A buyer's guide: major Indiana suppliers of office furnishings.

Author:Morgan, Ginger
 
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If your company is in the market for new furniture, or if your old furniture needs an update, you won't have to go far. This month, we're profiling several of Indiana's many office-furniture dealers. Looking for Kimball products? Sold on Steelcase? Confused by ergonomics? Read on.

ATLAS COMMERCIAL INTERIORS

Atlas Commercial Interiors is the largest HON dealer in the state, according to its president and sales manager, Steve Nahmias.

The Indianapolis company was founded in 1946 by his father, Aaron Nahmias, as Atlas Specialty Co.

"We're unique now because we sell office supplies and furniture, with furniture comprising about 35 percent of our business," Nahmias says. For its stock, the company relies on many Southern Indiana furniture manufacturers, such as Inwood, Jasper Desks, Jasper Seating and Indiana Desk.

"We sell systems furniture - panel systems or dividers in anything from lower- to middle-market to A-Grade, and any price range except budget," says Nahmias. "We're very strong in the middle market."

Atlas offers complete design services, free delivery and installation, space planning, and computer-assisted design with Giza software.

The new focus is on ergonomics, adds Nahmias. "Adjustable-height tables and desks, where you can work both sitting and standing, are big in Europe, and they're becoming big in the U.S.," he says. "A gas lift or easy mechanical crank lets you lower or raise the table easily, so a person can adjust from sitting height to standing height several times throughout the day."

BUSINESS FURNITURE CORP.

Business Furniture Corp., Indianapolis, will celebrate its 75th birthday by moving into a 70,000-square-foot building at Interstate 465 south of 71st Street next January.

Founded in 1922 and now owned by Richard and Debra Oakes, Business Furniture Corp. was the first Steelcase dealer in the country - quite a distinction, since Steelcase is the biggest provider of office equipment in the world, according to Mary Beth Schneck, the company's vice president of marketing.

The company also carries items from other Steelcase-owned companies, such as Brayton, Metropolitan, Vecta, Details and Turnstone, and lines of furniture by National Office Furniture and OFS.

Business Furniture Corp. is capitalizing on the diversity of the workplace by tailoring work spaces to fit the employee. "People do different jobs throughout the organization, so you can't design one work station for all employees," Schneck explains. "Some people are stationary, and some are up and down all day. You can't put all employees in one type of chair."

The company's services include delivery and installation, customized service contracts, refurbishing, reconfiguration and space planning.

"We realize that not everyone is interested in buying all-new furniture," Schneck acknowledges. "They just need help utilizing what they have."

BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC.

It's all in the family for this 62-year-old company, founded in 1934 in South Bend by Julius L. Tucker. Its present owners, Thomas and Richard Tucker, are sons of the founder.

Business Systems Inc., a Northern Indiana dealer of office products, sells items by HON, Hanter, Paoli and Jofco, and has a computer-design department. Customers can see a prospective office configuration on the salesperson's laptop computer before a stick of furniture is purchased.

Other services include a furniture-maintenance program, installation and reconfiguration of panel systems, wood refinishing, touch-up and reupholstery.

"Teaming is the new concept in office furniture and design," notes Tom Tucker, owner. "We bring...

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