office furniture industry takes action: globalization, government reform and the green movement are just some of the issues affecting north american office furniture manufacturers.
Office furniture growth slowed in August
The final outlook for the industry remains positive, with North American manufacturers expecting production and consumption to grow by nearly 10%.
According to the business and organization of Furniture Manufacturers Association.
2006 office furniture production is expected to increase by 8.
The 6% figure is over 2005, close to $10. 9 billion.
Again, consumption will show about 9.
Up 5% from last year to $13. 0 billion. (See \"2005 U. S.
\"Production by Product Category \". )
Consumption is defined as production plus import, minus export.
\"Global Insight, our forecasting consultant, has identified three major drivers for office furniture demand: the service department (Or white collar)
\"Employment, corporate profitability and new office building,\" said Tom Reardon, executive director of BIFMA . \".
\"At the moment, each of these factors has made a positive contribution to demand.
According to US media reportsS.
According to the Census Bureau, the construction of new offices increased by 22 as of July.
9% compared to 2005, the annual interest rate adjusted by seasonal factors was $56. 1 billion.
Overall, the annual rate of all non-seasonal adjustments
The construction of the House reached $563.
From 4 billion to July, an increase of 15.
8% a year ago
This is a good sign for the contract furniture industry, which not only forecasts growth this year, but also forecasts growth next year.
According to BIFMA, production and consumption are expected to increase by 8 in 2007. 2%, 9.
5% to 7, respectively-
An annual high of $11.
Production was $8 billion and $14.
Consumption 3 billion.
Some growth in consumption can be attributed to continued growth in imports.
According to data from the United StatesS.
US Department of Commerce and US Department of CommerceS.
2005 office furniture imports from the International Trade Commission$2 at an annual high.
$8 billion, while exports rose slightly to $551. 6 million.
This growth trend will continue to reach 2006.
This year has-
Imports increased by 15. Between $ 8% and $1.
5 billion, while exports increased by 13.
$ 7% to $295. 2 million.
Canada remains a major trading partner with the United States, ranking first in export destinations and second only to China in terms of imports. (
See the chart on this page for the top 10 import and export countries. )
\"We import parts from other countries, mainly Germany and China,\" said Russell Mitchell, marketing director, A & D, Kimball Office.
\"Our Environmental Task team has looked at these components to ensure they are environment-sensitive.
\"Of course, our product performance, durability, and reliability component specifications are consistent, no matter where they come from,\" he added . \".
\"In addition to the environmental or \'green\' market impact, globalization is changing the way we operate,\" says Leiden . \".
\"The global economy presents clear threats and opportunities.
Whether it\'s in terms of increased material costs, energy costs and/or medical costs, manufacturers are constantly under cost pressure.
\"This is a sentiment shared by companies in all areas of the woodworking industry.
In a recent survey conducted by wood and wood products, industry executives listed import threats and material energy and medical costs as one of the top 10 business issues of their greatest concern.
Competition for contracting contracts is another major issue for many American private companies. S.
Federal Prison Industries has always been a preferential treatment for office furniture manufacturers(
Trade name UNICOR)
The competition was received at the same time.
Founded in 1934, FPI is a wholly State-owned company and currently operates in seven business areas such as office furniture.
According to FPI\'s annual report, in 2005, the company operated office furniture factories in 10 federal prisons in the United States, employing 3,592 prisoners.
These prison factories account for about $0. 138 billion of the estimated $10.
In 2005, 1 billion pieces of contracted furniture were sold. (
On this page, check out the top 10 federal prison industry office furniture customers rankings. )
However, this may change soon.
Recent legislation, sponsored by the representative.
Peter Hoekstra (R-MI)
FPI is required to compete in government contracts. In addition, H. R.
2965: the federal prison industry competition Contracting Act of 2006 also seeks to block FPI\'s efforts to sell services to the private sector.
The bill was passed in Congress.
On the 14th, the result of a vote of 362 votes to 57 votes is now being considered by the Senate Judicial Committee.
\"For a long time, BIFMA has been supporting H. R.
2965, and the legislative predecessor of previous sessions of Congress.
The vast majority of our members also support these efforts . \"
\"Quantitative effects are unpredictable, and it is difficult to determine even after the facts happen,\" riedon added . \".
\"Our position on this issue has always been based on the fundamental support of open competition and market access for all manufacturers.
However, supporters of the FPI believe that the company\'s \"mandatory source\" status for federal work only ensures a stable workflow at the prison plant, offsetting competitive weaknesses, such as low average prisoner productivity, only for cases where UNICOR products are considered to be comparable to those of the private sector.
Companies competing for the green private sector also find themselves competing for public building contracts that specify Green or sustainable products.
\"Our commitment to environmental management started long before the\" green \"campaign became popular,\" Mitchell said . \".
\"As long as we\'re together, Kimball Office uses conservation and sustainability to guide us through how we design, build, and plan the entire lifecycle of our products.
Many of our projects and plans are \"number one\" and we will continue to promote industry standards over the long term
Protect our environment.
\"The impact of the \'green\' campaign on our company\'s business practices is simply to leverage the credibility of our own wood batches and SFI certification, increased exposure to our already existing environmental plans and policies, says Christine Woodd, vice president of contract at Harden furniture, who produces solid wood furniture.
\"Many of our members have accepted sustainable business practices as a more effective way of doing business,\" added Ryden . \".
\"Others are still evaluating market forces and trying to gather information about what it all means and what it affects.
Despite Baker Mfg.
The company said that environmental policies have been put in place and will continue to monitor the impact of the green movement on the company.
We are partners in the strategic alliance of Herman Miller.
We were watching.
Michael Earle, Baker\'s regional sales manager, said: \"What is our product made of and how to improve the green . \".
Mitchell said the Kimball Office built \"our wood furniture\" from species harvested from hands-on responsible, long-term sourcesterm forestry.
To make it easier to recycle, we try to use the least different materials in our products.
We try our best to improve them.
Content of recycling.
For example, the scrap board we use is made after 90%.
Reduce pressure on raw wood.
We also use low
Discharge adhesive, paint and wood finish.
Kimball\'s environmental mission team is also working on no-
Formaldehyde is added to composite plates.
However, many furniture manufacturers have found that while the concept behind the green product is good, it is another matter to have the customer pay more for the Certified label.
Joe Darter, vice president of furniture business at OSI, said: \"Most green campaigns have additional costs and no one is willing to pay for them . \".
When they came down to see [the product]
, And balance how many really come from green products in the Cabinet-[they realize]
Compared to the rest of it, the veneer is a thin layer of small layers. [For]
FSC certification, no one is willing to say, \'I will pay an extra £ 10% for it,\' it would be better to use the scrap board as a tool for carrying a green theme [
Not veneer],\" Darter adds.
\"Demand and drive for high demandgrade [certified]
Building veneers can cause many trees that are not normally cut down.
\"Sustainable development is still a very new and evolving concept, but I believe it is a trend that will continue to grow,\" said Leiden . \".
\"This is one of the reasons why BIFMA is working to develop voluntary industry standards so that our members can go on the road to sustainability.
\"The new industry standards will provide a common measure for assessing the attributes of sustainable business and furniture.
Ryden said he expects the standard to pass the ANSI consensus process in the next eight to ten months.
A copy of the current sustainability guidelines for BIFMA can be found on www. bifma. org.
Wade Vonasek contributed to this report.
LEED added credit options in the USS.
The Green Building Board recently approved the new furniture emission standards set by the commercial and institutional furniture manufacturer Assn.
As the third alternative to the Commercial interior design EQ 4 at civcial. 5 low-
The standard includes BIFMA M7. 1-
2005 test method and BIFMA x7. 1-
2005 standard of conformity.
\"BIFMA\'s furniture emission standards do not provide benefits based on the materials used in the building,\" said executive director Tom Reardon . \".
\"The new option C will help all manufacturers by providing additional options and options on compliance verification.
It provides the ability to take advantage of additional test labs and certification options. \" The LEED-
CI green building rating system reward points for the following categories: Sustainable Sites (
7 credits possible)
Water efficiency (2)
Energy and Atmosphere (12)
Materials and Resources (14)
Quality of indoor environment (17)
Process of innovation and design (5)
At least 21 credits must be obtained for LEED
For more information, please visit www. usgbc. org.