When it comes to providing the best products and services to customers and staying ahead of the competition, innovation is key. That’s why BizTimes, a small publication focused on local business news in Milwaukee and other counties in southeastern Wisconsin, has created an award to recognize companies in the area that make great strides to stand out from the crowd. This year, National Business Furniture is honored to have been recognized as a recipient of this sought-after award.

What is the I.Q. Award? Presented annually at the BizTimes luncheon in the spring, the I.Q. Award recognizes only the most innovative companies within southeastern Wisconsin. The “I.Q.” in I.Q. Award stands for Innovation Quotient, meaning that it recognizes companies that exhibit the most unique or clever products, services or processes in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. To be considered for the award, a company must be run by bold, forward-thinking leaders who are willing to take risks to improve their products, the way their products are made or the services that their company can provide. Nominees must demonstrate the best traits of entrepreneurship including a willingness to take those risks, a high drive for success and a sense of perseverance. Each year there is a formal process by which companies may be nominated to receive the award. Once all of the nominations have been sent, a panel of judges determines which companies they believe to be the best innovators of that year. Nominees must be based in Wisconsin and have a physical presence in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Sheboygan, Racine, Walworth or Kenosha County. Each I.Q. Award winner is featured in an issue of BizTimes Milwaukee.


How Did NBF Win an I.Q. Award? National Business Furniture met the criteria for winning an I.Q. Award with the launch of its innovative Virtual Visit Showroom. The 15,000 square foot showroom was opened in an abandoned retail space in downtown Milwaukee’s Grand Avenue Mall and launched earlier this year. Virtual Visit seeks to bridge the gap between the convenience of buying office furniture online and the experience of seeing it in-person before making a purchase. The virtual showroom works via a one-way live video stream, allowing customers to connect with a real person in real time who can then show them all of the ins and outs of a given product so that the customer can benefit from the experience of being there without actually being there. Whether a customer wants to know how the wire management system on an executive desk works or they need to find an office chair with the best ergonomic capabilities, Virtual Visit can make it happen. While the idea of the virtual showroom isn’t entirely new, it is still in its infancy, and National Business Furniture is the first mid-grade office furniture company to offer such a service to its customers.


In What Other Ways is NBF Committed to Innovation? Virtual Visit isn’t the only venue in which NBF expresses its dedication to innovation and superior customer service. For example, we offer a free swatch sample system wherein customers may order upholstery or finish samples of a desk or chair that they are thinking of purchasing. The swatch sample program is provided to our customers free of charge so that they can match the finish or fabric of their new piece of furniture to their existing décor to determine whether or not the color or quality is a good match for their office.


To match our innovative services, we also offer innovative products from manufacturers who truly care about the working environment. From products like standing height desks and ergonomically adjustable chairs, you can find a large number of ways to improve your working habits just by switching out your furniture. NBF also offers a striking array of green office furniture from desks and chairs to outdoor furniture and more to provide our eco-conscious customers with furniture that they can be proud to own. Products in our green category are often either Greenguard or Level certified to meet strict indoor air policies to encourage a healthier, happier work environment.


National Business Furniture is honored to be considered for an award dedicated to innovation and the continuous improvement of customer satisfaction. The I.Q. Awards were presented during the Bravo! Entrepreneur and I.Q. Awards Luncheon, which was held at the BizExpo on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee. The award was accepted by National Business Furniture president, Kent Anderson, who continues to work with the rest of the company to think of new ways for NBF to connect more with its customers not only this year, but every year.


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