Considerations When Buying Office Furniture

Authorized Suppliers

The University of California's contract with Steelcase, Inc., a manufacturer of office furniture distributed and installed by Tangram, requires that purchases of the following types of furniture be Steelcase products only:

  • Filing cabinets
  • Free-standing steel and laminate desks
  • Steel bookcases
  • Paneled office systems
  • Task chairs and side chairs

You can use vendors other than Steelcase when buying furniture such as lounge pieces and bookcases. For wood furniture, UC has established agreements with Haworth, Kimball and Steelcase. See the Vendor Agreements List for information on suppliers that have negotiated agreements with UCLA.

 

Buying Tips

Space PlanningAsking key questions can help you order furniture that's best for your workspace. Will the furniture you want fit into the space you have? What type of furniture is best for your type of work? Will you need to move your furniture in the future? You can answer these questions during the ordering process.
 Budget PlanningMatching your furniture choices with your budget can be a challenge. You'll often get the most for your money by working with a designer during the ordering process through Steelcase or another vendor. If you are not sure of your budget, ask for a budgetary quote before obtaining an order-ready quote. Never assume that design fees will be included; be sure to ask the designer about charges for all services. 
 ErgonomicsOffice furniture is something you'll use every workday for a very long time. It has a substantial effect on employee comfort and safety. That's why it's so important to consider ergonomics when purchasing furniture. Explore this topic on the UCLA Ergonomics website for great tips and suggestions on choosing ergonomically correct furniture.
 Furniture QualityThe quality of furniture varies among manufacturers, and cost is directly related to quality. When you buy furniture for UCLA, it should be a commercial or institutional grade so it can withstand the daily use in your workplace. (Vendors who have contracts with UCLA provide commercial-grade furniture.) Products designed for home office use are generally not acceptable.