JetCo Federal’s New Collaborative Workspace is Inspiring and Motivating
- May 12, 2021
- Anthony Bowie
Founded in 2007, JetCo Federal is a supply chain management and logistics firm that works with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Focused on developing efficient warehouses, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based organization excels in logistics, supply chain management, and contract administration, resulting in redundant, qualified suppliers and cost efficiencies for its clients.
As a WBENC-certified woman-owned small business (WOSB) that’s also ISO 9001:2015 and NIST 800-171 compliant, JetCo Federal was named to the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. Its sister company, JetCo Solutions, is a consulting firm that helps organizations sell their products and services to the federal government. Combined, the two entities help a wide range of public and private organizations solve their biggest logistics, distribution, and wholesaling challenges.
“We’re ridiculously passionate about it,” said Sue Tellier, President of JetCo Federal. “Our whole team knows that this isn’t just a box, a label, or a bag; it’s a critical piece of equipment or a part that needs to get to a warfighter on time and in good condition. Knowing this, we take our role within the supply chain very seriously.”
A MiEN dealer, JetCo Federal won a contract to support the K-12 education sector in Michigan with alternatives to traditional classroom furniture. “MiEN is our partner for that contract,” said Tellier. “We feel strongly about the quality of the product that they make, but also of the quality of the design services. It’s not just about stocking a bunch of chairs that nest in a classroom. It’s about making sure that the colors, the fabrics, and the designs that are selected within those chairs inspire education, learning, and productivity.”
Out of physical space, JetCo Federal moved its office in 2020 to get more collaborative workspace for its growing employee base. It completed an extensive build-out of a new, 16,100sf building (which includes both warehouse and office) and then moved its existing furniture into that space.
“We brought our mishmash of mismatched furniture that was basically a combination of IKEA and some random stuff,” said Tellier. “It certainly didn’t inspire.” Taking the opportunity presented by the pandemic to redo that space—while most employees were working remotely—JetCo Federal looked to MiEN for help acquiring new furniture focused on better space utilization and improved employee morale.
“Employees don’t want to work at a desk that doesn’t necessarily match the one next to it. They want to work in a cool collaborative workspace,” said Tellier. “They want to be able to stand up and collaborate at shared tables. We achieved that and more thanks in large part to the design team at MiEN.”
Not interested in picking fabric or wall colors, Tellier offloaded the entire project to MiEN, which jumped into action to help build the collaborative workspace. “They know our space, they know our culture, and they know how we work,” said Tellier. “They picked durable fabrics and designs that are more colorful, interesting, and innovative than you would get from a traditional office furniture manufacturer.”
At its new collaborative workspace facility, JetCo Federal has a training room, numerous different conference room spaces, and open shared spaces. “Seeing these different spaces in use makes me really happy, even though we’re not fully back in the office yet,” said Tellier. “We only have a handful of people here on a day-to-day basis, but it’s already fun to see an employee standing at his or her desk, making use of our innovative furniture.”
If she had it to do all over again, Tellier said she wouldn’t change a thing about the project or MiEN’s level of involvement in it. “I know that other furniture manufacturers have design services, but I don’t know that those offerings are as integrated as what MiEN has,” said Tellier.
“MiEN’s not interested in selling you 500 chairs that they don’t understand how you’re actually going to use in your collaborative workspace,” she continued. “They want to ask you important questions upfront because they want to make sure that you’re not only happy, but inspired with the furniture pieces when you get them. It’s a whole different experience.”