Sunday, November 20, 2016  03:00 PM
designWorks and Partners Offer White-Glove Treatment with Minimal Punch List

Many a designer can envision comfortable, efficient and updated office space.

But it takes an experienced hand to know that encouraging associates to “try out” new workstations can help smooth the transition—or that two employees at standing desks won’t be comfortable working eye-to-eye.

Veritiv Corporation, a leading North American distribution solutions company based in Atlanta, recently chose a new home for its operational support group in Fairfield, Ohio. The estimated 72,000-square-foot space now houses the company’s customer service, credit, IT and finance professionals, formerly located in Loveland, Ohio.

In addition to 66 private offices, the space merger required more than 500 new workstations, and fitting them into the area—while overcoming challenges such as existing columns and space restraints in ceilings—took a coordinated effort between Veritiv, designWorks, Wegman Associates (installation), the HON Company (furniture) and CBRE, the commercial real estate agency that acted as onsite liaison.

But at the end of the project, all involved admit being completely surprised at the minimal number of items on the post-installation, still to-be-adjusted “punch list.”  

“It was basically good communication,” said Asheley Falls, interior designer with designWorks, a unit of HiTouch Business Services. “We developed a relationship early on, and were able to get things figured out.” From start to finish, the entire project was six months, including one month for the installation.

Shannon Bone, corporate services project manager for Veritiv, said one of the biggest challenges of the project was the need to shift the thinking of long-time employees who had been accustomed to working in traditional offices to accept more open, lower-walled, standardized spaces. In addition, “we wanted to maintain aesthetic continuity.” Throughout the office relocation project, Veritiv frequently communicated with employees to provide them up-to-date information on progress. Falls was the one who suggested setting up a mock office and workstation so that employees could touch, feel and experience the new work spaces prior to the actual move.

“Asheley was fantastic in offering suggestions like that,” Bone said. “We left up the mock office for about a month, and Veritiv employees could come by and see it. It seems like it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it was huge. I appreciated the feedback and made some changes. And many of our employees were surprised at how much space they would have.”

As for that minimal punch list, Bone called it a “breath of fresh air.” designWorks brought Wegman and HON to the table as partners, and Bone said the resulting attention to detail was a white-glove treatment. Angela Williams, CBRE senior project manager, agreed.

“I had just finished a project a third of this size, and the punch list was double, if not triple,” she said. The existing rapport and trust between designWorks, Wegman and HON was key.  

“The HON product is beautiful and they once again proved to be an invaluable supplier of quality products, while Wegman worked diligently to ensure that the installation was handled professionally and proficiently,” said Dwayne Deal, division vice president at designWorks. “I was impressed with the relationships that developed… and how well these relationships reflected in the final outcome of this remarkable project.”


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