herman miller case study essay sample

Executive Summary:
Herman Miller, which is a major U. S. furniture manufacturer, its products, including office furniture, equipment and furniture. It is also one of the first companies in the United States who produce modern furniture. In addition, Herman Miller is one of the four largest suppliers in office furniture industry. HM staff mutual respect and concern about the environment. The management and staff attitude is reflected in the “ Things That Matter” at Herman Miller: Curiosity and Exploration, Design, A Better World, Eco-design, an approach to design of a product with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole lifecycle. Herman Miller focuses on a growth strategy through innovative products, production processes and reinvention and renewal. They survived the Great Depression and multiple recessions, recovered from the dot-com bust and were able to continue expanding overseas. By introducing new designs, Herman Miller has been a successful company.

Issues and Problems:
Many of Herman Miller’s products are designed to be ecologically sound, and many are good examples of ecodesign techniques for achieving sustainability include saving materials, energy efficient manufacturing, recycled content, and recyclable content, including design for disassembly. The design process also utilizes life cycle assessment. Herman Miller has engaged in a number of initiatives to promote sustainability, and many of them have had cost-saving implications for the company. The company has developed a technique of mixing sawdust with chicken manure to produce topsoil. The company also uses a database to track every chemical in each product used by the company, in order to eliminate harmful chemicals from their products. Management of the company has expressed concerns about global warming.

There is a very strong culture at Herman Miller, humility is a big part of it. HM respects each other and cares about the environment. The company promotes within and promotes employee empowerment, but is there such a thing as “ Too much employee empowerment”. Although it is great to set a positive culture for your company is it too much to expect the employees to carry out those values outside of the company into their home lives. Taking risk and spending for the future can be good and bad for the company. Herman Miller believes its success in achieving operational excellence depends on the motivation and thinking of its people to solve problems and drive improvement. Open-ended Questions:

Why doesn’t Herman Miller use polyviny chloride (PVC) in the arm pads of the chair? What Herman Miller did to operationalize cradle-to-cradle protocol? What’s the definition of sustainable development?

What’s the difference between efficiency and effectiveness? What does the Herman Miller product development process consist? What Herman Miller’s material selection based on?