Simplifying Contract Furniture RFPs: Benhar Office Interiors Offers Educational Lunch and Learn Series

From left to right: Liz Hair, Senior Project Manager, Stacy Benhar, Bob Mauer, Chief Operating Officer, Cecily Weinberger, Controller, Kaye Relerford, Operations Manager, and Mark Benhar, President

The contract furniture procurement process can be complicated at first pass. Seeing the need in the market for education on this process, Benhar Office Interiors launched Furniture 201 in January 2015. The firm developed the weekly lunch-and-learn series, which will continue this fall, for entry to mid-level designers that are a bit vague on the furniture procurement process, would like insight into the contract furniture industry, and want to improve their specification skills.

“Our team saw a real desire in the market from entry and mid-level designers to learn more about the contract furniture procurement process,” said Victoria Price, marketing director, Benhar Office Interiors. “We believe that by going beyond just providing samples, pricing and products to our customers, and creating a way that we can help designers better understand and navigate the procurement process, we will be able to share our knowledge and expand their skill set into new territories.”

The program was created to be both succinct and educational, and has evolved to reach diverse audiences today, beyond just designers: architects, facility managers, educators, and students all attend the sessions. It is certified as a continuing education unit from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC). The session lasts around an hour, includes a lesson, lunch and time for Q&A.

Benhar Office Interiors designed the program based around their wealth of knowledge in the industry, and their exposure to what others may not know when they are just getting into the contract furniture or procurement process. As a result, the session is built around the following learning objectives:

-The Designer’s Role in Commercial Interior Project Success
-Insight About Contract Furniture
-The Roles of Manufacturers and Dealers
-The Specifics of Specifying
-The Furniture Procurement Process

In addition, the program discusses the history of the contract furniture industry, why contract furniture is such a good investment and the ideas about the research behind the way people work in a modern office.

“At Benhar Office Interiors, we are committed to workplace research and knowledge. We are equally dedicated to delivering effective methods of educating and empowering our customers to create great places to work and learn,” said Mark Benhar, President, Benhar Office Interiors. “We believe our Furniture 201 program does just that.”

About Benhar Office Interiors

At Benhar Office Interiors, we help clients across the country procure and manage their facilities’ office furniture and architectural products. We offer a vast selection of office furnishings and architectural products with over 150 brands ranging from moderately priced to high-end pieces. We are the premier Herman Miller dealer in NYC.