OutSourcing To West Michigan

June 18, 2004
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SPRING LAKE — A new partnership with a Norwegian firm provides Izzydesign a product line to bring to the North American office-seating market.

Under the alliance, Spring Lake-based Izzydesign will manufacture, market and distribute four co-branded office chairs from HAG, a chair-maker based in Olso.

The deal gives Izzydesign an instant product line to meet emerging and growing demand from customers for high-end office seating, while providing HAG better access to a North American market.

“There’s a whole segment of the market we just don’t go to and we’ve got a distribution channel just begging for more product,” Izzydesign founder and CEO Chuck Saylor said.

“This just helps strengthen and fill out our product portfolio.”

The alliance “leverages the strength of two organizations with common business vision and philosophies,” Saylor said.

HAG shares Izzydesign’s design philosophies and sustainable business practices, he said.

The company was seeking a partner for the North American market at the same time Izzydesign was seeking to expand its line of office seating products.

Izzydesign, a subsidiary of Grand Haven-based JSJ Corp., will produce the HAG office chairs at its Belmont, Texas, manufacturing facility. Izzydesign will begin selling HAG chairs, starting at $800, in August.

HAG Group President and CEO Lars Roiri called the alliance with Izzydesign an “excellent way” to capture a larger share of the North American seating market. Izzydesign matches well with HAG’s ergonomics, visual designs, environmental commitment and quality.

“We believe Izzy truly understands our mission and will honor this commitment to our company and our customers as our North American strategic partner,” Roiri said.

When he formed Izzydesign in 2001, Saylor planned to eventually seek the kind of partnership the HAG alliance offers.

Strategic alliances that leverage the capabilities of each party involved are a fundamental aspect of Izzydesign’s business plan, he said. Doing so requires giving up something — namely some control — in return for increased capability to achieve a goal, Saylor said.

“When you do that and you get a partner that continues to do that, my experience is you’re going to be successful,” he said.

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