Why Two Spokane Competitors Are Merging; BII and Freeform Come Together
From the perspective of our CEO, Jeff Heath, here’s the story behind the merger and what it means for our team, customers, partners, and communities.
In 2021, we opened our first satellite office in Spokane, Washington. We already wrote an open letter for our not so secret love affair with Spokane that you can find here (don’t worry, Boise: we love you, too, and you will always be our hometown). As we open on a new year, all those sentiments still ring true, and our affections have only grown for our new city.
During the process of getting to know Spokane, we met a lot of great, talented people and gained a way better understanding of the community and the lay of the land. I asked a lot of questions about the many capable and established local competitors, with one being mentioned continually for always bringing fresh ideas to the game and having a great team that would follow through with integrity and completeness. The more and more I heard, the more and more Freeform sounded like my kind of company. I was immediately curious to meet Fernando Jauretche, Freeform’s president, and learn more about what made them special.
The first time we met Fernando virtually, he was a bit wary (as competitors should be) and hesitant about a partnership. Still, the more we spoke, the more we found our approach to business, design, and life aligned. It’s rare to find such a true and genuine match with not only Fernando, but with the culture he has built, and his whole team! As we continued to talk and ideate, the excitement continued to grow, and we are now at a point where, with much pride, we can announce Business Interiors of Idaho (BII) will be merging with Freeform with the intent to assume the Freeform name and brand.
With our new partnership, we are passionate about continuing to bring new ideas, a values-aligned team, and consistent project execution to the Inland Northwest.
Why Merge the BII and Freeform Teams Together?
I saw first hand how BII was building in Boise what I was striving to build in Spokane with Freeform. We were both evolving long established businesses with loyal customers to become modern employers that contribute to the community and value their employees. I’m thrilled to combine our efforts and scale our collective resources and knowledge to continue to build a gold standard for service and innovation in our markets.
Three Things the New, Unified Team Brings
As consolidation continues within our industry, scale is important not only for pricing and other bulk benefits, but also for advocacy. The more pull we have with our manufacturers and partners the better value and expectations we can negotiate for our customers. But scale alone doesn’t bring value to our customers and partners. Advocacy only comes with an intimate knowledge of the needs of the local market, which we now have an abundance of in both the greater Boise and Spokane areas.
More people and more perspectives across our team translates to better and more diverse solutions. It also means we have more teammates to help if someone is sick, on vacation, or working on a large project. We have better balance for our team, which will translate into better turnaround and solutions for our customers.
Spokane and Boise are extremely similar. We already have customers and partners that span both markets, and now we can provide much more consistent service, as well as sharing best practices and applicable ideas across the Inland Northwest. Additionally, more than just business, our regional team can better leverage resources to impact non-profit, social, and industry endeavors to better our communities.
So What About...? A Quick FAQ to Answer the Rest of Your Burning Questions
What exactly is going to change?
Our goal is that the only changes you see will be improvements. In Spokane, we will continue to operate the brand as Freeform and will supplement the Spokane team with additional processes, resources and products from our Boise team that will support customer needs across all markets.
What’s the new “company” going to be called?
Over the course of the next year we will slowly, and thoughtfully transition the whole entity to the Freeform brand with some slight tweaks.
Do we still get to work with the same people?
Absolutely! We have worked hard to build great teams and we want to keep them together. The upside is that you will likely have the opportunity to meet more of our team! We believe a larger, more diverse team will lead to broader ideas and better solutions coming from added perspectives.
What does this mean for service and turnaround time?
A larger, more diversified team means that we can share workloads across locations, which translates to faster and more accurate turnarounds. Qualified boots on the ground in both Spokane and Boise allows us to more immediately and thoroughly cover a larger geography with qualified people, meaning we will quickly respond to single item and warranty needs while still effectively executing large projects on time and on budget.
Is Haworth the only brand you sell now?
Although we have a fantastic partnership with Haworth and are a Best-in-Class dealer, we will still provide a broad variety of manufacturers, products, and services to ensure our customers and partners get the right solution and the right price for their needs.
Are my quotes still valid?
If they are still within the date range defined on your quote, you’re good to go! Please reach out to your project contact if your quote is over 30 days old.
What is going to happen to my current orders?
All current orders will be fulfilled as they always have been.
Are our warranties still valid?
We are as committed as ever to supporting our installed client base. We are still just a phone call away to resolve any warranty claim.
Who do I make my payments to and where do I send payment?
Eventually, payments will need to be made to Freeform, but for now, you can make payments to either BII or Freeform, and we will get it sorted out. Please send all future payments to 176 S. Capitol Blvd. Boise, Idaho 83702. Don’t worry if you forget we will make sure it finds the bank account 😉
Wait, did you say you were changing your name? Why re-brand to Freeform?
The name Business Interiors of Idaho (BII) has served us well and been a beacon of consistency and service in Idaho for over 35 years, but with geographic expansion beyond the bounds of Idaho and the ever-changing nature of our industry and the products we provide, ‘Business Interiors’ is a far too narrow descriptor of the scope of our team’s capabilities. The name Freeform encapsulates our approach to furnishing spaces. Rather than fixed definitions of what spaces should be (conference room, lobby, office), a ‘freeform’ approach offers informed solutions, fresh perspectives, and thoughtful designs to create inspiring environments where people and organizations thrive. Freeform is also more descriptive of the growth of our combined organization, expanding geography, and the diversity of spaces, environments, and workplaces both indoors and out.
What Else Should I Know About the BII + Freeform Merger?
For now, that’s it. If you don’t take away anything else, leave with this: we are better positioned, now more than ever, to serve our customers, partners, and communities, and are so incredibly excited to start.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO, BII + Freeform
(soon to be Freeform)
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