, Dealer Rebate Programs, GSA, State Contracts, Dealer Display And Sample Programs plus much more available. Interested parties should contact Steven Geiger, Vice President Sales, 1.877.260.4309 (X109) or 905.873.8509 (X109). steveng@brccanada.com

May 4, 2009

TERRITORY SALES MANAGER Excellent Opportunity in Los Angeles - Join Industry Leader Workrite Ergonomics, Inc., an industry leader with strong reputation for excellence in its highly-evolved ergonomic office solutions, seeks a superstar self-starter to grow the Los Angeles market. This is a great opportunity for a highly motivated, financially-focused sales “hunter” with industry experience working with dealers and presenting to end-users. Excellent income potential and benefits package. Requirements: • 3 or more years sales experience in contract furniture/office furniture industry • Capital equipment sales experience a plus • Excellent relationship-building and presentation skills • Proven ability to successfully close sales • CRM database experience For more information about our company, visit our website at www.workriteergo.com Send cover letter and resume submission to careers@workriteergo.com EOE

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!!

Chicago Rep Group Seeking SOFT Seating Line Chicago based rep group is seeking soft seating line. The Webb Group, a multiline manufacturer representative, based in IL, with 5 active sales reps. We have recently parted ways with a major contract seating line and seeking a replacement, offering soft seating with complimentary wood guest and executive seating. We offer complimentary lines, including, but not limited to, MAiSpace and StarWall, and have several large projects requiring seating. We can be contacted by phone at 312595-9200, or by email at getwebb@aol.com

GSA BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER BRC Canada seeks GSA Business Development Manager BRC Canada, a successful high quality laminate manufacturer is currently seeking to fill the corporate position of GSA Business Development Manager. BRC, established in 1979, offers a broad range of mid-market products. Private Office, Desking, Reception, Tables, Ergonomic Accessories, Height Adjustable Table Systems, Educational Furniture. www.brccanada.com The GSA Business Development Manager will be responsible to solicit Government opportunities through direct contact with end users and/or GSA specialty dealers. Partner with the existing BRC Independent Rep. sales groups. Reporting directly to the Vice President Sales, this position will be home based, but not restricted in geographic location. Overnight travel will be required. The candidate will have a solid understanding of the GSA process and experience selling to Government agencies. Excellent negotiation, organizational, written/verbal communication skills and be able to work independently. Compensation includes base salary, car allowance, commission and bonus plan plus all expenses. Send resume to Steven Geiger, Vice President Sales, steveng@ brccanada.com, (T)877.260.4309

Contracts Manager Join the Management Team of this 20+ year old Washington DC Area Dealership Maryland-based contract furniture dealership seeks Contracts Manager to prepare, negotiate and administer GSA, state/local government, and commercial contracts, teaming/partnering agreements and other contract-related documents. Interact with government contracting officers, suppliers and management at all levels. Provide interpretation of solicitation/RFP requirements. Act as knowledge source to support sales & operations staff. Disseminate information regarding contract status. Working knowledge of the FAR and GSA Multiple Award Schedules a must. Past work experience with GSA’s Integrated Workplace Acquisition Center desired. Must possess excellent negotiation, organizational and written/verbal communication skills coupled with the ability to work independently. We offer a stable work environment, long-term career opportunity and competitive compensation & benefits package. Submit your resume and salary requirements to learn more about this exciting opportunity. Confidentiality assured. Email your resume to: Lizwolf@mmqb.com Put Department V in the subject line of your email.

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MarketPlace GM Position with Equity in Orlando Fl

JANUS et Cie IS LOOKING FOR CORPORATE/SITE SALES

dTANK A&D ACCOUNT MANAGER IN TEXAS

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

If you have sales experience in the Corporate Furniture market, including government contacts, we are looking for you.

If you are interested in the explosive marketing potential of tailor-made furniture solutions, this is a great opportunity for you.

JANUS et Cie, a reputable, design-focused leader in the furniture industry is currently seeking Outside Sales Specialists for their Corporate and Site sectors in Chicago, Dallas and New York. You will: • Develop and deliver presentations to architects, designers, purchasing agents and owner’s representatives • Generate solutions and quotes for clients • Create and closing sales • Prospect new accounts • Manage current accounts to ensure company and client satisfaction • Handle day-to-day customer care together with your back up team If you are looking for a career with one of the finest growth-oriented companies in the industry, interested in creating value, and know that you can add value to a special company recognized by its Brand and quality, email your resume and cover letter to Marlo Smith, VP of Human Resources to marlo@janusetcie.com or fax 562-262-2844. No phone calls and only email or fax resume.

dTank Inc. a tailor made office furniture manufacture is currently looking for an experienced A&D sales professional to join our sales organization. dTank is all about TAILOR-MADE furniture solution. Our tailor-made business model has helped us collaborate with famous and trend-setting designers and architects to build the most unique furniture solutions and office settings for the last ten years. We have an opening in Texas focusing primarily on the A&D Community and our Dealer network. Salary and benefits package, commission, an existing client base, makes these an extraordinary opportunity for the right individual. The successful candidate must have pertinent sales experience, in the architectural and design market, with the ability to effectively communicate with specifiers, dealers in a technical, design-oriented selling environment. For additional information Please visit www.dTank.com Please submit resumes to: job@dtank.com

dTANK A&D ACCOUNT MANAGER IN LOS ANGELES

Join one of the FASTEST growing companies.

If you are interested in the explosive marketing potential of tailor-made furniture solutions, this is a great opportunity for you.

Find out why we are expanding... when everyone else is contracting!

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

Senior Sales Executive Manhattan Senior Sales position for established New York City sales executive Innovant, a market leading furniture manufacturer based in New York is seeking an accomplished sales executive in the New York area to sell to tier-1 clients and design firms. The candidate needs to be dynamic, established in NYC and thrive in a professional team environment. Our position as market leader in the manufacture of trading desks has built an impressive client and installation list over 20 years, but it is our recent and explosive success in upscale open plan desking and casegoods that provides the greatest opportunity. Contact Bruce Wells, Sales Director at bwells@innovant.com or 212.929.4883.

Independent Rep Groups Wanted Southwest, Midwest & Other Territories Open Novikoff Furniture Limited, a high-end wood casegoods, conference tables, reception, tellerlines, seating and custom solutions manufacturer for over 45 years, is seeking experienced Independent Sales Representatives in our Southwest and Midwest territories. Other territories are available as well. Candidates must have a proven track record in growing market share for your manufacturers as well as established relationships with the Dealers and A&D community in your marketplace. A showroom would be a plus! We offer a very aggressive commission structure, excellent customer service and sales support for our field sales force. If interested in a real growth opportunity, please contact Paul Berry at 800.780.0982 or e-mail pberry@novikoff.com. Please visit www.novikoff.com to learn more!

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dTank Inc. a tailor made office furniture manufacture is currently looking for an experienced A&D sales professional to join our sales organization. dTank is all about TAILOR-MADE furniture solution. Our tailor-made business model has helped us collaborate with famous and trend-setting designers and architects to build the most unique furniture solutions and office settings for the last ten years. We have an opening in Los Angeles focusing on primarily on the A&D and our Dealer network. Salary and benefits package, commission, an existing client base, makes these an extraordinary opportunity for the right individual. The successful candidate must have pertinent sales experience, in the architectural and design market, with the ability to effectively communicate with specifiers, dealers in a technical, design-oriented selling environment. For additional information Please visit www.dTank.com Please submit resumes to: job@dtank.com

KI Sales Representatives

Multiple territories available for rep groups seeking design-driven, and highly customizable, contemporary furnishings. fluidconcepts is an integrated design and manufacturing company focused on providing real customer solutions. We are looking for individuals or groups that have long standing relationships with dealers, A&D as well as end users... and have a drive and passion for contract furnishings. fluidconcepts offers a highly competitive commission package, top notch literature, as well as excellent customer support and project management, that is unsurpassed in the industry. If you are looking to be part of one of fastest growing companies and seeking a line complement, then please contact Scott Jeffreys, US Business Development Manager at 262-705-9686 or sales@fluidgroup.com www.fluidgroup.com

Join the trusted furniture market resource KI is looking for experienced salespeople to join our sales team. Positions are available in San Francisco, CA and Phoenix, AZ. Candidates with previous contract furniture industry and/or related experience selling to the healthcare and government markets are invited to apply for the Healthcare/Government Sales position in San Francisco. This new position will involve calling on decision-makers and end-users in these growing Northern CA markets. Healthcare market experience is also required for the Healthcare Specialist position in Phoenix. General knowledge of the healthcare industry as well as an understanding of healthcare GPO’s is preferred. 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

SEEKING INDEPENDENT SALES REPRESENTATIVES Established manufacturer of casegoods and seating Leading manufacturer of healthcare, university and institutional casegoods and seating is seeking highly motivated sales professionals. Our representatives are responsible for developing, marketing and selling our products to the corrections, healthcare, and college/university and GSA markets. The qualified rep should have knowledge and experience in calling on related clients in their territory. They will also be responsible for calling on the architect and design community. If interested please forward you qualification to: kush0000@aol.com

LIQUIDATIONS Modular Office Solutions Liquidation - Bid Now! $100+ Million Steelcase & Herman Miller Inventory and Remanufacturing Equipment Being Liquidated Modular Office Solutions, a leading independent remanufacturer and distributor of pre-owned furniture systems, is selling all business assets at two locations: Rancho Cucamonga, California and Minneapolis, Minnesota. This sale includes extensive inventories of Herman Miller (AO2, Ethospace, Genesis) and Steelcase (9000, Avenir) office furniture systems, including panels, pedestals and binder bins, electrical and connecting hardware. It also includes all remanufacturing machinery and equipment, including UL tooling, powder coat

May 4, 2009

The Monday Morning Quarterback 35


MarketPlace paint system, routers, and assortment of assembly and hand tools. Customer lists and related intellectual property also available for bid. The opportunity exists to buy the assets of the business, a portion of the business, the entire or portions of the inventory, and all or portions of the equipment. Option to continue operating at current locations or relocate assets. Excellent opportunity to purchase these items at liquidation prices! Accepting Bids Now! Call 800-852-9252 or visit www.liquitec.net to view asset lists and photos.

SERVICES 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.

Rendering Services Win Business with Renderings from OfficeScapes Rendering Resources OfficeScapes® Competition is fierce these days, so use every tool at your disposal. Don’t lose business because your competitor wowed your prospect with a full-color rendering while your proposal offered only line drawings. It’s easy, fast, and affordable to out-render your competition with renderings from OfficeScapes! • You provide a sketch - we do the rest! Talk with us briefly about your needs and we’re ready to get to work. • We utilize state of the art software. • 24 hour turnaround AND you get to review/revise. • Affordable; renderings as low as $100, and we take credit cards! • Customizable: add carpet, wall covering, windows, lighting and views. • Finish/Presentation boards available, too: virtual or actual Contact Shelby Aldrich 303-574-1115 or email saldrich@officescapes.com To see examples of our work, visit our website www.structuredweb.com/ sw/swchannel/CustomerCenter/documents/2719/3519/RenderingPortfolio.pdf”.

36 The Monday Morning Quarterback

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Business Development Opportunity Looking for qualified individuals focused on healthcare and education markets - Is that you? TechlineUSA, a manufacturer of laminate millwork and modular office furniture is seeking individuals or interested companies to market our products. We are looking for qualified individuals that are focused on healthcare and education markets to establish and grow business. Our brand is nationally known by architects and facility managers. Our products have a reputation for high quality and we are known for consistent, on-time delivery, at a fair price. Our most successful dealers are those that develop relationships with healthcare owners, architects and contractors. Many are located in secondary markets, but are successful because of their ability to develop repeat business. We seek people that are entrepreneurial, resourceful, high energy, strategic, knowledgeable, relationship builders. Experience with construction or sales of equipment to end-users are a definite advantage. To learn more about us, visit www.techlineusa.com. If interested, please email us at contactus@techlineusa.com and we will set up a phone interview.

PARTS FOR SALE 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.

May 4, 2009

MMQB THE NUMBER 1 SOURCE FOR FINDING YOUR NEXT JOB IN THE CONTRACT FURNISHINGS INDUSTRY

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The Monday Morning Quarterback