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Insider View: Who Knew?

THE COMPLEX WORLD OF OFFICE FURNITURE
by Chris Schulz
Account Coordinator

Who knew the “furniture world” was so complex, precise and full of variables that impact an end result?  Not me, that’s for sure!

In fact, I had no clue of the intricate process from sales to installation.  When I joined Inside Source it was – to say the least – challenging.  After all, isn’t a chair just a chair? Aren’t those things called “cubbies?” And don’t they just come that way?  I mean, how hard could this be?  HA!

Fourteen years in the travel industry and coordinating foreign, independent travel was an attribute Inside Source recognized when they hired me for the Account Coordinator position.

Although sad to leave the travel industry, I was thrilled to learn a new industry.  But after a couple of weeks, I thought:”What were they thinking?”  And, even more so, “What was I thinking?”

I mean, I knew I was detail-orientated to the exact minute of an itinerary and conscious of what my clients really envisioned and expected. I had the ability to listen to their needs and wants which enabled me to provide a level of service a cut above. But this furniture stuff?  It’s crazy!  It’s busy, ever-changing, frustrating at times, and multi-tasking.  Don’t get me started.

The hardest part is the reliance on other trades. One mistake on someone else’s end can set the stage for a flop vs. a standing ovation.  A manufacturer “oops”, shipping mishaps, and the every day concern of (hold your breath!) “is there freight damage?”

Furniture can fit a site on paper, but a field measure can reveal one less inch and everyone’s back to the drawing board. Oh, and let’s not forget the delivery driver getting lost in Reno and going MIA for days on end!  Yes, that really happened and fortunately, our customer, Dan from Linear, has such a great sense of humor. We couldn’t help but laugh at all the different scenarios we imagined while waiting to hear updates on the driver’s whereabouts.

As time went on, I learned the lingo. I also learned about parts and what they do (lots of visuals – probably drove everyone crazy).  Yet there were still many times I questioned, “could I really do this?”  Fortunately for me, most of my colleagues are veterans so periodically, they’d pick me up, dust me off, give me a little pep talk, and then send me back into the fray with that smile and said, “You can do it”!

Three years later, the fast pace still exists.  It’s furniture, after all! But within the busyness,  I’ve developed such respect what team work is really all about.  There are no divisions of position at Inside Source and everyone is dedicated to each other.

We work hard together, laugh together, sometimes play together and always jump in and help each other whenever and wherever needed.  We take pride in a job well done and are always cognizant of the attention to detail required, whether it’s a single chair order or a multi-million dollar project.  We believe that the customer’s experience should be as stress free as possible and perfection is always the goal.  It’s the very essence of true collaboration at its best.

I finally think I can do this!  Who knew?

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