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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.
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.
What’s important to consider right off the bat is what’s going in the piece and then work outward. If you’ve got a stockpile of equipment that needs to be housed (monitors, touch panels, racked amplifiers and switchers, microphones, cable boxes, retractors, etc.), discuss with the specified furniture manufacturer how much space would be needed to allow proper fit and function of all aspects. Consider any moving parts – will the surface pull out, is there a keyboard shelf, does the unit have height adjust, are there any side shelves or document camera drawers? If you’ve got parts that will increase the depth, height or width of a piece at some point during use, ensure that the space surrounding the overall unit is usable and can accommodate such options. This consideration also applies to anyone that may be seated at the unit. Space needs to be set aside for chairs, wheelchairs or stools.
Just like choosing the appropriate garb for an event, it’s important that a lectern, especially one that is the focal point of a room, make the right impression. The material or finish can transform a lectern from traditional to modern. Matching it to colors, woods and accents in the room ties the entire atmosphere together. Topping off an excellent design with the right finish is crucial – the lectern may be functional, the space may be sufficient and the style may be spot out but if it sticks out like a sore thumb, the success of its design falters.
It’s important to consider what aesthetic elements you would like integrated into the lectern. If there is a particular veneer already being used in the millwork of a room, it’s important to determine early on if using it on the lectern will incur an up charge from the furniture manufacturer. Some woods may be exotic or are not a company’s standard choice and will need to be ordered for the project.
If a space has elements of modern style (metal accents, bright colors, glass overlays, etc.), it follows that any new piece of furniture should embody these aspects as well. Speak with your furniture supplier before hand to ensure they have the means necessary to implement the materials or design features you’d like to see.
My Name Is
Although it’s sometimes an afterthought, deciding whether to include signage on a lectern is a crucial early step to explore when designing your next custom piece. Logos can take weeks or months to design, review, approve and manufacture, especially if you’re looking for a metal or multi-piece ensemble. To both speed up the process and ensure you are getting exactly what you want, it’s important to first consult with any in-house designers, webmasters or graphic artists about whether they have a style guide that outlines rules for using the official logo. This information will help the vendor determine logo type, complexity, time line and attachment options relatively quickly so they can compile an overall cost.
If no guideline exists, several questions must be answered step-by-step. To begin, assess whether the logo will be fixed. If it will not be removed anytime soon, it can be adhered via stud mounts or tape. For multiple speakers or different conference buildings where a logo may need to be removed or swapped for a different one, you will need to discuss removable methods with a designer. Second, determine size and style. More than likely, the available space on the lectern front will determine the logo size. However, when it comes to style, figure out what works best (and is in your budget) material-wise. Is there a lot of lettering or block-shaped pieces that make up the artwork? Consider individually-cut pieces of metal or an etching done right on the face of the piece. Are there multiple colors? It’s probably best to do a wood logo as it can pass through the laser more times than a metal piece. Third, make accommodations for complexity. A vector image that contains a jumble of lines or detail will take more time to etch and paint. Intricate details in artwork will typically result in more labor costs and lead time. Also, depending on logo size, some artwork may even need to be simplified to produce a clearer image.
In All Fairness
For many years, there has been a massive overhaul to make all spaces as ADA compliant as possible. When it comes to lecterns, there are easy to integrate ADA options available that allow for a more universally friendly experience. You may need to make accommodations to your budget to do so but specifying ADA options into your piece will benefit you in the long run. For one, it shows colleagues, instructors, students and keynote speakers your awareness of individuals with disabilities and your dedication to providing those individuals with a functional and comfortable user experience. Secondly, by taking the time to discuss ADA customization from the start, you can prevent the lectern from looking as though accommodations were added-on as an afterthought.
ADA furniture must adhere to three basic principles: proper wheelchair height, available knee space and equal access to any controls or technology. There are several ways that a design can satisfy all three but the majority of the time, utilizing the following options allows seamless integration of the necessary guidelines. To accommodate all speakers, whether seated or standing, including a lift is key. At its completely lowered position, the lectern would be at the maximum seated ADA work surface height and raise to a standing height comfortable for most speakers. As a way to create knee space where there isn’t any, the work surface can act as a large pullout. This would allow users to reach all integrated components without knocking their knees on door handles or locks. Of course, creating an ADA height work surface can be done multiple ways . For example, the surface can open to the side or a drop leaf shelf can be added if no fixed components exist on the surface that require universal use. If users are only using a monitor or laptop on the surface, an articulating arm can also be specified as a way to adjust equipment for comfortable use by each specific instructor.
Wheels in Motion
Perhaps the most overlooked but essential component to consider in your lectern build is mobility. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to utilize locking casters unless you know the piece will not be moved whatsoever. The locking caster mechanism typically consists of a level that is pressed to stall caster movement. Although adjustable glides do provide more assurance that the lectern will not accidentally roll away, it makes moving the lectern into a room more difficult. Leveling casters bridge the gap between both options offering a mobile solution that can be swapped for a fixed foot once in place. However, engaging the levelers is a cumbersome task that many would prefer not to perform every time they want to move the unit. Whatever choice you make keep several things in mind. Will the lectern ever be moved once in place? Is there a suitably-sized dolly available to bring the unit to the room if it is on leveling feet? What accommodations does your staff prefer to access any locking mechanisms?
These questions are important to discuss before or during design as swapping out feet later on can pose issues. Installation of an alternative will likely require the piece be tipped over, which is a situation ripe with damage potential. Also, space beneath the cabinet (if feet are typically hidden) can cause issues. Casters usually require more clearance than leveling feet. Utilizing one for the other after the fact can mean that larger blockers may be needed or casters may stick out more than normal.
It’s true that there are many different aspects at the core of each custom lectern and personalizing a piece often takes time to execute. Customer needs change from project to project and there are various concerns that must be addressed for each one. However, taking the time to consider and implement the above mentioned components for each potential lectern is fundamental to a successful design.
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.
So, what do you do when you’ve got little to no room behind the lectern? What if your presenter has a disability that prevents them from accessing the moving parts? One set-up may work for a large percentage of our customers but not every space, application or need is the same. The above mentioned issues present new challenges that showcase why custom furniture is important to consider.
To address a situation without adequate furniture space, it’s important to first note what will and will not fit inside a lectern at its maximum size. After that, the ADA accommodations may need to be re-designed to allow proper articulation. For example, if the space between a wall and the lectern will not allow a pullout surface to function properly, an alternate consideration would be to have the surface pull out to the side instead.
ORIGINAL DESIGN REVISED DESIGN
Not only does this alternate design still satisfy the key components of ADA, it offers users a more inclusive solution than simply adding a side shelf.
Although there exists a general precedence for each ADA set-up, it’s important to remember that not every user is the same. To ensure equal access, aspects of the general ADA set-up may need to be re-evaluated to ensure every presenter has a fully-accessible unit. For example, including a knee space on a lectern or work station via the pullout surface option simply won’t work if accessing the pullout mechanism isn’t possible due to a physical disability. Typically, to unlock and allow movement of our pullout work surface option, users would need to pull on a t-handle that is located below the surface.
However, the ability to grasp and pull may be hindered by a variety of physical disabilities. An alternate option that does not require as much movement on the part of the presenter would be a rocker switch connected to a piston that would activate work surface movement electronically.
Putting slight pressure on the left or right side of the switch will engage the mechanism. This option is also located right on the front of the podium next to the seated presenter for ease of use. Although a bit more costly, specifying an electronic work surface in place of a manual one solves a variety of issues and provides users with a personalized unit for their direct needs.
The amount of available options and design specifics can vary from project to project but one thing is for sure: specifying custom furniture is one sure fire way to ensure that every customer has a unit that is entirely built around their specific needs. Accompanying height restrictions, matching aesthetics and accommodating integrated equipment are all important parts of what we do at Marshall Furniture. However, our ability to provide an accessible piece of ADA furniture is what sets us apart. We’ve got years of experience and knowledge behind this subject and we pride ourselves on being able to design around or come up with alternate solutions to any number of design or space issues. We want to ensure that every project and its unique qualities have a voice in the ultimate furniture design.
If you have any questions for us or need an ADA unit for your space, please send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 847-395-9350 to speak with one of our knowledgeable designers.
Marshall Furniture would like to inform its dealers and customers that Adam Fischer has left the company to pursue other ventures. Notably, Adam has taken up a career in law enforcement, a personal goal of his for many years. We at Marshall Furniture would like to wish him well and are sure that he will continue to help others just as he has done with us for many years. For those that have worked with Adam in the past, please know that we welcome your continued business and that our sales team is here to help with any projects you many have started with Adam.
Written By: Joyce Nemenyi
A Brief History:
Signed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all public areas, including jobs, education and transportation. Recently, there has been a surge of higher education, courtrooms, businesses and multiple other markets coming to terms with the need for ADA furniture in their spaces. Many re-designs now request movable monitors, easily accessible technology and adjustable furniture pieces. But what is ADA compliance? Presumably, when someone thinks of ADA furniture, it likely comes in the form of ramps, walkways or motorized wheelchair lifts. Free-standing furniture, however, requires a complex mix of adjustable parts and available space to meet ADA. The type of furniture must first be considered, the equipment storage and interactive technology needs have to be integrated and then available seating at the unit needs to be accommodated. At Marshall Furniture, our sensitivity and versatility to ever-changing needs has provided us the opportunity to learn and implement the guidelines needed to ensure compliance.
ADA & Furniture:
Most assume adjusting furniture height is the end-all to solving ADA issues but that simply isn’t true. When you’re seated, it’s not just about work surface height. Users want to sit comfortably – so they need knee space. Users want to interact with all technology – so they need equal access to controls. In order to meet all three – adjustable height, available knee space and equal interaction with technology – we’ve got to start at the beginning and work our way to the end.
To begin, what is the application? If its higher education, the room may need an instructor station, training tables or a work station for lab work. Businesses may need office desks, conference tables or huddle stations for quick meetings. Courtrooms have a bench for the judge, jury tables, witness stands, etc. Each market has individual furniture pieces that they will need.
Secondly, consider what is going in the piece. Does it need a touch panel, a monitor or any microphones? How about storage equipment? Will there be racked technology such as transmitters, amplifiers or switchers? With AV furniture, it is imperative that technology be efficiently and discreetly stored, which is why it can get tricky with “off-the-shelf” units when you need to add in movable parts for ADA.
Lastly, will there be more than one user at the station? For a table, how many individuals will need to be accommodated? How much space is behind, in front of or around the unit? Presenters may need to travel around a table or get behind a lectern to use it. If there’s not enough space (because the furniture is too big, the room is too small or there’s a bulky side shelf), then compliance is still an issue.
A Marriage – ADA Compliance and Custom Furniture:
The great thing about custom furniture is that you never have to worry about compromising ADA needs or technology space for a fully functional and compliant piece. We work one-on-one with multiple clients everyday to ensure all their project specifications are met. Here’s a few examples of ADA requests based off of previous client feedback.
Community College X needs an instructor’s station. They need it to be ADA, have plenty of work space and house rack equipment to run an interactive panel and confidence monitor.
A desk with available knee space that meets ADA specifications, plenty of rack units and a large work surface for equipment. This unit is even budget-friendly, which is another important concern to keep in mind as ADA compliance can get expensive. Making sure the unit itself is relatively low cost helps when so many movable parts and extra storage space needs to be included.
University X needs a small lectern. They want to meet ADA. They’ve got a touch panel and monitor they want to integrate, along with components that will run both. They’ll need everything locked up but accessible when needed. They also need it to move freely about the room.
A compact ADA lectern that uses almost every inch of space to accommodate an 8″ motorized lift, 11 rack units, locking casters, pullout surface and equipment integration. This unit meets all three ADA needs for furniture: the lift allows adjustability of the surface, the pullout surface provides a temporary knee space and all controls are accessible to the seated presenter.
Company X wants a large conference table for a new video conference room. It needs to seat about 12-16 people and will have cable pass, microphones and space for user laptops.
First, it’s important to ensure proper ADA guidelines for seating space are met. At least 30″ of width must be allotted for each person and the table must be the correct size in relation to the room to ensure wheelchair clearance around the furniture (at least 60″ for 360 degrees of swivel). If someone cannot back away from the table edge and/or turn to exit the room, compliance has not been met.
In the End…
As you can see, equal compliance, aesthetics and seamless integration can easily come together to create a great-looking, functional piece. By utilizing custom furniture, users can ensure their new and rehabbed spaces meet all guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition to providing resources for every presenter, each piece can be customized to fit a room’s style, color scheme or wood type. Call us today and let us know what aspects you need to include for your next project. We’d be more than happy to show you just how easy it can be to integrate all aspects of your vision to create a one-of-a-kind, high-quality (and ADA-friendly) piece of furniture.
Happy holiday season everyone!
We apologize for being away for so long. Our monthly post goal went a little off track for a few months while we all clamored to catch up with the influx of business we’ve been getting lately. It’s been a busy time for us and we couldn’t be happier! Therefore, we thought it best that our first blog back from our hiatus should be an update on what we’ve been up to since we last spoke.
First things first – new products
Our Quick Ship line has been ever expanding over the last few years but especially so lately. Since we debuted our traditional-style ELCO line at Infocomm 2014 over the summer, we’ve been brainstorming and designing new additions to offer customers more flexibility and budget-friendly options.
Recently, we posted a video to our newly-created YouTube channel debuting the ELCO-ADA-40 and will have a video up shortly on our ELCO-ADA-49 desk as well (check out our video on the ELCO-ADA-40 here). These units have an electric height adjust with 12″ range and optional under-surface vertical rack box. Both can be machined for small surface cut outs or fitted with an optional mount box for any touch panel or cable box needs. These desks differ from our usual ADA quick ship option, the SCM-640L, by offering users a smaller, more simplistic style for a lower price point.
Also new in our Quick Ship line is an optional 1″ radius aluminum corner and 3/8″ square aluminum corner, which can be added to any MRTA-style piece and our ELCO traditional style lecterns. We developed the aluminum corner option as a way to introduce further customization and variability in our budget-friendly pieces, especially for clients that are looking for more modernity in their furniture.
If you flip to the ELCO lectern section in our 2014/2015 Idea Book, you’ll see a handful of new options previously not available on our Quick-Ship pieces, including an LCD well and pullout drawer in lieu of a keyboard shelf. Users can choose whether they’d like a hidden access panel or one with hardware showing. All our AC outlets now come with USB connection, larger ELCO lecterns can have asymmetric and/or vented doors and all sizes of ELCO lecterns can include a full-width monitor well.
In conjunction with new products and options, we recently added six new melamine colors to provide customers more variability in their budget-friendly furniture. Modern, solid colors consist of Silver Frost, a light silver color, White and Slate Gray, a blue-toned dark gray. Wood-grained melamine additions include a dark brown color called Cocobala, Wild Cherry, which is a slightly darker, red-toned version of our regular Cherry melamine, and Asian Sun, meant to represent bamboo.
Upgrades & Additions
We’ve recently made updates to several aspects of our work shop and its grounds. Specifically, we had our parking lot paved, an endeavor requested for several years now. Before paving began, we suffered through several bouts of flooding and had gotten used to avoiding mud puddles scattered throughout the lot. After finalizing plans, we began parking lot renovations around late September. We’ve still got some ways to go before the lot is complete, but we’re (literally!) half way there.
A new addition to our sales team also happened around September. We had the pleasure of welcoming Lola – she specializes in giving kisses and begging for cookies! Yes, you read that right. Though, if you haven’t guessed by now, our new addition is a canine co-worker! She has seamlessly blended in with and befriended our other doggie companions here and has gotten used to prancing from office to office for attention.
A few months back we acquired another addition to our team – a Marshall Furniture van! We primarily wanted to invest in a vehicle that we could easily load small furniture into for local road trips to dealers and customers. More often than not, it’s so much easier to describe us and what we do visually and we wanted to find a way to bring our product to the masses.
Normally, we’re accustomed to doing trade shows throughout the year. During down time though, we thought it would be nice to be able to visit current and potential clients to introduce new products and present information about ourselves to those who might not already be familiar with our company.
If you’re in the Midwest or in a state near Illinois, please give us a ring or shoot us an email to inquire about having some of our staff come out to your location in our trusty new van. We’d be more than happy to schedule a time to present materials, products and answer any questions you and your associates may have.
There you have it – a quick synopsis of what we’ve been up to these past few months. As the new year approaches, we hope you will keep us in mind for any upcoming projects. We hope you enjoy the Holidays and enjoy a successful 2015!
See you next year!
We’re about to cannonball right into a topic that has been discussed and argued many times over.
Why? Well, there’s plenty of preconceived notions and opinions out there that advocate for one method of construction or the other. Interestingly enough, people are still divided on this front with strong advocacy and exclusivity for one side or the other. In our own experience, we’ve come across plenty of instances where a client has asked us to build using their preferred method.
For us though, there’s one method that takes precedence in our products over the other – veneer. We prefer veneer so we can ensure our products are long lasting and can hold up to each customer’s setting. Take note, we don’t completely throw solid wood out the window, as it’s often used for molding, table edging and framing. However, our choice to invest in a veneer construction is essential to our core standards and done for a variety of reasons. Which, you guessed it, we will list below.
What’s the difference anyway?
Let’s start with the basics.
You’ve got solid wood, which is pretty self explanatory. It’s a piece of lumber cut and sanded to make individual parts that make up a piece of furniture. Solid wood furniture has a consistent grain that runs all the way through each piece and can, for the most part, stand the test of time. This is why solid wood furnishings are often referred to as “heirloom furniture.”
Veneer, on the other hand, is considered an engineered product. Thin slices are cut from a log in the same manner that the deli guy at the grocery store would cut your salami. Veneer gives cabinet makers (and ultimately customers) more variety in their grain pattern because veneer can be cut from logs that were separated from the tree at different angles, producing options such as rift cut, quarter sawn or flat cut. Afterward, these slices are adhered to a substrate and assembled to make the final piece.
Both seem legit – why one over the other?
Well, as with anything, you’ve got your advantages and disadvantages.
But let’s start with a little background.
For some reason, veneer has gotten a bad rap. Many have suggested that’s thanks to the mass-market, low budget furniture that’s out there. You know, the kind you can get just about anywhere? Well, a lot of these products are made with veneer that is so paper-thin, it might as well not be there. This, combined with a low-quality substrate, produces a time bomb waiting to fall apart at any moment. Thus, the idea that veneer equals bad.
However, what many fail to realize is the lack of quality that is at these products’ core. Veneer, when done properly, should hold up just as well as a piece made from solid wood. Quality material and construction is everything. If you want something that doesn’t blow over in the wind, you’ve got to ensure that veneer is A) thicker than cellophane (ours is about the thickness of a business card) and B) applied to medium density fiberboard or plywood. If you’ve got both, you’re good to go.
So, why not just bypass all that headache and construct using ‘ol tried and true solid wood? Well, solid wood has got its pitfalls too, many of which are detrimental to the type of products we specifically manufacture.
1. Warping & Bowing
Wood is a natural product and as such, is inclined to act according to its environment. Year round, trees continually expand and contract, reacting to moisture and temperature. Since we ship all over the country, it wouldn’t be the best idea to build from solid wood because you can bet a cabinet is going to expand if it goes from dry, cool air to somewhere warm and humid. You’d be left with doors that may not close properly anymore, flat sides that bow and areas that could crack. None of which is exactly welcome.
That’s where veneer and substrate come into play. Our products are built using medium density fiberboard (MDF) at its core. MDF is a great choice because it is strong, high quality and best of all, resists expanding and contracting. When you’ve got numerous pieces that make up the entirety of a lectern, the last think you want is one of those pieces moving out of place and messing the whole thing up. Plus, we’ve got equipment going in our pieces. If we make a hole for a touch panel, we don’t want it to be too big or too small once it arrives on-site for install. That just messes everyone’s day up.
2. Price & Waste
Let’s jump right into an analogy, shall we? If you buy a loaf of bread, you could chomp right into the sucker or cut it in half lengthwise to make a massive PB&J. But common sense would tell you to cut it into slices so you get a longer shelf life out of it. Instead of one, unnecessarily large sandwich, you could have lunch for a week or more.
That rather hunger-inducing illustration is meant as a precursor to our next point. If you cut a tree down and separate it into a few sections of solid wood pieces to build a table, it’s more expensive and wasteful than taking that same log and slicing it numerous times into smaller fitches of veneer that can be used to make several pieces of furniture. As a planetary rule, being eco-friendly is a priority, but especially more so when you’re using a natural source as the backbone of your company. By using veneer, we are saving money and resources by squeezing as much material as we can from one source. By using MDF, we’re actively recycling, as MDF is essentially sawdust glued together to make a board. The last thing we want is our prices to go up and the environment to suffer simply because we’re using up more lumber than we need to.
Every customer is different in their view of how their furniture should look, which is why we, as a custom furniture company, prefer to work with veneer to ensure each client need is met. What do we mean? Well, there are a variety of options out there that simply won’t work with solid wood. For example, if a client wants to see different cuts of grain arranged to form a pattern for artistic purposes, veneer is really the only way to go. Got someone who wants to see something other than Maple or Cherry? Some exotic wood choices can only be produced in veneer form. If you’re trying to eliminate defects to produce a uniform look, using veneer is a more precise and less wasteful way to get away with it. All in all, solid wood construction can be very restricting.
Okay, here’s the obligatory conclusion:
We’ve taken this blogging opportunity to put forth a multitude of reasons why we prefer to use a veneer construction. All that being said, we’d like to take a moment to make a small side note here. Solid wood is not bad. Solid wood is not sub-par. Solid wood has its benefits too: it’s sturdy, long lasting and is easier to repair from minimal damage. Solid wood just doesn’t work for what we’re trying to do. Instead, we prefer to use it side-by-side with veneer, specifically on edges to protect from bumps and scrapes or aesthetically, as is the case with raised paneling. In fact, most furniture is done this way, where a combo of both solid wood and veneer is utilized. The point here is rather than dismissing one option entirely, it’s better to understand and utilize their strong points instead to ensure success.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Well, that’s an oxymoron, isn’t it?
We’d like to jump back into your daily lives to inform you that we’ve taken on a new venture – YouTube! As a custom furniture company, we find it’s sometimes easier to demonstrate our products through in-person interaction. Since that’s not possible most of the time, we thought it best to take this opportunity to present our audience with video presentations of our most news-worthy and interesting pieces.
Click the photo below to check out our first video. It’s a quick explanation and demo of our new ELCO-ADA-40. Remember to like and please subscribe to see all our future posts.
Here’s the link. Click and enjoy!
Happy July and Happy (almost) Independence Day!
As many of you may know, the annual Infocomm extravaganza happened last month and there were a record number of attendees – over 37,000! This year’s show marked the 75th anniversary of Infocomm and its growth over the years was certainly reflected in the amount the foot traffic and interest we received and perceived at the event. At the show, held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, we showcased a number of new products as well as some classics that we’d like to share with you, in case you were unable to attend or visit our booth.
Take a gander below:
Front of our booth.
In the first photo, you can see our new Tapered Classic Style lectern in the foreground and our Classic Style lectern behind it. To the left of the lectern, we have a simple Rectangular Collaboration table set up – it was built in Hawaiian Koa and had cable pass through the legs.
The second photo showcases our ADA lectern. This piece combats the issue of knee space that is integral to ADA guidelines. The work surface unlocks through a hand pull on the presenter’s side and pulls forward on slides, generating a temporary knee space and bringing all components on the surface toward the seated user. The lectern is also on a hydraulic lift and its interior has enough space for rack.
Behind the Koa Collaboration Table is another collaboration set-up: a custom Walnut Rectangular Conference Table paired with a custom Collaboration Wall with integration ready cut outs to accept monitors, touch panels, etc. for video conferencing.
Here’s a closer look:
The table has metal inlays and cable cubbies for cable pass to the legs, which are hollow and have touch-latch access doors for easy servicing. The custom Collaboration Wall can be made to any size and will include cut outs/mounts so integrators can easily mount the necessary equipment.
Furthermore, you’ll see in the two pictures below, the wall is actually hinged, not fixed – resolving issues of wire management and equipment servicing. Rather than mounting a monitor or touch panel directly to a room wall, our hinged Collaboration Wall is a less permanent but easier to access solution for all parties.
Next to our wall set-up, we included yet another take on collaboration and information-sharing. We showcased an example of our Round Collaboration Workstation coupled with a framed monitor. On the workstation, we included two Crestron Connect It Presentation Interfaces. These allow users to plug-in laptops or other electronic media and display content on a connected monitor. This workstation had interior fixed rack and a pullout keyboard shelf. The monitor frame front locked onto the back via plunge locks for security and inside the frame were two exhaust fans to pull out hot air.
Back view of our booth.
On the other side of our makeshift wall we had a slew of products: a cost-effective Collaboration Table and corresponding video wall, a Quick Ship ADA Desk, our new ELCO T-32 Lectern, an ELCO-25, a Touch Table, and a Stage Confidence Monitor Cabinet. Off to the side you’ll see our dedication piece to Infocomm’s 75th anniversary – a lectern with angled top and flat bottom held together by a seven and a five, painted gold and integrated with old AV products donated to us by various parties.
Here’s a close up of the cost-effective collaboration set up. We included it in our booth as a contrast to the custom Collaboration Table/Wall set up I mentioned earlier that was on the other side of this makeshift wall. For this piece, we have a simple D-Shaped Table in white melamine and a shallow storage unit with ventilation and removable panels for access. The storage piece has an overhanging panel atop for video camera set up. During the show, we had live video conferencing with an employee of Viju, the dealer who provided us with the equipment to give this set-up life.
Pictured to the left of the Collaboration Table is our Plasma Lift Cabinet. This piece had exhaust vents to push out hot air and a whisper quiet monitor lift to raise and lower a 46″ monitor.
These are just a few pictures of the many pieces included in our booth. Please check out our website at www.marshallfurniture.com to view more photographs and detailed explanations of all pieces included at this year’s show.
Thanks again to all those that stopped by out booth! Let us know how we can help with any of your custom furniture needs. From the photos above, you can see that we’re capable of accommodating a wide variety of project needs and can work to develop a piece that envelops all the components necessary to bring any room to the next level.
We’re faced-paced and materialistic – nothing you haven’t already heard. It’s universally known that as a society, we’re constantly looking for the best deal now, now, now but let’s be honest, it’s hard not to be this way. On a daily basis, we’re constantly bombarded with deals left and right for a can’t-miss savings or get-it-while -it-lasts offer. It’s therefore unsurprising that just the word “custom” can cause a physical recoil. Why? Through experience, most people come to find, more often than not, that you get what you pay for – if it’s cheap in cost, it’s cheap in design and if it’s custom, it must cost a fortune. For that reason, it’s naturally quite hard to find a worthwhile deal, especially when it comes to commercial furnishings.
One universal problem with budget-friendly commercial furniture is that consumers often find themselves buying something that fits their finances but crumbles to pieces within a year. Typically, because there’s a lot that goes into product cost (materials, labor, the manufacturing process, profit, shipping, etc.) it’s predictable that a lot of variables are sacrificed as a way to reduce delivered price. Not much of a deal though if your furniture is in shambles. And frankly, it’s simply not fair to ask smaller businesses and institutions to compromise on quality simply because they don’t have a fortune to spend re-vamping their offices, conference rooms and classrooms.
The other ever-present issue at hand is that of customization. Customers want what customers want and a manufacturer’s responsibility is to try and meet their needs but it’s difficult with budget-friendly furniture. As we mentioned before, it’s typical that consumers are left with little to no ability to tailor their commercial furniture to their needs without paying a pretty penny. And who wants to shell out money for a unit that isn’t even close to what they want?
That’s where we (and this blog post) come in. We’re aware that we might not be everyone’s first choice for economy furniture- it’s often assumed that due to our high-quality work, we couldn’t possibly offer a custom, cost-effective unit. After all, from the information we just gave, you’re probably thinking: does such an item even exist? Well, as you’ve probably guessed by now, the introduction you just read was all a precursor to our resounding answer of “yes.” We aim to prove that, unlike others, at Marshall Furniture, you can get what you want, you can get a quality, long-lasting piece of furniture and you can get it in your price range.
Allow us to elaborate:
If you peruse around our webpage or through our Idea Book, you’ll see we offer an widespread line of furniture called “Quick Ship.” We developed this line as an answer to a long standing need from consumers . They were drawn to our customization abilities but required a lower base price for their furniture.
With our Quick Ship pieces, we give you the opportunity to choose from a variety of standard sizes and finishes with options that accommodate your existing technology. We’ve got a variety of low-cost lecterns, workstations, monitor carts, credenzas, tables, rack cabinets, rack boxes, wall cabinets, desks and desktop lecterns. Depending on model type and size, you can incorporate LCD mounts, small touch panels and cable reservoirs, microphones, lighting, rack railing for equipment storage, drop leaf shelves and document camera drawers. Some units we construct with melamine, a low-pressure laminate, and others we manufacture like our custom lecterns using the same fine veneers.
That’s nice, but what makes you so special?
Okay, we expect you’re wondering what sets us apart from others who also claim to offer economy furniture. The answer is multi-faceted but simple. We apply quality craftsmanship to our Quick Ship pieces in the same way we do our custom products while consistently offering more customization options than others at a relatively competitive price. Plus, with Marshall Furniture, you’re getting a piece of furniture that is covered by our generous 10-year warranty, is made in America and has options that comply with guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Okay, so how much customization can I get?
Unlike some other manufacturers, our Quick Ship products are not meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Imagine you’ve got a client who doesn’t require much but still wants a quality piece of furniture for their application. Or, the job requires the complete opposite: a rather large desk with hydraulic lift for ADA purposes, rack rails for equipment, and cut outs and accommodations for touch panels and monitors atop the surface. With our Quick Ship line, we’ve got you covered either way.
The main element of “customization” that our Quick Ship line offers is options. We give you size options, finish options, add-on options, mobility options, work surface options, and much more. We offer the ability to machine the top surface on any of our Quick Ship products for small cut outs (touch panels, microphones, cable reservoirs, etc.) for no charge. Some of our models offer standard 270 degree hinge doors while others have doors that pocket inside the unit. We offer round or square add-on corners that can be specified as either black or aluminum. We’ve got wall cabinets that are low profile, have adequate ventilation elements and offer the ability to hold between 1-6 rack units. Not to mention, our Quick Ship lecterns accommodate most custom logo types and can incorporate additional cable pass and ventilation as required per customer.
Also, unlike most economy furniture, we make an effort to give you a product that reflects the high-quality look and construction of custom pieces. We want to give end users a custom feel without the custom price. For example, take a glance at our ELCO and EXEC pieces – they are modeled to represent the aesthetic of our most popular custom style: Prairie. Our MRTA? Reminiscent of our Radius style and the ELCO-T bears resemblance to our Traditional style custom lectern.
Wait – you mentioned ADA, what’s that all about?
The Americans with Disabilities Act sets guidelines for facilities to follow when it comes to components such as furniture. For us, this means we must ensure the furniture has adequate knee space and hydraulic lift so both seated and standing presenters can use the unit comfortably. Further, ADA compatible units must ensure equal access to controls by ensuring all components on the surface are easily within reach.
To satisfy these guidelines, we offer several units, one of them being our SCM-640L desk. As a standard, this desk has height adjust, rack railing for equipment storage, pocket door to eliminate interference, side drop leaf shelf for additional work surface space, and the ability to include an articulating monitor arm or electric lifting monitor mount. Cut outs for touch panels and cable wells are also available.
If your space requires a somewhat simpler and less option-filled unit, you might consider our ELCO-ADA-40 desk. This desk has an open knee space with 12″ of height adjust. The top surface can also be machined to accept any necessary equipment .
Great, anything else?
Well, as we mentioned before, all our products are made in the U.S.A. To some, this may not seem like much of a selling point, but we’re proud we can claim such a statement.
Country of origin can dictate cost as well all know. Sometimes, customers buy something strictly based on the price tag but have no clue where their product is coming from or who made it. This is never the case with us. At Marshall Furniture, you are familiar with the name of your designer, can work with them personally through email and phone and you can feel comfortable knowing that each piece of furniture was made in one place that you can point to on a map.
Additionally, being the small company that we are, the intimacy of such a small setting ensures that each piece of furniture we build, even our economy units, are made with care by individual cabinet makers who take the time to pay attention to details and build using only the highest-quality materials. As a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), our melamine units and wood veneer products are built to better than industry standards and can withstand shock loads, twisting, side loads and the abrasion of constant use. All of our veneer panels use the highest grade of veneer possible. To that end, we can guarantee all our Quick Ship products under our generously-long 10-year warranty.
Another thing that’s nice about our Quick Ship line? It’s ever expanding. Every year, we are looking to improve, add or modify our economy products to better suit our customers’ requests. We are always trying to keep price low by looking into new construction methods and we consistently try to introduce more and more options as our expertise increases.
Need more info?
Give us a ring. Send us an email. Request a catalog. Or, simply check out our website. Any of these avenues will provide you with images and information about our Quick Ship line. As you already know, we’ll produce design drawings to ensure your approval of each unit we build and we’ll make sure that you understand all your available options. Most importantly, we’ll work with your budget. Let us know what you’re looking to spend and we’ll develop a design that won’t empty out your wallet.
We don’t think you should have to compromise quality for price. So don’t believe the hype – customizable, budget-friendly is not a myth. At least, not at Marshall Furniture.