SF Bay Axis - San Francisco Information + Resources SFBAYAXIS.com SF Photography by SFBAYIMAGES.com Buy San Francisco Photos Online 415.331.3804
Golden Gate Bridge North Tower
Golden Gate Bridge Fall Fog
National Marine Sanctuary
Great White Sharks
Marine Hydrophones Research Trips
SF BUSINESSES + SERVICES
Green Conference Furniture Line
Framed San Francisco Photographs
SF Gifts + Shopping
by Emily Brower Auchard
For 20 years, Franz Design Group has stretched the boundaries of conference table design and manufacturing in virtually every area of the process, from materials to design to sales. From the company's earliest days, co-founders Dan and Bob Franz have focused on using innovative technology, products and design to create quality, custom-built conference tables that are used by Fortune 1000 companies all over the world. Today, Franz Design Group is the industry expert on conference tables. Now the company is bringing this expertise, as well as its high-quality, custom-built strategy, into the realm of the "green" office.
Franz Conference Tables: A History of Innovation and Quality
For a company that constantly pushes the edge of design and manufacturing, it makes sense that Franz Design Group would be the first designer and manufacturer with a 'green' conference table line. Over the years, the company's designers and craftsmen have experimented with cutting-edge materials and design, gaining a wealth of expertise and experience that goes into every Franz Conference Table.
Early on, the company sought out innovative, new materials. For example, several of the veneers offered for Franz Conference Tables are made of engineered wood from Africa and Italy. These engineered woods come from trees grown and harvested specifically for making beautiful, durable veneers.
"We were told that the materials were meant only for vertical use," comments Bob Franz. "We worked and worked with these veneers to get them to adhere horizontally to our table surface. Today, based on our experience, the supplier sells them for horizontal use."
With these veneers, Franz Conference Tables not only look sleek and rich, they also hold up to hard use and UV rays.
Franz Design Group was one of the first companies to apply ergonomic principals to the design process. The result of these efforts is the Franz Styledge, which is built with a 22-degree angle that makes working and sitting at a Franz Conference Table comfortable. These table edges also hold up to wear and tear, an important feature for office furniture, which needs to last.
Technology plays a key role at the company in design and marketing and sales. Tables are designed with CAD applications and manufactured using sophisticated tools guided by computers. But Franz Design Group never lets technology trump craftsmanship. "We get custom designs so complex that they require hand cutting and crafting," explains Bob Franz. "We're not afraid to mix technical and manual manufacturing techniques to create the one-of-a-kind table that our customers want."
Technology also provides Franz Design Group with nation-wide sales reach from its San Rafael, CA headquarters. Customers can see all table shapes, edge styles and veneer options on the company's web site and either order from what they see or use the information as the start for a one-of-a-kind design. Careful and thorough customer service complements the web site to ensure customer confidence.
Whether a customer buys a table created from existing shapes and edges or creates a completely customized design, they can be assured personalized service. Every Franz Conference Table gets a name-usually the customers' company name-not just a number. And because Franz Design Group works without a middleman, customers get direct communications about their table.
Customer service continues through the final step: packing and shipping. After years in the business, Franz Design Group has developed safe shipping into a science. Every table is boxed in its own packing case and then shipped only with the safest and most reliable shipping companies.
All this innovation and service goes into the company's new green conference table and furniture line. The tables are built from bamboo and aluminum and the table's surface is finished with shellac and then hand-rubbed with non-toxic oils. A matching credenza is built from the same materials and a visual aid board includes glass along with bamboo and aluminum.
"We want to replicate our tables with materials that are completely sustainable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally responsible," explains Dan Franz. "Unlike the consumer market, there are very few options for green office furniture. We plan to change that with this new line."
"This is an exciting next step for us," continued Dan Franz. "As the experts in conference table design, we're the right company to bring green into the board room."