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  • Writer's pictureGovernment & Educational Furnishings Company

Furniture Buying Tips

When purchasing furniture for your educational, commercial or industrial environment, consider these tips:

1. Space Planning – Asking key questions can help you order furniture that's best for your workspace. Will the furniture you want fit into the space you have? What type of furniture is best for your type of work? What options exist in this era of widely varying styles? Will you need to move your furniture in the future? You can answer these questions during the ordering process.

2. Budget Planning – Matching your furniture choices with your budget can be a challenge. You'll often get the most for your money by working with a designer during the ordering process through GEFCO. If you are not sure of your budget, ask for a rough budgetary quote before obtaining an order-ready quote. Never assume that design fees will be included, although they often are; be sure to ask the GEFCO Sales Consultant about charges for all services.

3. Ergonomics – The furniture is something you'll use every workday for a very long time. It has a substantial effect on employee comfort and safety. That's why it's so important to consider ergonomics when purchasing furniture. You may wish to consider the information contained in The Safety Manager’s Guide to Ergonomics, among other resources you may find on the web, for suggestions on choosing ergonomically correct furniture.

4. Furniture Quality – The quality of furniture varies among manufacturers, and cost is directly related to quality. When you buy furniture, it should be a commercial or institutional grade so it can withstand the daily use in your workplace. GEFCO provides only commercial-grade furniture, medium to high quality and price points. Products designed for home use are generally not acceptable.

5. Installation – Some furniture is easily assembled or installed, maybe only needing gliders inserted on leg ends and/or shelf clips installed so shelves will rest at appropriate heights. Some is far more complicated. If you have staff available that can manage the complexity and time commitments for installing new furniture, you can save a substantial amount of money. However, if your purchases are going to reside in storage “forever” awaiting installation, it may well be worth your while to have GEFCO provide installation services.

6. Timeline – With commercial furniture, there has always been a significant waiting period for product creation and shipping. Now, with shortages of materials and workers and with minimally available shipping options, the timeline for arrival of ordered furniture products has increased sharply! Where you may have been able to have a desk or a table and chairs arrive within 6-8 weeks of ordering, you can now count on timelines of at least twice that. GEFCO works closely with its manufacturers to expedite orders as much as possible, but it is an industry-wide (if not society-wide) circumstance that can substantially affect your plans. You need to be aware of this!

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