The Benefits of Choosing American Made Furniture

Jul 26, 2018 11:00:00 AM / by Albert Cappello

Most of us put a lot of thought into the purchases we make, from our food, to our clothes, to our cars. We asks ourselves whether or not our food is sustainably sourced or what chemicals are in our toothpaste or deodorant. We want to purchase goods that are made responsibly and are safe for ourselves and our families.

That being said, it’s easy to forget that the industrial furniture we purchase for our work spaces deserve the same consideration. Is the product responsibly manufactured? Does the company you’re considering buying from pay fair wages, treat employees well and invest in the local community?

One way to be certain that the answer to these questions is yes, is by purchasing American made furniture. Why is American made furniture a good investment for you? There are several reasons to consider.


1. Quality and Safety


Products manufactured in the United States are often constructed to meet third party standards quality and safety standards. When manufacturers acquire third party certifications, it guarantees to consumers that the product has been evaluated by an independent organization and not just by the people producing and selling it. These standards exist to ensure companies across the United States maintain the same level of quality and safety – ultimately protecting you – the buyer.

One third party certification to look for is Underwriters Laboratory (UL). UL is a well-known organization that helps american made furniturecompanies demonstrate safety, compliance, sustainability, transparency, quality and performance. UL certification means that a separate organization looked at the furniture or equipment you’re about to buy and have agreed that it meets exceptional standards.

If you have a lab in your work environment that houses expensive and sophisticated equipment, or works with combustible chemicals, UL certification is like a guarantee that the product is safe for your specific environment, based on specific testing and standards upheld by UL.


2. Lead Times 


When ordering furniture from outside of the united states it often takes much longer to arrive, especially if it is manufactured overseas. Industrial furniture, due to its size, is often sent from the foreign manufacturing plant to a port of entry, has to go through customs and then delivered to the local job site via a shipping freighter.

The shipping time from overseas alone is usually three to four weeks, customs clearance at least a week and ground transportation up to another week. And, that doesn't include production time!

There are other possible problems along the way...shipping freighters going bankrupt or strikes by port workers and truck drivers. In September of 2016, Hanjin went bankrupt and left 85 to 90 vessels with containers scattered all over the world. In 2015 and 2017 alone, the Los Angeles Port had trucking and warehouse worker strikes. Product coming out slowed to a crawl and people often waited months to get their products.

So, if time is a concern, buying American made furniture is a better strategy. Items are shipped across the country using ground transportation, usually from a location within the continental U.S.


3. Quick turnaround for Replacement Parts


Accidents can happen in industrial environments and sometimes you need replacement parts for your furniture. Maybe a surface gets nicked or a drawer comes unhinged. Working with a manufacturer based in the United States eliminates theamerican made furniture need to wait weeks to receive a new part, so that your staff can get back to work at peak efficiency.

With American made furniture, replacement parts are readily available and can be distributed for quick and easy repairs.

This is true for modular workstations and add-on accessories as well. Maybe something isn't broken, but an employee wants additional storage or lighting. When you work with a domestic furniture manufacturer, these additional accessories are usually in stock and can be installed quickly.


4. Shipping Damage

The more a product is handled the greater chance it has of getting damaged. When buying from overseas, the following handling takes place:

  • Loading of product onto ground transportation
  • Transport to Shipping Company
  • Loading of product into shipping containers
  • Loading of container onto the shipping vessel
  • Transport at sea
  • Unloading container at the port
  • Unloading of product from container
  • Loading of product onto ground transportation
  • Transportation to site
  • Unloading of product at site

Compare that to domestic handling:

  • Loading of product onto ground transportation
  • Transport to site
  • Unloading of product at site

If damage occurs, you end up going back to the beginning with lead times. So it is important to know the risks.


5. Supporting the American Economy


Though we live in a global economy, buying products manufactured in the United States still helps to support and grow the American economy. Not only does money invested in American made furniture help support an American business, it also supports American employees.

Companies that operate inside the United States have to abide by specific labor laws, meaning employees will not be mistreated and that they will be paid a fair wage. In today’s competitive climate, most American made furniture companies provide excellent employee benefits and even give back to their local communities through volunteer work or financial aid.


Avoid Costs Down the Line by Investing Now


The front-end costs of purchasing a product from outside of the Unites States, may be cheaper at times, but the decision could cost you more in the long run in terms of time, quality, and safety.

When it comes to expensive  projects, both long lead times and sub-standard products could drastically impact your business.  American made furniture can provide the peace of mind you need in order to move forward with your business growth and get to work most effectively.


 buying american made lab furniture

Topics: American Made

Albert Cappello

Written by Albert Cappello

Albert Cappello is the CEO of Workstation Industries, Inc. WSI is a manufacturer of Industrial, Technical and Laboratory Furniture based in Southern California.

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