Paris, France

Furniture reconfiguration. The right plan.

During a move, the question of whether to replace furniture or not inevitably comes up. The fact of the matter is, most companies don't have a choice when faced with outdated furniture not suited to the location's new configuration. The company Nexans took a gamble on saving all of its USM furniture. And they succeeded. A miracle? No, just the sheer genius of USM Modular Furniture.

Nexans is a submarine telecommunications cable company. In 2009, it decided to leave its two existing sites to bring the teams together in one location in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The total surface area went from 4,000 m2 to 6,500 m2. One of the original sites was equipped with USM furniture, the other wasn't. For the sake of consistency, the decision was made to coordinate the furniture. USM carried out a desk-by-desk inventory, allowing for a careful evaluation of the existing USM furniture, which was all in excellent condition in spite of years of daily use.

“I have gone through several moves with other furniture and I can attest to the difference in terms of durability over time,” explained Fabrice Le Baut, manager of general services at Nexans. 

Therefore, it seemed wise to keep the existing USM furniture as long as a major problem could be solved: the furniture was not configured for the new location. Most of the original furniture was used in very long spaces, sometimes spanning entire sections of the walls. This would be impossible to recreate in the new location with closed individual offices. Yet this obstacle proved to be completely surmountable. Thanks to its modularity, the existing USM furniture could easily be taken apart and endlessly reconfigured. 

It was this plan that was logically chosen, accompanied by an order for additional new USM furniture. After defining a standard range of two columns and five heights for all of the furniture that would be coming, USM’s own software precisely evaluated the needs for new furniture to be added to the existing inventory. In the end, only fifty additional posts needed to be ordered, resulting in significant savings.

The last step was to organize this large project. In order not to take the employees’ office furniture away from them, it was decided that the furniture would be dismantled and reconfigured at the departure site. 146 pieces of furniture were reconfigured in a month and a half. The inventory conducted previously by USM was essential to anticipating every need and optimizing the transfer. The preparation period stayed on schedule and the move lasted three days, as planned. On June 2, 2009, the 260 Nexans employees came to their new site and found their light grey USM bookshelves, their white Haller tables, and their anthracite filing cabinets. The furniture was like new and perfectly adapted to its new location. 

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