Jasper Seating Co. improves sales through
diversity in contract furniture markets.
by George Lausch, Managing Editor
The Debut line,
designed by David R.
Gutgsell, is well-suited
for the demands of today’s multi-task
work environments. Features include
swivel control, tension adjustment,
pneumatic lift, black or chrome/black
combination arms and a retro look.
Jasper Seating Co. Inc.
Product: Upholstered seating, wood
seating, conference and computer
tables, bookcases, filing/storage,
library shelving, study carrels, hotel/
motel furniture and other products for
contract markets through six divisions
Employees: 500; manufacturing, 400
Plant size ( 5): 975,000 square feet
Jasper Seating Co. illustrates that
sustained growth is still possible
in the contract furniture market.
The Jasper, Ind., manufacturer
grew sales by $20 million from 2004
to 2005 and jumped 40 positions to
132 in the FDM 300 ranking. How
did the company achieve this degree of
success? It attributes the sharp increase
to a new acquisition and growth
throughout its existing divisions.
Founded in 1929 as a seating
The Corbin club chair features clean
lines, delicately angled arms and
solid hardwood frame with flared
wood legs. The line, also designed
by David R. Gutgsell, includes love
seat, sofa and ottoman.
manufacturer, the company today
represents a more diverse enterprise.
“When we started out, Jasper Seating
Co. was the company,” says Ron Beck,
vice president of operations. “But
we’ve expanded, and Jasper Seating is
kind of the parent company now. We
have six divisions underneath it that
concentrate on certain markets.”
The Community division
manufactures wood chairs for the school
industry; JSI provides office furniture
and seating; Jasper Library Furniture
produces workstations, tables, shelving and
seating for the library market; Liberty
Seating and Vintage supply tables
and seating to the restaurant markets.
Klem Hospitality, the newest addition,
specializes in motel/hotel furniture.
In addition to a range of other
products, each division offers some
type of seating products for its
respective markets. Today about 25
percent of Jasper Seating Co.’s product
offering is upholstered seating.
Jasper has achieved growth in two
ways, says Beck. In new markets,
such as those served by Klem
Hospitality, the company has enjoyed
a newcomer’s advantage. “It’s a little
easier to capture market share when
you’re starting out in an industry and
developing relationships,” he says.