College Loan Corporation
When College Loan Corporation, headquartered in Poway, California consolidated several locations into a leased 135,000 square foot, renovated warehouse it had two goals: to provide a vibrant new workspace for a predominantly young staff and to stay within budget.
“We wanted an inviting atmosphere conducive to hiring and retaining a highly qualified staff of loan consultants,” says CLC’s Vice President of Human Resources, Heather Hole. “Call centers are frequently characterized as suffering from high turnover, and we sought to change that by providing a modern and attractive working environment while incorporating the conservative and stable image. Turning a warehouse into such an environment called for making the space warmer through the use of colors and bringing the disparate parts of the facility together into a more integrated whole.”
“We also wanted to maximize the space choosing 6x6 workstations over the 6x8 used previously and were concerned that it would require a huge adjustment on the part of our staff,” she says. “However, with all the design options available in the MAISPACE system we were able to create beautiful and functional workstations. The project was competitively bid by ID Studios and us,” says Hole. “MAI won the business hands down as the systems furniture supplier. No one else offered the quality we demanded at a price that allowed significant design upgrades for a more attractive and customized workplace environment. I’m able to report that our employees are very pleased with their new facilities.”
“At CLC’s request we prepared a comprehensive matrix designed to assist them in comparing all the important features and capabilities from the various competitors,” recounts Deborah Elliot, principal and head project designer for ID Studios. “In the end MAI to our surprise won out over the more established brand names scoring higher in almost every category even though their price was substantially lower.”
ICE’s DeLinda Anderson says “The MAI solution was so well priced that we could upgrade fabric and finishes to provide a stronger visual appeal to the new facility yet remain competitive and within budget. Taking advantage of this, we worked with Designtex fabrics to produce a custom pattern and two custom colors all at graded-in prices and coordinated with the MAI systems furniture and workplace furnishings.” The CLC project comprises 486 MAI agent and managerial workstations in 6x6, 10x12, conference room and printing area configurations.
ID Studios selected Coverseal, a proprietary MAI material in a cherry finish for panel segments, 84" doors and worksurfaces. Other panel segments are banded glass or fabric in charcoal and tan. Cabinets and trim are charcoal. Each station has a whiteboard, paper management work tools, a coat hook and color coordinated guest chairs along with phone and computer connections. Construction features include 16-gauge cold-rolled steel framing for strength and rigidity during installation and when in use. “Knockdown and ready-to-assemble (RTA) framing components are equipped with selfleveling connections, which simplified moving elements into and throughout the building,” notes Arzola.
“Best of all,” summarizes Heather Hole, “the cost to furnish the workstation portion of this project was only $12.00 per square foot installed. And the systems furniture has a lifetime guarantee as long as we own it.”