What’s So Great About Herman Miller, Anyway?


Herman Miller is a name that is synonymous with fine office furniture. Their designs and systems are coveted far and wide and the resale value on a Herman Miller piece is certainly higher than that of most other companies.

So, why is this? What is so great about Herman Miller and why does their office furniture fetch such high prices?

Born in the USA

Herman Miller’s headquarters are in Zeeland, Michigan and there are manufacturing and distribution facilities in Atlanta and Canton, Georgia; Lake Mills, Wisconsin; and Holland, Zeeland, and Spring Lake, Michigan. To meet demand, Herman Miller has also set up shop in China, Italy, and the United Kingdom. What’s more, the company’s subsidiaries (Geiger, Convia, Brandrud and Nemschoff, Inc.) are all headquartered in the U.S.

Top-Tier Designers

Herman Miller is not afraid to step out of the proverbial box and call on the talents of some of the top designers and rising stars in the business. Names like Yves Behar, Douglas Ball, Don Chadwick, Bill Stumpf, Mark Goetz, and of course, Charles and Ray Eames, of the uber-famous Eames recliner and ottoman, are just some of the folks behind Herman Miller designs.

Ergonomic Excellence

Herman Miller pays remarkable attention to the issue of ergonomics in the workplace and designs furniture based on the mechanics and specifications of the human body. Their goal, according to their website, is to enable individuals to work at their most safe, effective and motivated levels. They create health-positive environments that go beyond “fitting” people to their equipment to actually helping them thrive. Now that’s saying something about an employer who chooses to outfit their business with Herman Miller products: they care about their employees.

Commitment to Sustainability

Herman Miller strives to do their part in making and keeping our environment clean, healthy and livable. To prove their commitment, they’ve launched their “Perfect Vision” initiative, which targets 2020 as the year they’ll meet the following self-imposed goals:

  • Zero landfill
  • Zero hazardous waste generation
  • Zero air emissions (VOC)
  • Zero process water use
  • 100 percent green electrical energy use
  • Company buildings constructed to a minimum LEED Silver certification
  • 100 percent of sales from DfE-approved products

Impressive goals. If they (and other companies) could even achieve even half of them, imagine how much better off our environment would be.

Odds and Ends

If all of the above points don’t convince you that Herman Miller office furniture is a product worth investing in, take a look at these fast facts:

  • Herman Miller is credited with the invention of the office cubicle. (No wonder they’re working so hard to make cubicles more stylish and livable!)
  • They are consistently recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired Companies”, having placed at the top of the list for furniture companies for the past 18 consecutive years.
  • Net sales in fiscal year 2008 were $2.012 billion – clearly, they have many, many happy customers.

This is a company that just keeps getting better. When they invent a great design, they don’t rest on their laurels…they work hard to improve even further! And while pricier than the competition, this is truly a “you get what you pay for” situation. Great products, great service, great design…well worth the investment for you and your company!