furniture teamAbout Furniture Standards

July 17, 2013–The Project 50 Forward Operational Excellence Furniture Standards team announces the new Furniture Standards program. Furniture standards are guidelines for developing the physical components of a work environment. While keeping in mind that not every employee has the same job requirement or work style, and different types of educational settings demand different types of classrooms, standards provide guidelines for furniture selected to support work and classroom needs. They also help to maintain a consistent approach to cost, quality, design and health and safety issues.

Furniture Standards team members include:
Yumi Yoshino-Hempel, Architect, Campus Planning Design and Construction
Joanne Joy, Purchasing Manager, Procurement
Michele Lake, Project Manager Office of Administration
Robert Haig, Strategic Sourcing Coordinator, Procurement
Michele Rindos, Purchasing Agent, Procurement
Edith Koelln, Section Manager, Procurement

Benefits of a Furniture Standards Program

  • Reducing cost of ownership thanks to furniture flexibility and interchangeability
  • Simplifying administrative procedures for reassigning assets across departments
  • Extending furniture product life
  • Managing Aesthetics—standard style can be selected that will blend campus-wide

The Furniture Standards Program provides options from Preferred Furniture Vendors that meet or exceed the University's criteria for:

  • Quality
  • Sustainability
  • Volume Discount Pricing
  • Product Consistency and Flexibility
  • Functional Operation
  • Durability
  • Responsive Dealership Service

If you need assistance with furniture or finish selection, measurements, or other needs, contact the University’s Campus Planning, Design and Construction Group.

In the coming months you will also purchase furniture directly through WolfMart and coordinate all details directly with the preferred vendors listed below.

Preferred Vendors:

Vendor: Corcraft Products
Contact: James E. Roschilla
Phone:  (516) 852-1992
Email: Jim.Roschilla@doccs.ny.gov 

Manufacturer: Herman Miller
Vendor: Alianza Services LLC/WBWood (Certified Minority Business Enterprise)
Beth O'Boyle
Office Phone: (212) 685-1335
Cell: (917) 209-9673
Email: bo'boyle@wbwood.com

Paul Chiarelli
VRD  (Certified Women’s Business Enterprise)
Office Phone (631) 563-9195
Cell: (516) 506-3223
Email: Paul@thetelcargroup.com

HON and Steelcase
Waldners (Certified Women’s Business Enterprise)
Jenny Lynn Georgiades  
Office Phone: (631) 844-9360
Cell: (917) 902-8320
Email: JGeorgiades@waldners.com

Furniture Standards team members Yumi Yoshino-Hempel and Joanne Joy recently discussed the initiatives in the following interview.

What are the goals of the program?
An Operational Excellence review of this process revealed that the campus would benefit from a systemized process for planning, selecting, purchasing and servicing the furniture used on campus that reduces costs, organizes the workload and simplifies the process. This program will raise the level of quality and durability of furniture throughout the campus while reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of planning, delivery, installation and maintenance. Another goal was to create a safe, healthy and ergonomic environment for our faculty and staff and a comfortable, welcoming environment for our guests.

What was the process for identifying areas for improvement?
We met with office managers and administrators from various departments on the campus to ascertain their furniture needs and the processes they used to acquire furniture. We also reached out to peer universities to learn about their experience implementing a furniture standards program.

What is being done to optimize the process of selecting, delivering and servicing furniture?
We reviewed all the furniture manufacturers and dealers that the university has been working with over a twenty-year time period and selected the top three vendors in terms of volume, quality, reliability and service. These companies, which we designated as Preferred Vendors, have excelled in all phases of the furniture process.

Are the Preferred Vendors the only vendors that we can use?
No. Though we strongly recommend our Preferred Vendors and have had very positive experiences with them, their exclusive use is not mandatory. If you want to purchase new office furniture to match your current furniture and the supplier is not among our Furniture Standard Vendors, please contact Michele Rindos on ext. 2-6071 for the protocol on how to proceed.

How are you making the process easier?
By standardizing office configurations based on square footage and providing users with a kit of parts for each configuration, we’ve taken a lot of the guesswork out of the process. Users can also contact Campus Planning, Design and Construction (CPDC) for help with planning and implementation.

Will the University save money by adopting the new Furniture Standards?
Yes. With standardized office layouts we can reduce the cost of planning, providing and managing the furniture process. By reducing the number of vendors we will be able to leverage Stony Brook’s buying power to obtain additional cost savings.

Are there any other benefits?
Yes, in addition to providing a high quality product at low cost, the Furniture Standards plan increases the space efficiency within each building through effective layout. The furniture re-use program will also provide cost, convenience and sustainability advantages.

How does the furniture re-use program work?
Discarded furniture is stored in a warehouse in Property Control on Main Campus to be repurposed. Anyone interested can call Property Control to find out what is available or visit in person. Visit stonybrook.edu/property control/surplus_property.shtml for more information.

Will users have to call CPDC every time they need new furniture?
No. They can go to WolfMart to review furniture options and place an order or contact the dealer directly. However, if it is a major renovation, it is advisable to work with the CPDC, who can provide the user with design and planning assistance, and the vendor with the appropriate building codes.

When will the new furniture standards be in place?
We have divided the Furniture Standards program into three phases. Phase 1–Offices, is complete. Phase 2–Classrooms and Computer Clusters, is near completion. Phase 3–Laboratory and Research Space, is underway.