Much has been said about the dire state of manufacturing in Australia, but Adelaide-based Workspace bucks this trend, as Australia’s largest diversified furniture manufacturer celebrates 105 years in 2016.
The Australia–wide operation has its headquarters in Melrose Park; a mammoth 12,500sqm warehouse and factory, which houses all of the businesses and commercial operations. It is a hive of activity with 140 employees feverishly working away to deliver products for projects such as the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and IBIS Hotel as well as a string of other hospitality, education and aged–care projects. The company also has retail showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra that report back to the SA headquarters.
Workspace’s Melrose Park headquarters
Tom Clark, Workspace’s general manager of sales and marketing, says the company “focusses on delivering solutions rather than just products”. An impressive element of this offering is an in–house planning team, as well as a product development division. “We are able to offer a high level of customisation to our clients for projects of all scales, from entire fit-outs to individual custom pieces, and even to the general public through our showrooms.” The strength of Workspace is its ability to design and manufacture products completely in–house; almost the entire range of products is made and produced in the Adelaide factory. Their commitment to this approach is evidenced in their factory floor, which still includes (amongst a slew of other departments) on–site commercial sewing–machine operators stitching fabric elements for projects. This is indeed a strong example of the power and confidence the company places in their ability to achive high quality control at their vast facility.
In-house manufacturing at Workspace
It is encouraging to see the scale at which Workspace operates, particularly in a state which has seen challenging times recently in the manufacturing industry. The end to end capabilities are also supported by the business operating its own logistics and delivery department, ensuring that the entire process from design to delivery is streamlined by Workspace. Through successful collaborations with leading European commercial furniture designers Forma 5, Workspace has also partnered with Lamm and Cerantola to create product lines that combine high– level European design with the guarantee of exceptional Australian manufacturing. Clark says Workspace is keen to engage further with the local industry, and work with local designers to understand what is missing in the commercial furniture market, as a commitment to being a solutions provider to design and architecture practices. With major projects in locations as far as Paris and New York, the international reach of a proudly South Australian company is worth recognising. It is Workspace’s bold commitment to Australian manufacturing and quality that will ensure its enduring legacy. workspace.com.au