Waldner’s president Meredith Waldner Stern was recently interviewed by Long Island Business News.
Excerpts from the article:
How have the needs of businesses changed in the last few years? I would say the biggest change in the industry has been technology and the integration of technology into furniture. It’s now part of everyday work, so furniture and technology, which used to be two different industries for a business, are now very often integrated or are one product. You used to just have conference tables, for example. Now there are conference tables that allow people to share content on their laptops. You plug into the conference table and the content comes up on screens, allowing you to have a work meeting sharing content instead of just looking at everyone else’s laptop or other devices. It’s all part of the table now.
Has the demand for office furnishings declined along with the sluggish real estate market and increase in telecommuting?I would say it’s changed. It’s changed a lot in that we offer different ways that clients can be more efficient and effective, whether that’s through telecommuting, or whether it’s not having a traditional workspace and having more meeting areas or shared workstations. In addition to office furniture, we are leaders in health care and education furniture, so there are a lot of other markets we can now call on.
What’s Waldner’s relationship with Corporate Workplace Services and how has that helped the business grow? We’re actually a founding member of Corporate Workplace Services. It’s a network of service providers. If we have a client locally who wants to furnish an office in another state, they are guaranteed the same level of service as locally. That’s really allowed us to expand. About 40 percent of our business came from outside the metropolitan area, so it’s opened up opportunities for us.
What are the best and worst parts about running a family business? The best part is that there’s a trust there and there’s a shared goal, and you know it from beginning to end, and that’s a huge plus in working with your family. The biggest challenge is leaving it in the office and having a family relationship outside of the office.
Waldner’s best-selling item? An ergonomic chair.
Two Minutes with Meredith Waldner Stern byLIBN Published: March 18, 2013