officeinsight Articles on Business/Finance
5.26.14 | For all of the talk – and intuitive common sense – about the work environment and how employee satisfaction might relate to productivity, nothing convinces like numbers, without which we must generally deal with personal preferences about work conditions. The next move forward requires new tools, and in addition to the Gensler Workplace Surveys, Sven Govaars, a Regional Consulting Leader at Gensler Houston, has developed the Gensler Calculator, now in Version 2, which converts improvements in various areas to organizational financial measures.
1.20.14 | The United States is in the midst of a critical examination of its education system spurred by poor standardized test results and dramatic shifts in the educational requirements of today’s workplace. Are some of the drivers of change the same as those driving change in the workplace? How is this self-examination process impacting the firms of our industry?
10.28.13 | Trends in the workplace furnishings sometimes remind us of what happens when a simple factoid is circulated. It starts our as a wisp of an insight, turns into a fact, then a rumor, then full-fledged fiction. But as things go, things tend to repeat themselves and sometimes it seems that we are pretty much back to where we were a century ago. Who knows, the cubical may not be dead yet.
8.19.13 | Deborah Rutherford’s research has identified that there is a potential crisis in the next five to ten years in the design industry, especially as current design firms managers begin to retire. Not enough designers are moving up the ranks to take on these management positions. Many firms have flattened their structures to save money, and designers are being lost to the industry due to a poor economy and lack of jobs.
2.11.13 | No one doubts anymore that Haworth is in the top ranks of contract furniture manufacturers in the world, by whatever measure, revenue, quality, design, and so on. In fact, one of the pleasures of our life at officeinsight has been to watch this company rocket to success, literally metamorphose, over the past 15 years. Last week it announced 2012 revenues of $1.38 billion, a 5% decrease from 2011, but reflecting the disposition of Castelli and Groupe Lacasse.
1.21.13 | The outlook for the industry at the beginning of 2012 was quite positive. BIFMA was reporting a strong finish for 2011: As November and December results rolled in, it appeared that the year-over-year shipments growth would end up in the range of 12% to 13%. Industry stock analyst, Budd Bugatch, of Raymond James continued to support the idea that the recovery was well underway, and that the industry’s publicly traded stocks merited investment. With the benefit of hindsight we can see that Mr. Bugatch’s analysis was perceptive. The public contract furniture stock prices, as a whole, performed better in 2012 than the Dow. Despite a slow patch during 2012, at year’s end the industry’s key drivers can be characterized as positive or improving.
9.24.12 | Randy Fiser, CEO of the ASID, gave the society’s inaugural “The State of the Interior Design Industry” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The report provides an overview of the design industry, including its size, scope and its financial impact, and explores design as a business, from education, to practice, to specification, to legislation.
1.23.12 | 2011 began with high hopes and strong confidence that the economic recovery was well under way. Uncertainty began to grow, however, as the end of the year approached. Entering 2012, the high hopes and confidence were still there, but they were tempered by a caution of the recent past and fears of a reprise stemming from the European continent. In the long term we see opportunities. As manufacturing evolves, we see an incremental convergence of the factory with other workplaces. This invites the manufacturing sector and the interior design profession to collaborate, sharing knowledge and experience to their mutual benefit.
9.19.11 | Even a dead cat will bounce if it’s dropped from a high enough altitude, referring to a short-term recovery in a long-term decline. Let’s explore this phenomenon and see if it applies to office buildings. Looking at recent changes and their impact on the design, construction and operation of office buildings, maybe we can discover how they will alter the relationship between building owners and their tenants, the types of deals being made, and types of buildings tenants are seeking.
7.11.11 | Chris Kennedy, president of MMPI for the past decade, has decided to step down to pursue civic and philanthropic endeavors. Mark Falanga will become MMPI’s new president effective July 23, and Myron Maurer will take on the new role of Chief Operating Officer.