New Furniture Buying Program Provides Standards, Savings

By Missy Baxter

A new procurement program offers Duke University & Health System departments deep discounts on office furniture – everything from chairs and desks to ergonomic keyboard trays and workstations.

Duke staff and faculty can now view an online catalog featuring products at deep discounts from two major manufacturers: Knoll, a leading designer of innovative modern furniture, and Haworth, known for its organic designs. The online catalog is available at

The new program ensures that Duke receives the best price available, especially during tough economic conditions, and it helps establish standards to create a consistent look within schools and entities, while also enhancing sustainability, said Maureen Selman, furniture and furnishings sourcing manager for Procurement and Supply Chain Management.

Price and quality were two key factors in Duke’s decision to select Knoll and Haworth as the furniture suppliers. Both place a strong emphasis on sustainable manufacturing policies, especially in packaging and shipping, Selman said.

Duke customers can view the online catalog, which provides discounted pricing and details for Knoll and Haworth product lines. The online catalog enables Duke customers to create shopping lists that will become quotes for their selected furniture.  The quote can be attached to a paper requisition or SAP e-requisiton and forwarded according to the internal approval polices of each school or department.

Many Duke departments and schools have already established furniture standards. Those standards are designated in the on-line catalog.

To establish the new program, Duke is working with two local businesses:  Price Modern, a Haworth dealer, and Carolina Business Interiors, which offers Knoll products. In addition to viewing products online, Duke customers are able to visit Duke-specific showrooms in Durham by appointment.

The program resulted from research by the Duke Furniture Sourcing Team, comprised of space planners and other Duke staff who procure large amounts of furniture. The team included: Kathie Brown with Facility Plans, Design, and Construction; Cathy Carter with Arts and Sciences; Jill Worthington with Fuqua School of Business, Cris Karasek and Kim Bowman with Duke Clinical Research Institute, Tamara James & Sarah Hinton with Occupational and Environmental Safety; and Maureen Selman and Jane Pleasants with Procurement.

For more information, e-mail Maureen Selman.