Project Showcase: Guiding an Established Manufacturing Business through a Relocation

WRITTEN BY rightsize

A family-owned, popcorn machine manufacturing business in Chicago since 1880, needed to expand and relocate to a new location. The move to suburban Wood Dale required extra care and attention to detail, given that some of the employees had been with the company more than 20 years.

“A lot of the employees were very comfortable in the city and took public transportation, so moving to the suburbs was a bit of a shock,” said Rightsize Workplace Solutions Director Jessica McCambridge. “They wanted a location near the Metra and something that would represent the brand and be comfortable. They wanted people to be very involved in designing their own space, so their employees would feel invested in the new space.”

The expansion and relocation was a bit unusual because the international company was such a huge brand, they needed a large space to showcase their products from day one to present day. Because their clients are from all over the world, it really needed to be an impressive space.

The project included space planning and design for approximately 100 employees within the two-story building, space for a full warehouse and a museum. Rightsize also handled furniture specification and procurement, and flooring selection.

“We worked from day one programming and planning the space, working very closely with the architect when it was just a shell of a building, all the way up to final install,” said McCambridge. “There were a lot of departments – sales, customer service and engineering, so we had to map all those out and space plan with the department managers; it was very involved.”

“They were delightful to work with,” said the executive assistant to the company CEO. “We changed our minds so many times I’m amazed they didn’t fire us. So I applaud them for their patience. We sent things back to the drawing board because we thought we knew what we wanted and then someone would come up with something else.”

The company wanted a design that would be modern but still incorporate classic touches, since they were showcasing popcorn machines built in 1880. To make the antique machines fit, Rightsize used a lot of walnut and wood finishes throughout.

“We did walnut surfaces on their workstations and incorporated glass and metal as a nod to the machinery used to make their products,” said McCambridge. “We used pops of red everywhere. It’s part of their brand. They redid their logo for the first time in 40 years, so it’s a little more retro – silvers, reds, greys and blacks worked throughout the entire space.”

A few unique considerations included designing two spaces right off the reception area to make it more accessible to visiting clients. The design accommodated windows at varying heights throughout the space to maximize natural light.

“The clients loved their new space and I continue to handle orders from them,” said McCambridge. “They’ve actually already outgrown their space, so we are expanding and reworking some areas and they might be designing another building. They’ve been a dream client.”

“They made a very difficult move, a little less difficult,” said the executive assistant. “It was truly a learning experience and they made it very easy.”

For more information about this project showcase and the services used, call 800-815-8592.

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