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BIFMA: 2012 will be flat

Written by | Sunday, 16 September 2012 17:54 |

Office furniture makers are now looking at a relatively flat year for 2012, followed by modest growth in 2013, according to an updated industry outlook.

It’s a great time to be a car dealership if you were one of the West Michigan companies that survived the thinning of the herd during the past three years.

Growth in the automotive industry had Robert Rodriguez looking for a new home for his company so it could continue to grow and take on new business.

If there was a recession, Proficient Machine and Tool hasn’t noticed.

A local company is offering a smarter, more energy efficient way to light outdoor spaces.

There's not as much talk in Michigan these days about how the Chinese hijacked the tool and die industry, stealing jobs that form the backbone of manufacturing and assembly plants worldwide.

West Michigan's automotive suppliers need to be prepared for a wave of sweeping changes rolling through the car business.

People that know about Landscape Forms Inc. often respect the company for its designs and innovation in the niche landscape furnishings industry.

When Johnson Controls Inc. opened its advanced battery plant in Holland in 2011, the company knew the plant would likely serve a small niche for electric and hybrid vehicles in the global automotive market.

Some second-tier office furniture companies may feel like they live in the shadow of the industry's largest companies, but Comstock Park-based Nucraft Furniture Co. seems to enjoy the shade just fine. 

A laser-like focus on controlling both cost and quality led to one local transportation industry supplier expanding into new capabilities and bringing previously outsourced production to its West Michigan operations.

GRAND RAPIDS — Companies today face a workforce dilemma.

Many businesses — and especially local manufacturers — still report they're struggling to find qualified talent, despite relatively high unemployment statewide creating a pool of available workers.

Steelcase envisions living on video

Written by | Friday, 06 July 2012 15:16 |

Before too long, video conferencing will become the dominant mode of communications in the workplace. That's according to Steelcase Inc., the Grand Rapids-based office furniture manufacturer that unveiled a series of concept products at this year's NeoCon trade show.

GRAND RAPIDS — Despite its fierce competitiveness, the office furniture industry finds many ways to work together, including around standards and regulations and sustainability. 

It's that cooperation that has the federal government taking notice.

HOLLAND — When customers place an order for office furniture, they expect it to be delivered completely and on-time.

In essence, that sentiment serves as the driving philosophy for Chairman Don Heeringa and the management team at Trendway Corp. As of press time for this story, the company had a streak of 149 days with on-time delivery of every single item on every shipment. That attention to meeting customer expectations functions as the company's differentiator, he said.

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