Indesignlive spoke with Peter Letton and Mark Durrington, Directors of CSM to find out how CSM have sustained longevity over the decades through innovation to remain market leaders in an ever changing workplace.
Indesignlive: How have you seen workplaces changing in the 21st century?
The biggest impact we have seen on workplace design has been as a direct result of digital transformation. In particular digital imaging has really changed the way people store information in the workplace, gone are the days for the need of mass storage of paper copies and this transition from file indexes towards digital archiving has signalled a move towards paperless offices. This transformation also coincides with the current demand towards integrating more sustainable practices in offices today. We have more recently observed a shift in design from operational and structural efficiency in the workplace to a focus on a more holistic approach in workplace design centred around wellness of the individual.
How does CSM continue to service an evolving workplace and office culture?
The digital age has enabled remote and flexible working, and as a result we have seen a huge shift in office culture. This is reflected in current workplace design through the increased trend towards agile and activity based working spaces. Many companies are now including collaborative spaces where employees no longer have a fixed desk or workstation. This in turn means the need for personal storage has changed. Personal item and centralised storage solutions have increased in demand, with lockers now being a key feature that are being integrated in to new workplace fit–outs. As a result, CSM has a developed a diverse range of custom lockers to meet this need.
Where previously CSM provided a standardised range of storage, we now find ourselves working directly with our clients to create individualised solutions. Different business units within a company will have vastly different storage requirements. Materials and equipment are now located in common areas for accessibility. The provision of security for both private belongings and sensitive documents is also considered in the solution, in order for companies to be compliant with legislation..
Our innovative and experienced team have developed a range of storage products that can adapt to meet individual client requirements considering the design intent, culture and wellbeing needs.
Increased flexibility is fundamental when designing storage for the evolving workplace.
How important is local manufacturing to you, and to Australia?
We are vertically integrated, so our design, engineering and manufacture exist all under one roof. Having these services in-house along with a rapid prototyping facility allows a quicker response time.
One of the most important aspects of our operations being local is our ability to have our engineers meet face to face with clients. This allows us to offer more than a standardised off the shelf product, we can design and create customised storage solutions by developing new products specifically for our clients which we then build to specification.
How has CSM maintained its position in storage in Australia for over 65 years?
With 65 years of experience we have built trust with government and corporate clients along with a demonstrated ability to deliver large scale projects within the property industry. We are contract suppliers for the government with over 25 years of successful delivery for the education and public sectors including the recent Service NSW rollout. Renowned for our work with steel, we have now moved towards specialised workplace storage design, integrating a range of materials to suit the client’s needs, design and budget.
Our success has been underpinned by our commitment to continuous improvement through innovation and technology.
What does sustainability mean for CSM?
Sustainability is at the core of our company ethos and we have ensured that its practice is integrated across all areas of our business. We were the first Australian storage manufacturer to be GECA certified and we removed chemical use from our manufacturing process over 20 years ago which had the added benefit of removing harmful VOC’s from our products. Our carbon footprint is minimal through our process right through to our delivery. We use transport cages and reusable protection instead of plastics and timber crates. 97% of our packaging is reused and 2% is recycled and all packaging is returned to CSM so we see less than 1% waste, this is largely enabled by the fact that we are local manufacturers. As a result of our efforts we are often specified for green star rated projects and this is something we are very proud of.
The construction methods used in the modular products allow for upcycle and refurbishment. We can take a product back and refurbish it, including the triage of doors as our metal base allows cosmetic changes without throwing out the original furniture which can be costly and contributes to landfill.
What recent work has CSM completed that you’re particularly proud of?
We are proud of all our projects and have been fortunate to be specified for many award-winning fitouts. We enjoyed working on the CBA Darling Walk project – this was an iconic project being one of the first agile workplaces using entirely recyclable material for the supply of lockers.
We recently delivered storage for the KPMG national rollout. This large scale project included new offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Melbourne and Adelaide. It was a logistically complex project with a highly skilled team, working seamlessly to coordinate the delivery to meet time and budget restraints. Collaborating with the client and designers we were able to achieve a successful outcome meeting KPMG’s unique requirement.
What’s next for CSM?
We are always looking at ways to innovate and expand the scope of our product and services. Sustainability and wellness will always feature in our vision.