This really meant that your office manager needed to either plan well in advance, or carry some desks in stock.
Either case was not ideal, as usually the office manager is the last person to be told anything, and you can be sure that whatever stock you may have, it won’t be what is needed.
But over the last 15 years or so, manufacturers have steadily started to offer office furniture ranges which are available from stock, usually in the more standard finishes and shapes, but also traditional wholesalers have appeared, who hold large numbers of desks and office chairs in different shapes and sizes, ready for immediate dispatch.
This is ideal for the customer as they can leave purchasing their new desks until a few days before they need them.
The only disadvantage with this system is that holding large stocks of office furniture costs money, and this have to be recouped in terms of additional unit cost. Also the options with regard to office chairs and screen fabrics are limited to 5 or 6 standard colours, as it would not make economic sense to stock a substantial number of the same chairs in a wide range of fabrics.
By keeping much of the materials and steel-work in stock, these manufacturers are able to make many furniture items from a wide portfolio.
For example by designing their range of desks to have tops in common shapes and sizes, and to have the steel frames outsourced or at least available from stock, they are able to make the missing components in a matter of days, and collate all of the relevant box items to be shipped out to the office furniture dealer within a week.
Office screens and chairs are dealt with in the same manner. Chair blanks, finished right up to the foam upholstery only need to be covered in the final material before they can be sent out.
In the same way modular office screens are held in stock, just waiting to be upholstered in the chosen fabric.
Typically this means a wide choice, highly competitive prices and delivery within about a week of placing the order.
Plus there is the added advantage of being able to make one off modifications to the standard products, which is very important and can often make the difference in getting the order.