New Sample Program
May 24, 2017
Try it out!
When you’re a manufacturer, it’s important to ensure that any product you spend time and money on will work for its intended purpose, which means verifying everything from installation plans to end user applications. With the Valley Design sample program, you can do just that.
Valley Design is excited to announce that our clients now have the ability to test out any Valley Design product before finalizing a purchase. This capability is perfect for any clients wishing to:
- Test new products in the manner and environment they’d be used in after purchase
- Obtain feedback from consumers and/or employees prior to making a commitment
- Compare product options to determine the best fit
The process is simple. Get started right away by contacting your Valley Design Customer Service Representative at 507.268.4221 or toll-free at 800.738.1918. Make sure to mention you are calling about the Valley Design sample program. Your Customer Service Representative will walk you through the process of selecting, ordering, and receiving a sample product or two to try out. When the test period is over they’ll help you through placing a complete order, or with selecting a product that fills in any needs you noticed during the trial period.
We’re proud to be a [sample] partner at your table.
The Valley Design Team
Valley Design is Recruiting in Your Industry!
May 03, 2017
Valley Design is a reputable top-notch supplier to each of their many manufacturers and OEMs. Some would say that they are more of a partner at your table, providing high-quality supplies and valuable knowledge, than a supplier at all. So much so, that “partner at your table” is the working tagline of the company, and an accurate description of Valley Designs relationship mindset.
“We focus on strengthening our position with the manufacturers that we currently serve, and ensuring that committed partnerships are being developed,” Vice President of Sales and Marketing Greg Luegers stated.
In order to continue developing the knowledge and effectiveness of these valuable relationships, Valley Design is expanding their reach by recruiting more manufacturing partners in the following industries:
- Undeveloped Industries currently being underserved
“We have over 30 years of manufacturing experience, a strong reputation as a solid business partner, and a well-developed desire to grow with your company,” says Luegers, “ We welcome the opportunity to see how we might better meet the needs of your industry.”
Contact a Customer Service Representative today to make Valley Design a partner at your table, and don’t forget to continually sign up to receive blog updates for helpful resources, industry knowledge, and more.
The Valley Design Team
The Valley Design Product Guide
Apr 14, 2017
Bigger is better when it comes to product guides, right? Here at Valley Design, we feel the more information from a supplier means more options for the manufacturer, and more options for the client means more possibilities for their business. This is why we continue to evolve our product guide each and every year, and the biggest evolution of our product guide is currently in the works. Stay tuned for not only a bigger and better version of the product guide, but increased ease-of-use, realistic renderings, and clearly outlined product options from Valley Design to roll out later this year.
In the meantime, our current product guide has recently been updated and improved for your use. It still features all of the classic Valley Design products you’ve come to know and love, but now there are also several pages chock full of new products (and new product options!) sure to make your furniture stand out!
Recent updates to the Valley Design Product Guide include:
- The addition of a NEW ErgoRound Series
(A cost-effective alternative to ErgoSquared, with subtle curves and soft lines.)
- The addition of a NEW Frame Series
(No longer do we only offer an H-Frame, but now an O-Frame, too!)
- The addition of the full ErgoSquared product line
(A high-quality line full of options and flexibility.)
- The addition of the full Escalate product line
(The base known for its stability, but with height adjustability to boot.)
- A name change for the Alloy Series
(It is now the Aluminum Series... makes more sense, right?)
- The addition of Adjustable Height options for Disk bases
(Now get the flexibility that comes with an adjustable height base with the space saving round bottomed base option.)
It is always the personal and professional goal of Valley Design to continuously evolve along with our ever-expanding industry. To gain access to the most recent Valley Design product guide, please contact email@example.com or call 507.268.4912.
Featured Series: ErgoRound
Feb 10, 2017
Valley Design is excited to introduce the newest addition to our product line – the ErgoRound Series!
This brand new design was developed as a cost-effective alternative for those with an interest in, but maybe not the budget for, our exceedingly popular ErgoSquared Series. Unlike ErgoSquared, ErgoRound bases utilize a round steel column that, when combined with soft corners and subtle angles, creates a sophisticated look and feel.
Like ErgoSquared, the ErgoRound bases feature a welded steel foot, providing the sturdy support you need to build your final product. It’s also a member of our Adjustable Height Series, meaning you have the option to order your ErgoRound Base with a column that can change height when you need it to.
ErgoRound is available in either an End Base or X-Base design.
Both base models can be ordered in a fixed or adjustable height format.
End Bases are offered in a fixed height of 27.75” or as an electric adjustable option with a range from 26.75” to 46.5” in height. End Bases offer either a 22” or 26” foot span.
X-Bases are offered in a fixed height of 27.75”, a short stroke pneumatic option for lounge areas with a range of 18.25” to 28.25” and table and bar heigh options with a ranges of 26.75” to 44.5” and 26.75” to 46.5”. X-Bases offer a 22”, 26”, 30”, or 34” foot span.
*NOTE: Adjustment ranges do not include additional feet/caster options or the thickness of table top to be used.
For more information on the new and exciting ErgoRound Series from Valley Design, please contact our Customer Service Team at 507.268.4221.
Adaptable Advantage in Manufacturing Today
Jan 09, 2017
Valley Design Supports OEMs during the launch of new products. By Tim O’Connor. Manufacturing Today Magazine. September/October 2016, Volume 2
After 30 years in business, Butch Isensee, CEO and owner of Valley Design, knows how to shift with his customers. “If you think it’s really good, just wait and it will change,” he says. “If you’re not willing to change and look past that you’ll be out of business.”
Valley Design started out in 1986 as a custom powder coater. From there it moved into metal fabrication. Eventually, Isensee’s background in the furniture business led it to manufacturing metal parts for the office furniture industry, primarily table bases.
Such diversification has allowed the company to thrive even during sudden market changes. Eight years ago, 65 percent of Valley Design’s business was custom powder coating. Since then, nearly all that business has gone to lower-cost providers in China and other Asian countries. Today, custom powder coating represents about 2 percent of the company’s business. The majority of Valley Design’s sales come from table bases, brackets, frames and other metal components. CEO and owner Butch Isensee says the company has succeeded because of its ability to adapt ahead of change, as it did with the disappearing need for powder coating. “We saw that it was going to be coming and we made shifts ahead of that,” he explains. “It hurt but it didn’t hurt as bad.”
Valley Design’s primary customers are furniture manufacturers, and on a typical day the company produces as many as 500 table legs. The company also has manufactured metal components for the automotive and recreation markets, , such as electric trolling motor components.
Valley Design has long relied on repetitive orders for consistent business. A furniture company may need to manufacture 5,000 of the same table, each of which needs the same T or X base from Valley Design and every new production run of that item can result in another order.
But the company is also trying to branch out to other kinds of customers, such as specialty products for OEMs. “We’re actively putting ourselves out in front of customers outside of the furniture industry – to figure out what they’re looking for and how we can help with their product needs,” Vice President of Sales Greg Luegers, says.
All of Valley Design’s manufacturing is done out of its 100,000-square-foot facility in Fountain, Minn. The building is equipped with multiple six-axis turbo lasers, CNC milling equipment and two powder-coating lines. Those capabilities continue to increase every year – the company has added on to the building about five times during the past three decades. With 35 acres of property on its current site, Isensee says Valley Design can continue to expand as the need arises.
Practically the entire plant layout has changed during the past five years as Valley Design works to become more efficient. “We keep looking at ways to really get the waste out of the manufacturing process,” Isensee says. “That really makes you more competitive with all of our competitors.”
Most of Valley Design’s raw steel is purchased from mills around the United States, with the exception of some high tolerance steel sourced from Switzerland. Once production begins, the steel moves through punch, welding and sanding operations to create the part. It is then painted and becomes a component of the finished product’s assembly.
Throughout the manufacturing process, Valley Design uses high-quality finishes and polishing to eliminate scratches, dents or pits in the material. “Our product has an above-standard look,” Senior Account Manager Shelly Topness says.
Styles change on a constant basis. What’s in fashion this month is outdated the next. To keep up with furniture makers, Valley Design must introduce new metal bases every year. “We look at the industry and our research findings are what drives the types of products and the look in our new product offerings,” Isensee says.
Adjustable-height furniture has driven the market for the past 15 years while trends in colors and materials are always changing. Understanding those shifts in trends helps Valley Design provide proprietary items for the largest furniture makers. “You have to stay on top of the trends and understand what your customers are looking for,” Topness says.
Finding a Niche
New standard products often evolve out of those proprietary components. Oftentimes, customers come to Valley Design with a cutting-edge product or idea. The company then produces that unique metal base or part for a few years until it catches on in the market.
Then, as more customers seek a similar component, Valley Design develops a standard product version of the item to commoditize. “The large manufacturers drive the design, then we take that look and drive it down into our general product line ,” Luegers says. It is through the development of such proprietary items that Valley Design is finding its niche in the changing furniture industry. In recent years, most production has moved to Asian facilities where furniture makers can mass-produce items at a lower cost. But that kind of large-scale manufacturing is only economical once there is a similarly sized demand.
New product lines require a parts producer with more flexibility and the ability to support the launch cycle. Over the past year, Valley Design has worked to position itself as that manufacturer. “New client orders tend to come from larger manufacturers that don’t quite have the volume to take their products overseas,” Luegers says. “But what we pride ourselves on most at Valley Design is exceeding expectations on quality and service so that first-time orders turn into long-term partnerships.”
Valley Design’s advantage is in how it can help the customer develop a product, and then provide the support and customer care needed to make adjustments and create quality. “There isn’t a single customer out there that doesn’t care at times about things like responsiveness,” Topness says. “When they need it, they need it.
“I think we really put a strong focus on our customer service, our ability to respond quickly, solve problems and treat our customers as part of the family here because they are,” she adds. Filling that role as a supplier for product launches means accepting the fact that once a product reaches higher volumes Valley Design could potentially lose that business to overseas suppliers. Although that creates some uncertainty, the company views it as a way to build an ongoing relationship because a satisfied manufacturer is likely to come back when launching its next new product. “We understand that the more willing we are to work with a customer to build a new product, the more likely we are to get their business on developing their next,” Luegers explains.
As finding new ways to compete with lower-cost overseas facilities continues to be difficult, Valley Design prides itself most on remaining an American manufacturer. In turn, the company strives to support other U.S. suppliers by buying domestically whenever possible. The goal is to retain American jobs, like those of its own employees. “There are 110 people who work here,” Isensee says. “They depend on us, we depend on them, and we will continue to do whatever we can to offer job security to all our employees.”
Fountain, Minn., has a population of 408 people, according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates, so if a large employer such as Valley Design closes down or moves, it could have a detrimental impact on the entire town and surrounding communities. The company wants to continue to be an integral part of its hometown, as it has since 1986. Its latest product guide, a list of the current line of standard items, and its push to become a solutions provider to OEMs will continue that success.
“We’re proud to say Valley Design celebrated its 30th anniversary this past September,” Isensee says. “And we’re planning on continuing to provide high-quality, American-made metal components to manufacturers for at least 30 years more.”