Monday, March 21, 2016  05:33 PM
HiTouch Delivers Trust, Expertise and Presence During Staffmark Relocation

designWorks, MyOfficeProducts Divisions Provide Complete Package

Staffmark needed more than just someone to simply start the process of choosing furniture for its new Cincinnati offices; it needed a partner that would be available to advise, inspire and find creative solutions to challenges every step of the way.

The award-winning staffing company, one of the largest in the United States with more than 280 locations, had already partnered with MyOfficeProducts, a division of HiTouch Business Services, for more than a decade to meet its printing and office supply needs. And now, designWorks, another HiTouch division, was able to deliver the level of trust, dependability and presence Staffmark desired for the relocation.

“Staffmark’s Corporate HQ relocation project has given us the opportunity to transform our work space to synchronize it with our culture. We’ve seen increases in collaboration, productivity and morale, but the best evidence – seeing the smiles on our employees’ faces when they walk in the office each morning,” stated Jennifer Prospero, Vice President and Controller at Staffmark.

designWorks senior designer/project manager Tina Pownell provided oversight and insight for the project from the start, with lead designer Jeana Corbin providing redundant backup and support for virtually any need.

“I am exceptionally proud of this project—and of our team,” said Dwayne Deal, vice president of HiTouch Business Services’ designWorks division. “With any project of this magnitude, there can be challenges along the way. Others might experience those challenges and simply say the project will be delayed, and that it’s not their responsibility. But we don’t take that approach. We feel that if we’ve made a commitment to the customer, no matter what the challenge, we will find a resolution that will not only meet but exceed that customer’s expectations. We’re not a ‘day one’ division. We’re day one, day two and beyond.”  

Case in point: Deal, Corbin and Pownell made numerous trips to Cincinnati as part of ongoing quality assurance. In addition, the designWorks team accompanied Staffmark personnel to HON furniture’s manufacturing facility in Iowa and resource center in Atlanta to ensure the right outcome. That gave Staffmark team members the opportunity to build relationships for the future, Deal said, in addition to experiencing HON’s manufacturing process, business model and environmental efforts first-hand.   

“They were able to make their final selections, and at the same time, ask questions and get more of an overview of what HON is all about,” Deal said. “Whenever possible, we like our customers to have that personal experience. It makes a huge impact.” As for Pownell and Corbin, their services were offered as part of the relocation package, significantly reducing costs over an independent designer who might choose items based on look alone rather than price.  

“We were an additional resource that didn’t cost them anything but provided a huge value,” Pownell said. designWorks was able to help Staffmark understand what was needed and what wasn’t, as well as provide continuity through the office spaces, board room and collaborative areas. Working closely with Staffmark personnel, designWorks endeavored to understand departmental objective and workflow, and as a result, delivered efficiencies in space planning and execution.

“We started with the concepts of well-lit, open and professional. That was all we had. designWorks helped us develop a workstation design based on the way our people do their jobs. Then, they worked in conjunction with us and our architects to select colors and layout, transforming our corporate offices into a modern space that fosters community, collaboration and productivity,” added Prospero, “In any project of this size, there will be speed bumps. The difference between success and failure is in how you handle them. When we encountered speed bumps, designWorks was our partner, with us every step of the way, helping us create a fantastic space, on time and within budget.

The recent project, coming in at just under $1 million, involved the relocation of roughly 225 people. The previous space had a handful of floors, but the new area, just one and a half. While keeping the project timeline on track, designWorks helped Staffmark with suggestions on window fronts, cubicle panel height and appropriate furniture, among other nuances. Pownell also was tasked with overseeing the installation of new items by Wegman Company of Cincinnati. 

“A move of this scope is not something that companies do on a regular basis,” said Lane Thomas, MyOfficeProducts vice president. “As such, designWorks played a critical role in listening to ideas, pulling together resources and preventing possible missteps.”

“We’ve had a long-term relationship with Staffmark, but this project is totally different,” he said. “That relationship got us a seat at the table, but we still had to prove ourselves. The guidance designWorks has been able to provide has been invaluable; trust happened so early in the process.”


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