Decca Contract president John Fischbach was recently interviewed for the April 21 issue of the Delve Magazine, available on My Resource Library website. In this interview Delve and John Fischbach leave no stone unturned as they discuss Decca's state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.
Over fifty years ago, Decca started out as a high-end millwork shop in Hong Kong and grew into a wood products manufacturing company with international clients. Our growth has been humbling. Decca now has a 1.5 million-square-foot factory that’s unsurpassed in technology.
On any given morning in the city of Minneapolis, Decca’s team could wake up to a balmy 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or a wind-chill factor of minus 4 and 8.5 inches of snow on the roads. Nonetheless, the Decca team is hard at work. Every day is a buzz of activity as the team generates quotes, prepares engineering drawings, creates renderings, gathers custom finish samples, and coordinates transit. The significant number of custom products that Decca Contract produces requires close attention to the details of product development and equally, the ability to guide clients through the process.
Decca Contract Chicago Showroom
“The process of designing, building and transporting high quality furniture is what we do, and we love doing it,” notes Fischbach. Recently, a highly renowned client came to Decca with a challenge. “Can you deliver 355 custom private offices, 65 workstations and 11 custom conference rooms all in the same week to two different locations in the same city? Decca’s answer was, “absolutely.” - John Fischbach
Delve: It’s been said that it takes 10,000 hours to get good at something. How long has Decca been in business?
John Fischbach: Fifty years. Decca started out as a high-end millwork shop in Hong Kong and grew into a wood products manufacturing company with international clients. Our growth has been humbling. Decca now has a 1.5 million-square-foot factory that’s unsurpassed in technology. We employ 2,000 people. From a technology perspective, our facilities are very sophisticated. However, honestly, it’s the engineers, technicians, and craftspeople who work in the factory that are at the heart of our business.
Delve: Many furniture manufacturers have to buy different components from manufacturers and suppliers around the world. Is this not true of Decca?
John Fischbach: Not at all. I think we are one of the few companies that can actually claim to have a substantial level of vertical integration. We kiln-dry solids, press veneers, and size formaldehyde-free MDF. We also manufacture architectural metals, create custom stains and make our own cardboard packing for shipping. The only things that we do not do in-house are slice veneer from the log, or cut stone and glass. This level of vertical manufacturing gives us tremendous flexibility to bring our clients’ ideas to reality.
Delve: What about design? How do you find people with original ideas?
John Fischbach: We are incredibly lucky to have been able to partner with a very talented group of product designers. Brian Graham has worked with Decca for over 15 years, designing collections like the Ratio™ table and more recently, FrameWork, which is both furniture and architecture. Lauren Rottet has designed a lounge collection that’s very smart and sophisticated. Gary Lee, Jess Sorel, and Alyssa Coletti are all award-winning designers who have made invaluable contributions to our company, but these are just a few. All of the independent designers we work with - and our in house design team as well - have vast talents and a very good understanding of market expectations and trends.
Delve: Watching a piece of furniture come together is fascinating
John Fiscbach: It is! Once you have a drawing and then create the prototype, there’s still a great deal of contemplating, measuring, double-checking, making notes and adjusting. If the product is a chair, you want to do a “sit test” to make sure it’s completely comfortable, that the pitch of the seat is just right, that the height of the arms is supportive. Every detail has to be reviewed and tweaked and refined. It’s a process of evolution from concept to finished product. And there’s always an excitement about seeing a newly completed chair, conference table, or private office. For me, as well as the product designer, product development is a fascinating and exciting process.
To read the full interview, please click here.