For more than 100 years, Steelcase Inc. has helped create great experiences for the world's leading organizations -- wherever work happens. Steelcase and our family of brands -- including Steelcase(R), Coalesse(R), Designtex(R), Details(R), Nurture(R), Po
Just ask Gary Lorenz, chief financial officer of WorkSquared, Inc.Since joining the company in 2003, Lorenz has served as a key member of a veteran management team that has faced all those challenges and then some and met them with remarkable success.
WorkSquared is a certified Herman Miller dealer and Lorenz is quick to give credit to the dealership's primary manufacturer partner for its support.
The company started out in Grand Rapids in the 1960s, but WorkSquared as it operates today Lorenz explains, didn't really get underway until 1999, when it acquired a healthcare furnishings and equipment dealer in the southeastern part of the state.
Along the way, a carefully executed hub-and-spoke strategy has taken the dealership into other markets across the state, with two main facilities in Grand Rapids and Novi, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, and satellite sales offices in Portage, Lansing and Traverse City.
Guiding the organization is a closely-knit management team of office furniture veterans, all with at least 20 years of office furniture experience and a shared understanding of just what makes WorkSquared work.
"We're very much a team-structured entity," says Lorenz.
"You have to be nimble and able to react quickly in this business and our team structure gives us the ability to do just that."
Each team, he explains, functions as an autonomous, sales-focused "mini-company," with sales and sales support, design, project management and accounting all represented.
And, he continues, the dealership's technology infrastructure makes it easy for management to monitor the performance of each team and make adjustments as needed.
WorkSquared has been a TeamDesign user since 1995 and, Lorenz says, the system has played a critical role in supporting the dealership's growth.
"Working with TeamDesign," he explains, "gives us the ability to basically create separate income statements for each team.
We know what our costs are and what our margin contributions are on a per team basis and that represents an incredibly powerful management tool."
TeamDesign also plays a key role in supporting the overall sales process at the dealership.
"It's a cliché that nothing happens until you sell something but there's a lot of truth to that cliché, nonetheless," says Lorenz.
"I learned early on we need effective tools to support our sales organization regardless of what markets they're in, and we need to be able to give them the best information we can on a timely basis."
And that's just for starters!
"As they generate orders, we also need an integrated system that will enable us to take that business and manage it all the way from bookings to collections," he contends.
"We have all that with TeamDesign," Lorenz reports happily.
"The dealer certification process at Herman Miller puts a heavy emphasis on customer response and customer service and we take that process very seriously," Lorenz explains.
"We send out surveys to our customers after every proposal and after every project and we aim for 100% satisfaction every time."
That's a critical reason, he adds, why WorkSquared has been one of the top five Herman Miller dealers in the country in terms of customer service and support over the past two years.
Nurturing the people side of the business and keeping the entire organization motivated and committed to the mission of providing superior customer service is another key priority at the dealership.
"We look to hire people who understand the importance of customer service and who have a passion for our industry and, once they're on board, we try to do as much as we can to keep them," Lorenz says.
"Turnover has been very low, particularly on the sales and sales support side, and some of our people have been with us for 10 years or more," he states proudly.
As a member of the TeamDesign Dealer Advisory Council, Lorenz has been closely involved in the development of the new Version 14 and his excitement about its arrival comes through loud and clear."ECi has provided the resources to take TeamDesign to the next level," he says.
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