There are about a half dozen imaging furniture manufacturers that have been in the business over the last couple of decades, so selecting the right manufacturer should be an easy decision. The truth is that it is if you do your homework and don’t just pick one that promises the world or advertises in every possible venue.
Ask the Obvious Questions
To help you find the right manufacturer for your imaging furniture needs, here are a dozen questions you need to answer that will address the obvious:
- Does the provider offer true dual-surface desks with both surfaces being capable of moving from 22” to 50”?
- Is the focal depth of the monitors adjustable up to 10”, and can you move all of the monitors together?
- Will the monitor knuckles accommodate heavy LCD monitors weighing in excess of 65 lbs?
- Does the manufacturer offer antimicrobial work surfaces?
- Is climate control (i.e. heating and cooling) offered?
- Are there presets for the work surfaces?
- Are bias lighting and task lighting offered?
- Can multiple monitors of various sizes and weights be lined up on the same monitor bar, and if so, can all of them move forward and back together?
- Is the cable management system capable of managing all of the cables so that there is no “spaghetti” tangling when you look under the table?
- Will the individual work surfaces lift 350 lbs, and can they statically support 550 lbs?
- Can the imaging desk evolve, meaning can monitors be added at a later date to accommodate another modality?
- Is the imaging desk pre-wired for your USB, telephone and data requirements?
Ask the More Specific Questions
- Now that the basics are covered, here are some not-so-obvious, questions to ask to help cover all of the necessary bases:
- Does the manufacturer’s warranty include parts and labor?Can they provide an extended warranty and/or a maintenance agreement?
- Will the manufacturer provide 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) drawings showing their desks in your environment and supporting your equipment to ensure compatibility?
- Will the CAD drawings be prepared by designers noting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restrictions and addressing fire code guidelines?
- Do the desks meet the correct ergonomic design as defined by The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), and are they certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which dictates that the intensive use computer workstation be designed to fit a wide range of user sizes/heights from the 5th percentile seated female (4'11") to the 95th percentile standing male (6'4")?
- Are the desks tested and certified to be in compliance with structural integrity, durability and safety standards from BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) as well as ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials)?
- Do the desks come with a GREENGUARD Certification?
- If you are in California, can the desks be installed with seismic anchoring?
- Does the manufacturer offer and install acoustic/privacy paneling with a .75 NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating?
- Does the manufacturer provide professional assembly and installation?
- If you want to incorporate a treadmill or stationary bike with your imaging desk, can your manufacturer accommodate you?
- If requesting a custom size or shape, will there be added engineering set-up fees and/or custom upcharges?
Here are some more industry tips based off expert experience:
- I am certain that the manufacturer you are vetting can provide you with several client references. Please check them out thoroughly, and then take it one step further and check out a client or two who is not on their list to see if you get the same favorable comments.
- Ask for their customer service phone number, and call it to see if you get a real person that is empowered to help or a recording in a far away and remote call center.
- Ask if the manufacturing is done right here in the USA.
Take Your Time--Your Selection Matters!
- You and your colleagues will be using your new desks in one form or another for at least the next decade, so choosing the right manufacturer is crucial. If you select the wrong one, you might end up with an imaging desk that:
- Won’t evolve with the next generation of technology.
- Has a limited warranty that causes you and your IT team great amounts of frustration.
- Is too weak to lift your Barco 6MP and four additional LCD monitors .
- Doesn’t accommodate your tall and short colleagues, causing ergonomic issues.
- Has a faulty monitor attachment system that causes your IT team to constantly be servicing the units.
Choose the right manufacturer, and they will install your new imaging desks in the rooms of your choice, providing consultation to your IT team and end-users. If you do this, the desks will become your best friend, providing years of ideal service, and your colleagues will be able to sit at the desks day in and day out without their necks, backs, wrists, eyes, etc. being in pain.
Your selection can be an impulse purchase or an educated one based on the answers of many well-researched questions. Please choose the educated one, as it will gain you admiration from your colleagues and won’t cause you grief for years to come.