Ergonomics Helps Procurement at Global Energy Company
We worked with a leading global energy company to provide ergonomics expertise to help them procure a wide range of furniture, equipment and accessories for their offices.
The company has offices in over 90 countries and territories. We evaluated over 400 products from a range of suppliers using ergonomics and accessibility principles to specify and select the items. By implementing ergonomics and accessibility principles we reduced the risk of ill-health, injury and accidents that could arise from selecting inappropriate products.
Tanya Heasman, Managing Director of System Concepts, directed the project.
Initially, we reviewed the company’s existing procurement templates which are completed by prospective suppliers in order to identify potential items of interest. Different categories of furniture, equipment and accessories were selected using individual templates which took into account the users and context of use. We provided advice on the suitability of the existing criteria and added ergonomics and accessibility requirements to each template.
As the project progressed, we also:
- provided advice to ensure compliance with safety, ergonomics and accessibility legislation and guidance in Asia, Europe and the US
- used anthropometric data from a range of user populations across the world to select products with the best fit
- liaised with suppliers, including four of the biggest office furniture suppliers globally
- assessed over 400 products at a number of showrooms within London, the US and the Netherlands
- compiled a detailed assessment of each aspect of every individual item, from health and safety implications for employees, to ease of maintenance for facilities management staff.
The client’s requirements changed over time and as more stakeholders became involved and additional issues presented themselves. We maintained a flexible approach to manage the changing dynamic of the project.
Benefits of ergonomics input
Our involvement enabled us to provide ergonomics and accessibility input early in the procurement process. We were able to advise the client on features that should be avoided before they committed to purchase. Our advice helped to choose items which provide a comfortable and safe environment for their employees. This prevented any costly mistakes and made the process more cost-effective in the long term.
The key benefits include:
- Major issues can be identified early in procurement before changes become expensive and disruptive.
- Effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction are built into the overall equipment selection process.
- Eliminate unsuitable products early on, saving time and costs.
- Improve staff wellbeing and comfort.
- Provide consistency across regional/global offices.