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KI Through the Eyes of Our Customers

March 8, 2021

Before I joined KI, I was a customer myself. I served as director of operations at Success Academy Charter Schools, a network of K-12 schools in and around New York City. During my time there, I oversaw furniture selection and other supply chain initiatives for more than 45 campuses.

Bryan Ballegeer.jpgBryan Ballegeer, VP Sales & Marketing - Education

I ended up making the move to KI largely because of the positive experience I had as a customer.

Recently, my team and I commissioned Hanover Research to ask school administrators, designers and dealers their opinions on several leading furniture brands in the education space. We wanted to see what makes people Think KI. Here’s what we found.

Thinking Inspiration? Think KI.

Respondents identified KI’s sales team as the most knowledgeable in the industry. When I was at Success Academy, I could count on KI to help me determine the right furniture solutions for any space. From the local sales representatives to the vice president of education, KI’s team knew the market and trends in education -- and happily offered me advice and inspiration.

More than 75 percent of survey respondents believe KI is the smartest choice for higher education furniture. Ninety percent believe our higher education furniture is the most well-made on the market.

These findings echo my own experience; whenever I needed durable solutions for Success Academy, I immediately thought of KI.

Thinking Innovation? Think KI.

Across the education market, survey respondents considered KI to be the most innovative and “in the know.”

We like to think that’s in part due to the success of our Infinity from KI program, where our team of specialists will modify an existing product or create a product from scratch that can meet a customer’s exact needs.

For instance, one customer loved our Learn2 seating with integrated worksurfaces but needed furniture that supported younger elementary school learners. So, we designed the scaled-down Learn2 Junior with seats that are five inches narrower.

For another customer, we designed the High-Density Stack Desk, a lightweight desk that can be stacked up to 20 high when not in use. This makes it perfect for multipurpose spaces.

As a customer, I witnessed KI’s expertise firsthand. The 45 campuses I managed at Success Academy came in all shapes, sizes and ages. Some buildings were constructed in the 1930s, while others were built in the 1980s, so I certainly ran into some unique challenges.Thankfully, the KI team always helped me get creative in order to meet our needs.

Thinking Inclusion? Think KI.

At KI, we believe that one aspect of inclusivity is ensuring access to high-quality furniture at all budgets. Our customers and partners agree. More than 80 percent of survey respondents said that KI offers unique products at competitive prices.

We also believe inclusivity means collaborating closely with our customers. Seventy-five percent of designers and architects surveyed chose KI as their preferred higher education furniture brand. We believe that’s due in large part to our unmatched customer service.

While I was at Success Academy, KI struck me as transparent and trustworthy. If I ordered 10,000 products, perhaps two might have been delayed. In the rare instances where that happened, my KI contacts called immediately to inform me -- and provided substitute products to hold us over.

I also appreciated that the KI team remained flexible when we ran into hiccups on our end. School deliveries and renovations involve a lot of moving parts. I had to balance the schedules of tradesmen, teachers, community members and the like. The KI team always made the timelines work so the school year could kick off without a hitch.

Putting Customers First

We welcome the opportunity to hear from our customers, A&D and dealer community partners so that we can keep doing what works -- and rethink what doesn’t.

What comes to mind when you Think KI?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Send me a line at bryan.ballegeer@ki.com.

 

by Bryan Ballegeer  VP Sales & Marketing - Education

As KI's VP of Education, Bryan provides KI with research and insight into education. Bryan previously served as the Director of Operations for Success Academy Charter Schools. He has direct experience with collaborative, problem-solving education models along with a passion for service. He holds a Chairman position with Stem For Dance, a non-profit that provides young women of color exposure to STEM-based fields of study. Bryan holds a Master’s in Supply Chain Management from Rutgers University having received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University.

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