Looking Back - 30 Years in Business

As Marshall Furniture begins the new year, they look back at our successes not only in 2016 but during their past 30 year history. As some of you may know, last year they celebrated their 30 year anniversary. This milestone was marked by several celebrations throughout the year, including a selfie contest where prizes were given to some of their supportive customers and dealers. Marshall Furniture had great success last year, introduced a few new products and had a lot of interesting custom projects leave through their doors. Now that they begin their 31st year, their President, Dick Mangione, sat down to talk about his experiences throughout the last several decades and what he hopes to see in the forthcoming years.

In 1986, Marshall Furniture started out making fancy carts and monitor cabinets. The demand was simplistic but soon customers and dealers "were asking us to make things they couldn't get others to make" says Mr. Mangione. As a response to customer demand, Marshall Furniture set out to make a name for themselves as a completely custom shop, doling out designs and products that clients would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. According to Mr. Mangione, this is what has continued to separate Marshall Furniture from its competition. "Everyone else is trying to sell a product with an SKU on it but we're selling 100% custom, even when it's a lower cost item. Our complete customization of literally everything we do is certainly what sets us apart." It wasn't a quick progression, however. Although the company did eventually transform into a fully custom wood shop, it wasn't without hitting a few brick walls. The problem, Mr. Mangione explains, is building a brand to differentiate from other custom shops, including individual, contract millworkers. "We are (and have been) in competition with everybody in their basement with a table saw. And every other millwork shop." In order to build brand awareness, Marshall Furniture set out to ensure they were manufacturing "a high quality product," along with "presence at tradeshows" and a physical image in print and online through their annual catalog and website.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Appearance Does Matter

Designing the look of your next furniture solution can sometimes be a daunting task. With most designs, tackling size, options and equipment are typically the foremost concerns. Equally as important, however, is deciding on finish and style. When it comes to color, veneer and aesthetic accents, your choice can set your unit apart, whether that be in a good way or a bad way. For instance, choose the wrong color and your furniture will stick out like a sore thumb. It may even look like an afterthought within the room. If you go with something that is plain (without accents or molding) in a highly ornate room, it may give off the wrong impression. Discussing the actual look of your next piece is an important step to consider and spend time on during the design process. Here are some ways that Marshall Furniture can help you with that:

Custom Color Matching

Continue reading
  1 Comment
1 Comment

Anatomy of a Collaboration Table

Continuous collaboration is the core to any successful business. By sharing ideas on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, groups of individuals are able to convey a multitude of ideas toward one common goal. Whether your collaborative efforts are effective, however, depends largely on the space allotted. Is there a conference room that has been set aside for such meetings? Have the proper tools been allocated to participants so they may express their thoughts and provide meaningful input both manually and electronically? What about the probability of a remote participant or the need to converse with an out-of-state company? As advances in video conference technology increase, leveraging its importance to your business’s success is essential.

Once the desired technology has been determined, the issue then becomes where to store all the components. An important part of most meeting spaces is a conference table and/or huddle station. Whether your conference space is set up for video collaboration or meant to serve as an informal space to gather for an impromptu discussion, there are several aspects to consider when designing your conference room furniture.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Anatomy of a Lectern

The first entry in our multi-part “Anatomy of” series, the lectern is ubiquitous to a slew of different applications. From teachers and keynote speakers to conference meetings and medical presentations, lecterns spearhead a majority of informative discussions. Although the specifications are unique for each project, there are a few key elements all users should consider prior to design and procurement.

Elbow Room

Through it seems rather obvious, it's important to keep the furniture design at the forefront of every project, especially when planning a new or remodeled space. Space can very quickly become an issue. If the specifics of the lectern build are not ironed out early on, you may be left with very little space and limited design options when all is said and done. This is especially true if you find there's a multitude of required technology that needs to be integrated.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Overcoming ADA Design Hiccups

During our 30 years in business, we've had several projects where space planning, ADA accessible furniture and equipment integration did not always play nicely. As ADA-friendly spaces increase, the ubiquitous, all-in-one solution to presentation furniture becomes all but obsolete. An articulating lectern inside a small space sometimes just doesn't work. The ways in which it articulates could change based on available space, budget or specific user disability. With so many aspects to keep in mind, the ability to personalize is invaluable to ensuring each variable is met and every space is accommodated accordingly.

As a rule of thumb, there are three essential guidelines to ADA furniture: adequate knee space, equal access to controls and a work surface at proper wheelchair height. Although a desk or table is the most obvious answer, it does not always work for every application. Not every space has room for a desk, especially one that includes racked equipment. Tables are simple and can be added to most spaces but they don't always afford much storage space. A more common and compact solution is to specify a lectern or workstation. They are capable of holding a decent amount of rack units, have the ability to be machined for various cut outs and can be customized to match different architecture in each room. For us, to satisfy the important aspects of ADA in a smaller unit, we include a hydraulic lift to take the lectern from sitting to standing height as well as a pullout surface to create a knee space and pull all components toward the seated presenter. This seemingly simple solution is not a fail-safe for everyone, however.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments