AMQ’s New Showroom 

When Steelcase acquired AMQ Solutions in 2017, it was a company known for its affordable height adjustable furniture, quick delivery and little else. That’s not an insult. AMQ has always been a well-respected brand that did one thing — quickly ship height adjustable desks — very well. Still, it was not exactly the kind of brand that could easily fill out a showroom. 

Fast forward to today. AMQ recently unveiled its contemporary, new West Michigan showroom located in the Steelcase Business Center (headquarters). And while visitors will still be able to experience its height adjustable furniture, they will also find that AMQ is spreading its wings by adding a variety of products that target its small- and mid-sized business customers. 

Amobi Desks are fully integrated, mobile workstations that easily transport and fold up to store when not in use. Photos courtesy of AMQ.

Filling a 10,000 square foot showroom would have been difficult for AMQ in the past, but a number of smartly designed new products along with those that come from a design partnership with West Elm, easily creates a bustling, bright and modern space. 

AMQ’s commitment to small and medium sized businesses is what has driven us to work so hard over the past six months to create furnishings that address these employees’ specific needs,” said Ryan Vander Ploeg, vice president of marketing product development. Though we regularly see and hear anecdotal evidence that SMBs embrace a slightly different work style from their large company counterparts, we wanted to be driven by the data when it came to developing products – and designing a workspace – that meets their needs.” 

Amobi Desks are already wired and can be specified with built-in LED lighting and monitor arms.

AMQ is now solidly established as the budget-friendly brand in Steelcase’s portfolio. Though Turnstone products are still sold by Steelcase, AMQ is becoming the company’s leader in simple, easy-to-rearrange furniture for the entire office. Yet the relations between Steelcase and AMQ is a bit different than other Steelcase acquisitions that have been folded into the larger brand. AMQ is mostly independent and operates in a similar manor to Smith Systems, another recent Steelcase acquisition. 

AMQ Director of Brand and Communications Nancy Stryker does an excellent job describing what makes AMQ different and unique: “With AMQ, there’s a very, very strong focus — it’s hyperfocused — on small- to medium-sized businesses, and it’s operating as an independent brand similar to our competitors. We’re really trying to make sure the brand stays independent and has a clear identity of who we are and who we aren’t. So for instance, with Steelcase, you would have thousands of options, thousands of fabric finishes, specials, while AMQ is really set on having just the right product at the right price delivered quickly. So that means we’re not going to do specials, we’re not going to have every single size you can imagine. We’re not going to have thousands of finishes, but we’re going to have the top selling finishes that are really appealing to the mid-market.” 

Amobi Desks are designed to be deployed quickly and can be added as fast-moving companies add workers. They can also be stored away when not needed.

Still, the AMQ product portfolio is much different and the brand has worked hard over the past six months to bring in dealer groups for training to change the mindset of what’s possible. AMQ has done a number of webinars, expanded its sales team to cover the U.S., Canada and parts of Mexico. Steelcase does not want AMQ cannibalizing its customers, which is why AMQ is specifically positioned to appeal to customers that are price sensitive or time constrained. Both brands also encourage blending products if it makes sense for the customer. 

While AMQ has obvious connections to Steelcase, it remains an open line in the extremely competitive mid-market. AMQ remains based in Santa Clara, Calif., where the majority of its staff remains, including design services and customer care. Vander Ploeg and Stryker and the company’s product marketing team is in Grand Rapids. 

AMQ has a reputation for quality, quick-shipping height adjustable desks, but the company has added seating and accessories to round out its offering.

Speed, affordability and flexibility are important for AMQ customers, which is evident in one of the company’s unique products — Amobi. Amobi literally is a foldable workstation in a box, complete with a height adjustable desk, monitor arm, LED lighting and power. It ships nearly flat and can be assembled in minutes. As a company’s needs change, they can add more Amobi or store them easily when not needed. Amobi is one of the stars of the new showroom, but the space also highlights everything from office seating that can be custom designed online; to the easy-to-clean, simple aesthetic of West Elm Work Lounge Seating – a good option for collaborative social and café spaces. All furnishings are certified Indoor Advantage Gold, which means all meet the highest standard of clean air quality and low emissions. Additionally, the 3F line of privacy screens, hanging panels, and wall tiles are all made from 50% recycled plastic water bottles and are 100% recyclable.  

Visitors to Steelcase in Grand Rapids are easily able to take in a tour of the AMQ space, which has already hosting a wide range of visitors. The showroom also serves as a hub for AMQ’s West Michigan staff and members visiting Grand Rapids. 

Revi is a personal storage product that offers color, style and flexibility with five face options, seat cushions and expandable bag drops.

Because SMBs are a significant and growing portion of the workforce, AMQ wanted to learn more about how employees in this segment to specifically address their workplace needs in its new showroom. Here are some AMQ findings that directed the showroom design and product development: 

  • Employees at SMBs are more likely to work in the office three or more days a week than those at larger companies – 75% vs. 65%. 
  • 91% of SMB employees work at an assigned desk. 
  • SMB workers go to the office to collaborate and do focused work – and they would go more often if they had larger, individually assigned, private spaces. 
  • SMB workers desire flexible, reconfigurable furniture and well-being spaces to more easily facilitate collaborative work.  

For those who are unable to visit in person, AMQ has designed a self-guided 3D virtual tour, which can be accessed via the AMQ website. Custom guided, live video tours and demos with product experts are also available upon request by contacting an AMQ representative. 

Embank, a broad portfolio of laminate desking and storage works hard and looks great in settings of all types – from private offices to the open plan and everywhere in between.
Designed to coordinate and integrate with other solutions, Embank is ideal for settings that blend multiple lines.
AMQ has substantially broadened its line through its partnership with West Elm.
West Elm furniture rounds out AMQ’s collection and is popular with designers for its modern styling and affordable price.
Once known only for its height adjustable desks, AMQ’s collection has expanded to include a wide range of ancillary furniture.
West Elm Work Slope collection includes guest, lounge, conference, bar stool and stacking chairs. Upholster the seat in your choice of Billiard collection fabric and choose from three base colors.