Why can’t I just go to an office supply store and purchase a new chair for my office? They’re so much cheaper!
This is the most frequently asked question we hear regarding the chair lab. As part of Procurement Services, our department is certainly mindful of how the University’s money is spent. But to do that, we must consider the bigger picture. Instead of looking at individual purchases, we must consider that there are over 6,200 employees campus-wide who may, at some point, need a new task chair. With that “big picture” in mind, we have created the chair lab to serve the University’s need for ergonomically designed task chairs for its employees.
The chairs you see in the big box stores are considered residential furniture – meaning, they are not intended for long-term use. Commercial furniture must undergo stability and durability testing in order to meet commercial grade standards. They are designed to last for many years in a work environment without obvious signs of wear and tear. The chairs we offer in the lab meet these high-quality standards and are considered some of the best task chairs available nationwide.
All of our chairs also come with a warranty. Should you have any trouble with a chair you have purchased, our department will coordinate a repair with the contract vendor and file a warranty claim. Even if the particular issue is not covered under warranty, we will work with the contract vendor to provide a quote for the repair. This reduces the need to buy a new chair when an existing one becomes damaged.
Lastly, with all things considered, purchasing a chair from an office supply store is not necessarily “cheaper”. The chairs offered in our lab are all under the UA furniture contract as negotiated by the Purchasing Department. Those contract prices typically reduce the cost of your chair by 40-70%. While the price may seem higher than what you can find at an office supply store, the combination of the University’s discount and the ability to use the commercial grade chair for a longer period of time provides greater value over a longer period of time.
If you’re ready for a new task chair and would like to visit the lab, please fill out the Chair Lab Request Form on our website or call Katie Ball at 348-8433.