Nation’s “Most Obsolete Office” Wins Complete Makeover from Xerox27 Jul, 2004
Nation’s “Most Obsolete Office” Wins Complete Makeover from Xerox
After stumbling over piles of overflowing files and fumbling with outdated technology that sits on crumbling furniture, employees at Mad Science screamed, "Help, my office is obsolete!" Xerox Corporation and Entrepreneur magazine listened, naming Mad Science of Scottsdale the winner of their Office Makeover Contest.
A provider of children's science education programs, Mad Science's offices currently look like a scientific experiment gone awry. That's all about to change with the magic touch of Thom Filicia, the design doctor from the hit show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” who will put the small business' office under a microscope.
Filicia will master a major overhaul of Mad Science's office space, creating an environment that will help the company develop science programs more productively, integrating new document technology from Xerox and office furniture from The HON Company.
"We're about to put the Bunsen burner under this company!" says Filicia, who owns a New York-based design firm and has been named one of House Beautiful's Top 100 American Designers. "There's already so much creativity in the work that Mad Science does - and we're going to make their work space a conduit for even more creative energy."
Selected from more than 450 qualified entries representing 48 states, Mad Science of Scottsdale stood out as the "most obsolete office" in terms of technology, business processes and design. With 16 employees, the office is in dire need of an upgrade to its current technology - a 12-year-old fax machine that uses paper on a roll and slow, expensive inkjet printers. New office technology - including Xerox multifunction systems, software and network color printers as well as flat-panel display screens - will be incorporated to help turn the out-of-date workplace into a model showplace.
"Our technology is so outdated that we have to practically kick it to make it work. As a franchise operation, we get a lot of help in many areas, but office productivity and workflow isn't one of them," says Kathy Hamlett, owner, Mad Science of Scottsdale. "We knew our office was in need of a major overhaul, but we didn't know where to start, and we can't wait for these office experts to work their magic with us."
Modern technology is not the only thing Mad Science of Scottsdale lacks. The office is filled with a hodgepodge of folding chairs and self-assembly bookshelves that serve as office furnishings. And with no storage system, papers, books and supplies are scattered about the floor making the space cluttered. Filicia will revamp the entire look of the office to make it more attractive and functional, completely redesigning the space with stylish office furniture from The HON Company that is both practical and professional.
"Mad Science has such heart and is already successful, but we can make an impact and help them work smarter," says Diane McGarry, Xerox chief marketing officer. "We hope the makeover results are a catalyst for other businesses to take a look and learn how they can transform their own operations."
In addition to an assessment of office processes, new Xerox technology, professional design services and office furniture, Mad Science of Scottsdale will receive a three-year subscription to Entrepreneur magazine.
Judges also selected two runners-up. As first runner-up, Tutto Mio - an importer and distributor of handmade Italian ceramics and Bohemian glassware in San Leandro, Calif. - will receive a Xerox Phaser 8400DP solid ink color printer. Augustino's Rock and Roll Deli of Carol Stream, Ill., took second runner-up and will receive a Xerox WorkCentre M15i multifunction device. Both companies will also receive a three-year subscription to Entrepreneur.
The results of the makeover will be featured in the November issue of Entrepreneur, due to hit newsstands in late October. From March 16 through June 30, Xerox and Entrepreneur called on U.S. small businesses to enter "Help! My Office is Obsolete!" in a quest to find the most outdated office. A panel at Entrepreneur magazine reviewed the entries and selected five finalists. A panel of judges - Filicia; McGarry; Robert Luchetti, an architect and work transformation expert; and Rieva Lesonsky, senior vice president and editorial director of Entrepreneur Media Inc. - selected the grand-prize winner and the runners-up.