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All images courtesy of Workspace Commercial Furniture. Written by Jan Henderson for ADR.
When manufacturing in Australia seems to be on the wane, one company is taking great strides to keep Australian expertise, know-how and jobs at home. South Australian-based furniture manufacturer Workspace is defying the odds and creating a successful business designing, manufacturing and supplying Australian designers and architects with product that is detailed, design-driven and competitively priced.
The company was established in 1911 and throughout its 105-year history, the business has adapted, survived and now thrives.
Today, Workspace offers a diverse range of product to meet virtually every request in the commercial, educational, hospitality, health or aged care design segments. The key to the success of the business is the agility of the organisation and the ability to work with designers and architects to achieve a bespoke design outcome – on time and on budget.
The heart of Workspace is the 12,500 square metre ISO9001 & ISO14001 accredited manufacturing facility in South Australia. The factory houses the manufacturing of joinery and cabinet making, screening, melamine and laminate, upholstery and chair fit-up, as well as a polish shop, machine shop, logistics and research and development sections. With the ability to manufacture veneered and solid timber joinery products as well as pre-finished melamine and laminated products, Workspace has the flexibility to service every project requirement.
And what about service? As you would expect from a company that has been in business for 105 years, excellent customer service is paramount and Workspace has the experience and capacity to provide customers with the total package. Products are distributed to branches through their own network of national freight vehicles that arrive directly to a project and there are teams on the ground throughout the country to oversee and install products on site, whether the project is large or small.
With 140 full-time workers (90 of these in production and logistics) the organisation offers supplier/client collaboration at its best. The company is passionate about design and works with designers and architects at home to develop new products that meet the high standards of design, functionality and form that is required in the market today. To provide a complete offering, Workspace has also partnered with overseas brands such as Forma 5, Lamm and Cerantola to provide complementary products to their ranges. These products are assembled, upholstered or value added in the manufacturing plant in Adelaide so that quality control is absolute.
Workspace epitomises the best in Australian design and workmanship and has the capacity to create solutions for every project. As Tom Clark, general manager of sales and marketing says, “The key thing is customisation, we can make one or 10,000.” And with a can-do attitude like this, Workspace is forging ahead.
An Australian company such as this is to be applauded for their initiative and foresight, understanding that fine design, stock at hand and short lead times are imperative for every successful project. Workspace is at the vanguard of the design community, a true Australian success story with a proud history and an impressive future ahead.