Jacques Gravel, CEO of MÖBEL – Escape to the Office
Many design enthusiasts are familiar with Herman Miller thanks to his iconic Aeron and Eames chairs, and his mid-century collectors’ furniture. If you are lucky enough to have such pieces in your workplace or at home, it is probably thanks to Jacques Gravel and his team at MÖBEL: Quebec’s certified distributor for Herman Miller and Framery furniture. Find out more about a company that brings convenience to the office, and even more home, during these unusual times.
I met Mr. Gravel, the ChiefOfficer of MÖBEL, twice: first over the phone, as you can imagine, and then by visiting MÖBEL’s showroom, located in Montreal’s Mile-Ex district. If you’ve never heard of MÖBEL, this is surely because the company is not well known to the general public. In fact, it mainly sells to large companies like SAP, Autodesk, L’Oréal and a multitude of other companies in various fields, including in the video game industry.
It was by participating in a Herman Miller market review in order to find a new distributor that Mr. Gravel and his associates, Jean-Philippe Dufour, President, and Renaud Perron, Vice-president of Operations, created the company in 2016. A distinctive feature that gives MÖBEL an important competitive advantage is that, directly or through partners, MÖBEL owns its own transportation, storage and installation companies, providing MÖBEL with a holistic approach to the way it conducts its business. Being part of the same group, these companies represent close to one hundred employees.
Service and Customer Experience of MÖBEL: The Key to Success
Although sales and the quality of its product portfolio are what enables MÖBEL to stand out from the competition, it is the company’s exceptional customer service and experience that really set it apart: “We work with an array of stakeholders—from architectural and designer firms, project management companies and construction businesses. Once everyone has done their job, we have to install our furniture, and installation is complex! For example, a project of 700 to 800 workstations like that of L’Oréal involves chairs, tables, backsplashes, lounge areas, and more,” explains Mr. Dany Gravel, Customer Experience Director.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic may have had devastating effects on some companies, it continues to offer an interesting challenge for Mr. Gravel since Herman Miller also has, according to him, the most beautiful portfolio of auxiliary products (lounges, rest area, coworking spaces, kitchens, etc.). These will be assets for companies looking to re-engage their employees in returning to their workspaces. “If during a day at the office, the desire to work at your workstation may seem monotonous, it will be possible to sit down near the window on a sofa or at table specifically designed for this type of task. This new approach has started to gain traction, and will amplify with the events of the last few months,” added the CEO of MÖBEL.
No slowdown even with the COVID-19
While the past year and a half may have been difficult, this was not the case for the majority of MÖBEL clients, including many on the Fortune 500 list. These companies have a long-term vision of their company and think of their business’s sustainability in the long run. “The institutions for which we started our projects have all continued their investments. With employees working remotely, the pandemic provided an opportunity for companies to update their furniture more easily and rethink the work methods as several offices were unoccupied. When they return, employees will find themselves in ‘smarter’ and improved spaces,” says Mr. Gravel.
Framery: Perfect for private spaces
In addition to Herman Miller, the young company also distributes products from the Framery brand, which develops booths for custom work. In fact, it’s a perfect solution for anyone requiring privacy in an open space. Whether for one, two or more individuals, the ingenious concept provides options for everyone.
Former partner in an advertising agency, Mr. Gravel knows a lot about creativity and workspaces. He refers to the time when a majority started to go to cafes in order to change their environment. This movement has had a huge influence on the renewal of the office layout, which today is reminiscent of living spaces rather than workspaces. Indeed, the mood you like in your favourite cafe or public place, MÖBEL and Herman Miller can recreate it for you. The choice for performance chairs and furniture is exponential, which makes it possible to develop office solutions better suited to the new reality.
Curious to find what may suit your needs? MÖBEL is here to help. Discover their website