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August 21, 2008

Mark Rainbolt of Cube Solutions Discusses the Evolving Nature of Office Space

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor


I recently had the opportunity to ask Mark Rainbolt, director of Cube Solutions, about the evolution of the office workspace and what direction his company is taking.
 
Cube Solutions specializes in the delivery and installation of furniture and workstations vital to a company’s operation. From understanding your work environment to how your employees work to budgetary issues, Cube Solutions is a full service provider of office space solutions.
 
Please outline your new corporate initiatives.
Cube Solutions has always been good at marketing our products on the internet but there are whole segments of the cubicle buying market for whom buying on the internet is a foreign concept.
 
They have either been a contract buyer of Cubicles and office furniture, or they have a long relationship with a particular dealer representing one of the Major manufacturers. In either case they are unaware of what we are capable of doing. Not only to fulfill their needs for furniture, but also to help them with planning and asset management, but to do so much more cost effectively.
 
One of our new corporate initiatives is to take our successes with the large companies who have understood the advantages we bring to the equation and pass those experiences on to other companies large and small that  were stuck in the traditional cubicle buying mode. The goal is to show these companies in black and white that they could benefit greatly from understanding how we do what we do.
 
In short, we want to let the rest of the world in on the secret that you can save a lot of money buying factory direct from a company that sells hi quality cubicles on the internet without compromising on the quality or customer service. 
 
How is the workstation space evolving?
The advent of wireless technology, flat screen monitors, the drive towards a paperless environment along with a whole host of other technological advances have simplified what a cubicle needs to be and what it needs to do to be considered a good tool for today’s office . It’s no longer about huge wire capacity, beltway power or the ability to store an enormous amount of printed material.
 
The cubicle is now simply a place where these advanced technologies are employed by today’s well equipped office worker. As the balance of the cost shifts from spending more money on furniture to spending the lions share on the technology to make your business run, it only make sense that the cubicles become a smaller and smaller portion of the cost of getting a worker properly equipped to do their job.  
If we have employees so well equipped that they can telecommute from home, the road, or even the beach, then their needs while in the office have changed too.  
 
A worker still needs a place to sit, a place to do their work, a place to concentrate and communicate effectively.
 
What pains does your company solve for customers?
It’s been said that 60 percent of employees tasked with choosing new cubicles for their company lose their job within a year of completing that task. We certainly solve that problem. When the furniture project you are managing comes in on time and under budget the chances are you’re moving up, not out.
 
Growth is costly and time consuming. It doesn’t add a dime to the bottom line either, so the less time it takes and the less it costs the sooner our clients are able to get back to whatever it is that makes them money. 
 
Indecision is one of the biggest progress killers of all time. We distill our client’s needs and wants down to their most basic distinct elements and in the process give them the tools to make good decisions quickly.
 
Do you specialize in any one type of business?
Call Centers are an especially good fit for us. It’s true that we make a wide variety of cubicles configurations and work with all kinds of different companies to solve their furniture needs, but Call Centers seem to benefit most from the cost effective utility, speed of deployment and elegant simplicity of our products.

Who would benefit from using Cube Solutions?
Companies facing challenges with their space, their budget, their leadtime. Companies that need to grow but can’t stomach the cost of the cubicles they bought last time around. Times have changed and companies need to know that there are options that didn’t exist a few years ago.
 
Companies that are moving or downsizing need know that they are people who can help without robbing them blind when they have to liquidate their existing furniture. We’ve helped some of the largest companies in the country make better decisions about their furniture when they needed to downsize their workforce or close a costly facility with a minimum of pain and difficulty.
 
 
Filling office space with the proper workstations can be expensive, what type of financial options and/or benefits do you provide customers?
We start out with a great price and a no nonsense design that really meets their needs. Often, when a company plans for growth in the form of a move or remodel the office furniture they need is one of the last things they think about. The budget is nearly gone by the time they get around to thinking about cubicles and they are desperate by the time they find us. We can usually tell when one of our clients is in this position and you can hear the relief in their voice when you deliver a design and a quote that saves the day.
 
We get our leasing partners involved to deliver a turnkey package of furniture, deliver and installation with one low monthly payment that makes the whole thing work. Often there are other capital expenses that get rolled into the lease too. Printers, copies, phone systems. servers. etc. The leasing company is happy to write a bigger lease and our client benefits greatly at tax time.

How do you think the future of the market looks?
Office Cubicles have become a commodity. A very useful commodity, but a commodity all the same. We may be the first to say it but most would agree that the days of a $3000 cubicle are gone forever.
 
 What companies need is an organized space where a worker can keep the things that help them to do their job well. No matter what brand of cubicle you look at they all do the same thing in the same way...except for the price.
 
The future belongs to companies who recognize this, on both ends of the sale.
 
Once a company realizes what they really need (see above) then they need a supplier in tune with that clearer vision. Cube Solutions is that supplier.
 
We recognize our clients for what they really need and office cubicles for what they really are. A very useful commodity.
 
Our goal is to deliver that commodity faster and more affordably than anyone else.
 
 Do you sell or recommend buying used furniture?
Absolutely. Cubicles are a commodity, and there is always a chance that a used inventory will be a good match for a client’s needs. The right size cubes, the right quantity, the right timing and the right price. When all these factors line up, buying used furniture can be a good option, For that reason we sell used furniture when it makes sense for our clients.
 
There are plenty of times however when the match between what’s needed and what’s available are not such a good match and that’s where our new product comes in.
 
Our new cubicles are priced to compete with good quality used cubicles but with none of the limitations or drawbacks inherent in buying used. There are no size limitations, quantity constraints, timing concerns, pricing issues and most importantly quality issues.
 
When buying new from Cube Solutions you are getting a “10” on the quality scale. That can’t be said of a used inventory.
 
Drawbacks to buying used cubicles include:
Limited inventory, once it’s gone, it’s gone. This make growth difficult and adding a station or two later is nearly impossible. Parts are always missing and replacements can be very difficult to procure. This is especially problematic during a time sensitive installation when time is of the essence Biological Concerns. Let’s face it. Unless you know the source, you just don’t know where those cubes have been. When you work in a used cubicle, you are working with everyone else who’s ever worked in that cubicle.
 
There are a lot of companies selling cubicles, why choose Cube Solutions?
 
Our privately held company was formed to do one thing and do it very, very well.
We could charge more for our product but that’s not inline with our goal.
 
We could up-sell our clients on things they don’t need but that’s not inline with our goal.
 
We could chase trendy features that make our product more costly, but that’s not inline with our goal.
 
We are committed to delivering the best possible value and service along with our furniture. We are committed to delivering the World’s Best Cubicle Value.
 
Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim�s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray



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