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Donald Lampe for Lamex

Lamex’s Senior Director of Product Management, Donald Lampe, tells us how the company has cemented its position as the Asia growth engine of HNI Corporation by leveraging on its global expertise and resources.

Donald Lampe for Lamex


November 17th, 2013

In 2006, China-based office solutions provider Lamex became a member of HNI Corporation, the second largest office furniture company in the world with headquarters in the US.

Donald Lampe, who recently joined Lamex as Senior Director of Product Management after having spent 35 years at HNI, tells us how this milestone move has given the company a significant edge eight years on.


Rateo, Recta and Optima – a trio of office solutions designed to meet today’s collaborative work needs

Can you describe your responsibilities as Senior Director of Product Management at Lamex?

My current role involves the leadership of Lamex’s engineering group, as well as their product development group and product management group. This means that, not only do I have responsibility for new product development, but I also manage our current portfolio and our current legacy products. I am also responsible for overseeing the engineering work that goes along with these groups. My responsibilities also include talking with our customers in the marketplace about what new products we need to develop, as well as what modifications we need to make to our current lineup to make it more relevant in the marketplace.


Rateo, Recta and Optima

What are the most important recent workplace trends that Lamex have identified?

Some of the early trends that we have identified focus on the impact of technology on the workplace. Technology has changed the way we interact with our fellow workers, as well as how we personally do our work. It is also the reason for the shift in social interactions and the social changes that we see manifesting itself not only in the tier 1 cities in China, but also starting to filter out into the tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

Because of this, I would say that the change in the kind of social networking and the hierarchy of how companies are establishing their workspace is probably the biggest trends that we see specifically within China. The traditional Chinese set up of an office is evolving. The new workplace includes collaborative areas which allow for the worker to interact socially. The concept of sustainability is also a strong influence within the China market. When you put all of these things together, you start to understand that there are dramatically different products that need to be developed to address all of the changing needs and changing wants of the market.


Rateo, Recta and Optima

How is Lamex developing its products to meet these trends?

We are developing products that are designed to meet the needs of the new emerging market. We are out there working very hard to understand our customers’ needs including how they work today, and how they will work in the future. It is our goal to incorporate our customers’ needs and requirements into our new designs and our new product development efforts.

Are there examples that you can give us from your product portfolio?

Rateo, Recta, and Optima are table desking lines that can be combined in different ways and methods to allow for individual team members and individual workers to interact with each other in different ways depending on the nature of the business.

Also, very soon Lamex will be introducing soft seating products that will be targeted towards the more collaborative, casual areas of the workplace.


Ranger – ergonomic task chair designed for the Asian user

Do you collaborate with external designers or are the designs produced primary by an in-house team?

It’s a combination of both. We have designers from Germany and Italy that we collaborate with, and we’re also working with local Asian designers to make sure that we have the Asian style reflected in our products. And, because Lamex is part of the multinational HNI family, we can draw on all of the designer relationships that our parent company already has established.


Lamex office solutions

Are there any specific challenges when it comes to developing office solutions for the Asian market?

Because Asia has such a diverse economy and is such a diverse marketplace, we have customers all the way from the SOEs, to the MNCs, to the small startups. This diversity requires Lamex to bring an array of product solutions to the Asian market.

What would you say really differentiates Lamex and its products from its competitors in the market?

We want to be that trusted partner for our customers and for our dealers. We do that by making sure we have a good, solid understanding of the Asian culture. As part of the multinational HNI family, Lamex is able to bring concepts and ideas from the rest of the world to this region. We are making sure to adjust our products to fit to the Asian culture while also fitting the needs of Asian companies and workers.

This is a big requirement. It has caused us to work very hard to create the large, diverse offering that you see that Lamex has. This diversity allows us to meet the many different needs within the Asian market. Also, because we manufacture our products here in China, we’re able to react quickly to the changing market. All of Asia is changing very fast, and you have to be nimble enough to react. We believe Lamex is capable of doing just that.


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