Thursday, December 16, 2010

Business as Usual

The United States Postal Service has an unofficial creed – “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." It is actually derived from a quote by an ancient Greek historian named Herodotus, referring to the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire:

“It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.”

We at Spectrum Industries pay considerable attention to our ability to deliver our products on time. Nothing stands in the way of our loyalty to our customers. Not even the record 22” of snow we received on December 11! Employees were at the production facilities on the morning of the 12th – their normal day off – to make sure that it would be business as usual come Monday the 13th.

Here’s a nice before/after example of snow drifting over one of our employee entrances:

And here is a somewhat sarcastic video from one of our employees

Shoveling after a 20" storm

A video made in fun, to be sure, but it embodies that never-say-die attitude made famous in Herodotus’ quote, and displays our fierce loyalty to Spectrum customers no matter what the obstacle.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spectrum Industries Participates in Movemeber Cancer Awareness

As November has passed us by, so has Movember. And what might Movember be? Movember has been described as the male version of the Susan G. Komen effort to raise money and awareness for cancer. Men who participate shave on October 31st and then grow mustaches throughout the month of November. Caring friends, family, and coworkers can give a tax deductible contribution to help cure prostate and testicular cancer. Organizations that benefit include LIVESTRONG and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

As of last year, 1 in 6 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and 1 man died every 18 minutes of prostate cancer. Please help Spectrum Industries to put a dent in this horrible statistic and consider contributing to the Spectrum Movember team at
From this year’s participants, both in Movember and Relay for Life, we at Spectrum thank you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spectrum Industries Salutes Veterans Day

In the wake of a highly charged election season, Spectrum gladly slows down to honor a non-political holiday: Veterans Day. Started as Armistice Day in 1918 to honor World War I veterans, it was made a legal holiday in 1938, and was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all United States veterans.

We would like to honor all of our veterans on this day, but especially one of Spectrum’s own. Longtime employee Kris Maloney surprised many of us when he enlisted during the Iraq War. He honorably served our country, and Spectrum Industries gladly took him back into the workforce after his tour. Kris presented us with a flag that was flown in Spectrum’s honor on January 1, 2010 over Compound V Camp Cropper during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Kris continues to be an asset on the production floor, and we are lucky to have him as part of our family! We greatly appreciate Kris and the rest of the 24.9 million United States veterans as well – right down to the sole surviving World War I veteran, Frank Buckles. In the United States, we can count ourselves fortunate to lead the lives we have - due in part to veterans’ selfless efforts toward the defense and freedom of our country.


Monday, November 8, 2010

12 Ways you can help the team....

This is well written, by David Buchanan... It has a sports theme but relates to business teams well. Just replace practice with work, game with projects, and classmates with coworkers.

1. Be the hardest worker at practice today.
Without fail, one of the quickest ways to impact a team is with your own work ethic. Choose to be one of the hardest workers on your team today. Not only does it set the tone for the work ethic of your program, it is also one of the best and quickest ways to enhance your leadership credibility with your teammates and coaches.

2. Be a spark of energy and enthusiasm today.
Let your passion for the sport shine through today. Spread a contagious energy and enthusiasm amongst your teammates. Think about how lucky you are to be able to play and compete. Remember back to when you were a young child and reconnect with the joy you played with back then. Make your sport fun again for yourself and your teammates.

3. Model mental toughness today.
Because your teammates will look to you under pressure, adversity, and stress, be sure to model mental toughness today. Bounce back quickly after errors to show your teammates how to respond to negative situations. Maintain your poise and optimism despite any mistakes you might make so that your teammates can trust and rely on you to get them through the tough times.

4. Connect with a teammate today.
Leadership is all about relationships. Invest the time to build and strengthen the relationships you have with each of your teammates.
Inquire about their day, challenges, and goals. Make a special and ongoing effort to get to know every athlete on your team, not just your friends and classmates. The relationship building you do each day will pay off immeasurably down the road.

5. Compliment a teammate today.
Be on the lookout for teammates who are contributing to your team. Call out a teammate for making a hustle play, pushing through a weight workout, recovering quickly from a mistake, getting an A on an exam, etc. Praise the actions and attitudes you want to see repeated. As Mother Teresa once said, "Kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless."

6. Challenge a teammate today.
Challenge at least one of your teammates today. Positively push them and yourself to make the most of your workout. Make a friendly wager to see if they can be successful at least 4 out of 5 times in a drill. See if you both can improve your times in conditioning. Offer to stay after to help if there is anything they want to work on. Good leaders consistently invite, inspire, and sometimes implore others to greatness.

7. Support a teammate today.
Odds are, at least one of your teammates is struggling with something today - it could be a performance slump, a rocky romantic relationship, a disagreement with a coach, an unglamorous role, struggling with a class, or a sick family member. Good leaders are consistently on the lookout for teammates who might be struggling and are ready to offer an ear to listen, an encouraging word, a pat on the back, or a shoulder to cry on.

8. Constructively confront negativity, pessimism, and laziness today.
As a leader, have the courage to constructively confront the negativity, pessimism, and laziness that will crop up on your team from time to time. Instead of fueling the fire by joining in or silently standing by, be sure to refocus your teammates on solutions rather than dwelling on and complaining about the problems. Left unchecked, these problems can quickly grow to distract, divide, and destroy your team.

9. Build and bond your team today.
Team chemistry naturally ebbs and flows throughout the course of the season. Take the time to monitor and maintain your team's chemistry. Let your reserves and support staff know how much you appreciate them. Stay connected and current with each of the natural sub-groups on your team.
Douse any brush fires that might be occurring and continually remind team members about your common goal and common bond.

10. Check in with your coach today.
Invest the time to check in with your coach today. Ask what you can do to best help the team this week. Find out what your coach wants to accomplish with today's practice. Also discuss if there is anything your coach is concerned about regarding your team. Discuss your collective insights on your team's chemistry, focus, and mindset. Work together to effectively co-lead your team.

11. Remind your team how today's work leads to tomorrow's dreams.
It's easy to get bogged down during your season with monotonous drills, tiring conditioning, and demanding workouts. Remind your teammates how all the quality work you do today gives you a distinct advantage over your opponents. Help them see and even get excited about how today's hard work is a long-term investment in your team's goals, rather than just a short-term hardship or sacrifice.

12. Represent yourself and team with class and pride today.
Leaders have the awesome privilege and responsibility of representing their teams. Take advantage of this opportunity by representing your team with class and pride today. Hold a door open for someone, sit in the front rows of class and actively engage in the discussion, say please and thank you, dress in respectful attire, etc. These tiny pushes represent you and your team with class and distinction. And they ultimately set you up for a lifetime of respect and success.

Spectrum is enjoying growth through these difficult times because of the relationships we build with our customers and our employees.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spectrum Industries and UW-Stout Collaborate to Innovate!


Menomonie, Wis. – A versatile, ergonomically correct work station designed by a University of Wisconsin-Stout specialist and an alumnus could change the way a broad spectrum of people learn, conduct research and perform tests and other tasks.

The prototype tabletop station, 5-feet-6 inches long and 2-feet-7 inches wide, primarily was designed for people with disabilities. Portable and height-adjustable, it fits work station needs for people with a variety of physical limitations.

Because of its versatility, the design also breaks new ground as an ergonomically correct work table for the general population, from children to adults, for use in schools, institutions, industries and businesses.

The inventors are Jeff Annis, a Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute designer, and Brad Stafford, a 2005 UW-Stout graduate and product designer for Spectrum Industries of Chippewa Falls.

“With the disabled population as our focus, we came up with a universal design that provided access for all people,” Annis said. “This could be used in school and business science labs, on an assembly line, as a craft table, in assisted living and in commercial kitchens.”

The work station will be unveiled at an open house from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 3, at SVRI, 221 10th Avenue E. The open house will include tours of SVRI’s assistive technology labs.

UW-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen recently committed funding for prototype testing and refinement, which is ongoing at UW-Stout.

Funding for the design and construction of prototypes also was supplied by UW-Stout, Spectrum and WiSys, or the Wisconsin System Technology Foundation, which handles marketing, licensing and other issues for all UW System schools except UW-Madison.

The public-private project was funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation through the Midwest Alliance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at UW-Madison. The NSF is concerned about a low percentage of students with disabilities pursuing math and science careers, Annis said.

Sorensen said the work station reflects Annis’ wealth of experience with adaptive technology and the type of innovative applied research being conducted at UW-Stout, Wisconsin’s polytechnic university. “The intuitive design brings work station technology into the modern age and makes science and research more accessible. It’s an exciting leap forward as a tool for many people,” Sorensen said.

“We are proud to support this research, which represents the quality of work being done by students and faculty across our campus and in collaboration with private industry.”

WiSys recently applied for a patent. Spectrum has the first right of refusal as the manufacturer. Royalties from product sales would be split between WiSys, UW-Stout and Spectrum.

Stafford, who majored in industrial design at UW-Stout, is a product designer for Spectrum, which makes technology-based furniture. Spectrum President Dave Hancock also has acted as an adviser on the project.

“We achieved the core goal so that students with special needs can participate in science experiments, but this product also pushes the envelope of what a work station can be,” Stafford said. “It meets the needs of a high percentage of people.”

“Some schools already have expressed interest, so we anticipate selling these in the future,” Stafford added.

Production could begin once field tests, including at school and other science labs, are complete.

Work station features include:

• Adjustable height with the push of a button, from 24.6 inches to 50.6 inches, using a linear actuator and a digital display. Height settings also can be customized.

• Mirror images on both sides, making it accessible for up to four people simultaneously.

• A beveled edge, which contains spills and prevents items from falling off.

• Portability, with castors on wheels that lock with the push of a button. It can be moved around a classroom or work space for easier access or to access other equipment, such as a sink or gas valve. “In a science lab, you could configure them any way you want — in a circle if you prefer,” Annis said.

• A pull-out shelf, which can hold a microscope, laptop or other equipment.

• Two movable gantry arms with LED lights to suspend tools or research items.
Most work stations in labs are stationary and not ergonomically correct, Annis said. “The design looks good, it’s functional and I think there’s a market for it,” he said.

Three UW-Stout students helped during the design phase, Casey Nugent of Fredonia, Jason Burbank of Menomonie and Mark Fladeboe of White Bear Lake, Minn. Annis also credited Mike Gove and Gene Gove of Imperial Counters in Hastings, Minn., and Dan Sembach of the SVRI fabrication lab with design support.

In his 34-year career, Annis has designed hundreds of pieces of equipment, most for the disabled through SVRI. About four years ago, Annis also designed an adjustable cooktop, which recently received a patent. The work station is an offshoot of that design, Annis said.

Annis and Stafford, a former SVRI employee and native of Eden Prairie, Minn., have spent about two years on the design and are working on a third prototype of the work station at Spectrum.

For more information or to schedule an interview and see the prototype, contact Annis at 715-232-1164 or To attend the June 3 open house, contact Jennifer Gundlach Klatt at 715-232-2236 or

For details, contact:
Doug Mell
Executive Director of Communications and External Relations

Friday, October 1, 2010

What's in a name?

At Spectrum Industries, just like many manufacturers, we address the question "what should we name the new product". The most recent meeting started me thinking, where did names and phrases originate from.
Doing a little research (very little), turned up explanations for a few common phrases:

Early furniture references:
Stone-age furnishings -
When people learned to farm and lived in permanent settlements they began to make furniture. In Europe some of the earliest known furniture comes from a stone age village at Sara Brae in the Orkney Islands in Scotland about 2,000 BC. The stone age farmers lived in stone huts with roofs of whalebone and turf. Inside they made stone furniture such as cupboards and beds.

American style -
Mission furniture is heavily associated with Gustav Stickley -- the "father" of the American Arts and Crafts and Mission movement. These two styles are closely related. The Mission style was originally associated with the Spanish missionary work done long ago in the North American Southwest. The hallmark features of both styles are: straight lines, simplicity of design, and mortise/tenon joinery.

1771 - The first car accident:
Nicolas Cugnot who designed the first car in 1769 made another steam-driven vehicle two years later, also at the Paris Arsenal. The machine reportedly ran quite well, although on one occasion it ran into a wall, thus recording the world's first motor-accident. The vehicle may still be seen today in the Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Metiers in Paris.

"The good old days" Facts about phrase origins from the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell . ..... . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof... Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

Getting quite an education, aren't you?

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring!!!

Of course none of this will be used in the naming of new products on the web site or in the catalogs but it will make you think.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spectrum's Flex Insight A Big Hit in Tampa Area Schools

Hillsborough County School District has begun their first semester using Spectrum's Flex Insight Desk, and the feedback has been outstanding. Check out the latest video from Bay News 9. Teachers love how the desk facilitates online learning, and students are inspired and uplifted when they "get behind the wheel" of a Flex Insight.

This is what Spectrum Industries is all about: we don't just make educational products, we deliver products that add value. Products that maximize learning, teaching, and training. Products that inspire!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spectrum Industries Achieves Indoor Air Quality Certification

Spectrum is very proud today to announce that we have achieved the prestigious Indoor Advantage certification from SCS!!!Where our manufacturing facilities are located, in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, people have a close attachment to nature and all the wonders it has to offer. Therefore it comes naturally to us to protect our environment by using clean materials, recycling at every opportunity, and being as energy-efficient as possible. Very few manufacturers can say they have won the highly regarded GSA Evergreen award, yet more and more manufacturers claim to be “green” companies.

So we felt that an independent 3rd party certification would be important. Not that it would be a big reach beyond what we already do for our surroundings, but it would give our actions and our words that much more credibility. Now, instead of just being known as a great steward to the environment, Spectrum Industries has proven that we care about the safety and health of our customers as well. Having our products certified for indoor air quality goes beyond our second-to-none customer service. Indoor Advantage certification says that we care about the people, and most importantly the children, that use our products every day.

When you open our 2011 catalog, we state on the very first page, “Spectrum Industries holds in highest regard our commitment to nature, to community, and to our customers.” With Indoor Advantage certification, that phrase is more than just nicely scripted words. That phrase proves true to what Spectrum is all about.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Special Media Director Sale

The Media Director is one of Spectrum Industries’ highest all-time selling multimedia lecterns. This lectern is not only capable of handling high powered presentations, it can do so cleanly. The Media Director design is perfectly laid out so that instructors can run presentations in a well-organized manner. Does your lectern always seem to be cluttered, without enough space to even set down your coffee cup? The Media Director has well thought-out space, inside and out, for whatever you can give it: rack rail A/V equipment, document cameras, projectors, books, laptops, and yes, coffee cups.

For our fans of the original Media Director, Spectrum has recently manufactured a limited run and we are offering it at a greatly reduced price. Normally we sell the flip-up shelf and keyboard tray as options to the Media Director, but with this run, we are even adding both as standard. After these are gone, our high-quality lecterns will be sold at regular prices, so don’t miss out!

And a big thank you to all our loyal customers – this sale’s for you!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Spectrum Industries Becomes Top Fundraiser in Relay for Life

Spectrum Industries’ continued dedication to the American Cancer Society has led to our earning 1st place fundraiser in the 2010 Chippewa County Relay for Life. This year’s theme is “More Birthdays”, and Spectrum is more than proud to help make a world with less cancer and more birthdays! Team leader Teresa Repaal once again put our team in great position with year-round events and sales. Thanks to her tireless efforts, Spectrum Industries has become an even stronger leader within the community.

Spectrum's team members pose with Relay for Life "Spotlight Survivor" Frank Schemberger. Shem, a stage 4 survivor, is not shy about his feelings on cancer!

Like to join us? To become a team member or to make a tax-deductible donation, click here.

Spectrum Industries, Inc. – A manufacturer since 1968; A participant in Relay for Life since 1998; A community leader at all times.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crowdsourcing - It's All Academic

Crowdsourcing - originally designed for the business world to outsource tasks. Don’t have the resources to take on a major project? Send that open call through the Net and communicate with the masses!

Not that crowdsourcing is without controversy – opponents will cite that terms and conditions are often tilted in favor of the one doing the sourcing, and that it’s not exactly the best way to build long-term interpersonal relationships. Regardless, there is a long laundry list of successful crowdsourcing campaigns, and it certainly reflects the intense social power of the Internet.

Recently, it looks as if the crowdsourcing buzz is making its way into academia. Which is not too entirely surprising since each tends to use best practices from the other when the situation fits. Kaitlyn cole recently published an article with entitled “10 Awesome Examples of Crowdsourcing in the College Classroom” that cites some interesting ways that academia uses crowdsourcing.

As for Spectrum Industries, we love it when people “discover” us on the Net. We've had a lot of fun communicating on Facebook and letting people know more about us in Wikipedia, for starters. Feel free to write us back with any higher education solution that you’re thinking of – we’d be happy to help!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mobile Video Conferencing for Professionals

Are you in a Fortune 500 Firm or perhaps an Ivy League school that has the resources for a multi-million dollar telepresence conference room? Consider yourself lucky if you are – the majority of us don’t have the budget, floor space, or even ROI requirements to pull it off.

On the other hand, the “Have Laptop, Will Travel” Skype version is certainly effective for personal communication, but really lacks the professionalism of a true telepresence.

If you need a professional telepresence environment, but can’t convince the purse-holder to buy 4 flat screens and install a built-in sound system into the ceiling & walls, consider Spectrum’s Flat Screen Cart. The capability is certainly there: rack rail for the latest in audio visual equipment, perforated metal to deliver the best sound from in-cabinet speakers, and the highest-quality balloon wheels for ease of mobility.

If you’re really striving for a professional appearance, would you buy a simple box that happens to hold a monitor on top? Spectrum’s Flat Screen Cart is designed to be a piece of furniture that blends into a telepresence environment. Color, shape, and style are all designed into the corner columns, surface, and even handles.

This is flexibility; telepresence can occur in any room in a given building.

This is affordable telepresence; the ROI is much greater than a little-used conference room.

This is professionalism; as built into every Spectrum product.

Spectrum’s Flat Screen Cart comes in two standard heights and two standard colors. As an ISO 9001:2008 company with over 40 years of experience, we can customize the Flat Screen Cart to your satisfaction. As an Evergreen Award winner, Spectrum Industries can manufacture the Flat Screen Cart while being stewards to our environment.

Monday, July 5, 2010


In America, this 4th of July weekend was a time for reflection and pride. I believe it is a time to remember all of the selflessness that our forefathers (and Mothers) have given in the name of freedom.
Each of us has the oportunity to be the person we wish to be.
Below is an old Cherokee parable that gets to the root of it all.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Spectrum Industries wishes everyone a happy and safe Independence Day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What is your favorite color?

While attending the NeoCon show this week I was surprised to see many products were displayed in the color of white. Almost all of the desk worksurfaces were white. With so many great laminate colors available I began to think, why would all the worksurfaces be white? One idea that came to mind is that white is neutral. Maybe the designers are trying to not offend someone with a color choice. With white, Interior Designers can imagine the desk in a color that matches the aesthetic of a room’s design.

Personally, I think choosing a color in a design is important. The best example I can think of is how you dream of owning a red sports car. Some people may even find the color of their dream car to be more important than the make or model.

Spectrum designed a neat blue point a care cart for a local hospital. The client, when presented with color options, chose a rich blue color matching their logo color. Now in the multitude of mobile equipment in the hospital whenever someone needs a point of care cart they refer to the, “Blue Cart.” I think matching the company’s logo reinforced the hospitals ownership in the design. Making color a powerful design tool. So ditch the white.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day!

Spectrum Industries is a proud American manufacturer of educational furniture. A red, white, and blue sticker is attached to everything we ship. As such, we especially honor the American Flag on this date.

From Betsy Ross being commissioned to make one of the first flags to Francis Scott Key immortalizing our flag in literature. From Old Glory being posted at Iwo Jima to the flag draped over the Pentagon on 9/11, the stars and stripes resemble freedom and liberty, and the united effort of individuals to overcome all odds.

It took such individuals as George Morris and Bernard J. Cigrand to raise awareness for the importance of flag observation, and such organizations as the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the American Flag Day Association to influence the country to officially observe the American Flag.

We at Spectrum continue this observance with every product we make and deliver!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Spectrum’s Flex Insight Desk – We Aim to Add Value

Spectrum Industries has found that the best way to build long-term relationships with our customers is to provide products that add value to their lives. In line with today’s theme of trying to get the most out of what you have, our customers in education are using multi-purpose rooms to be as efficient as possible. So to provide them with the most value we can, we have added the Flex Insight Desk to our line of multi-use furniture.

We have manufactured desks that convert from a computer workstation to a lecture desk for almost 10 years now. Remember when CRT’s ruled the computer world? Spectrum made flat panel monitor products even then! But now that computers are so integral to learning, the traditional computer lab has become quite 1-dimensional. Educators have the need to be more efficient, and we have listened to them.

So when our customers see the Flex Insight, we are expecting that they will say, well, “Wow!” We have designed this desk to be easy enough for a child to use. The Flex Insight is not a computer desk that, with some doing, makes a decent lecture desk. It is an excellent ergonomic computer desk that readily converts into an excellent lecture desk with plenty of writing space. There is really no desk out there that can compare – not only in standard features, but in price.

Take a little time to read more about the Flex Insight on Spectrum’s website. But better yet, test-drive the Flex Insight Desk at a trade show near you. Here’s a schedule of where we’ll be. Come see the value that Spectrum Industries can bring into your life!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spectrum LT Series Laptop Carts are still at the "Top of the Class!"

Spectrum Industries is widely recognized as a leader in the innovative development of furnishings for learning environments. Some of the developments have been so accepted that they continue to be at the head of the class years after their introduction.

Spectrum introduced the LT series of laptop/notebook storage and charging carts in the middle of the last decade. However nearly 7 years later these user-friendly and technology friendly  design is still un-matched in the market today. 

What makes the design superior to others on the market you ask? 
First and most importantly we listen. Our customers are instrumental in providing  critical market and user feedback. By listening to them we are able to accommodate their needs from the start. Second, we carefully review the technology being incorporated into our products. Third, we include the highest quality material available, ensuring that our products will last as long as our customers need them. Fourth, we run each new product through a series of demanding performance tests. Each new product must meet or exceed ANSI/BIFMA standards before we release it to our customers. Fifth, our features are second to none. The unique pull-out laptop trays, the ease of mobility, the security built into each model and of course the incredible aesthetics make each cart something our customers are proud to display. Finally, we stand behind our products. Our goal is to exceed our customers expectations and we cannot do that without exceptional customer service.

Still not convinced? Well just listen to what our customers are saying about the products and service they receive
"You certainly have a great product and awesome customer satisfaction. Everyone loves the new carts.  Thanks again. It's a pleasure doing business." NH customer

"They're great! We really like the Spectrum products. Thanks!" MD customer

"We absolutely love it. It's absolutely beautiful. Our technician saw it for the first time today and remarked as to what a quality piece it is. He has seen several carts and thinks this one far outshines the others." WI customer 

"Spectrum Industries; quality, service, value. The best furniture investment we have made." CT Customer

eFPM Multi-Purpose Desk Video by Spectrum Industries

Freedom Lectern Video by Spectrum Industries

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Model “A” Heaven

On Wednesday May 26th, Spectrum Industries’ Bob Kensinger presented the Up North Model A Club with a tour of our facilities. While their owners were on tour, 15 beautifully restored Ford Model A’s graced our corporate parking lot. Spectrum employees and First Avenue travelers reveled in the show.

Officially located in Minocqua, WI, the Up North Model A Club consists of a group of 1928-1931 Model A owners from Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Up Nother’s enjoy their shared interests over breakfast, Christmas parties, restoring projects, and especially while touring throughout the summer. And since we at Spectrum appreciate a classic sense of style, we were thrilled to have them tour our community!

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Everything is bigger in Texas"

Do you know if this is true or just a "tall tale?"
Like most truisms, as a native Texan I can tell you it depends on what you are talking (bragging) about.
I can say without hesitation one thing that just got bigger in Texas, Spectrum's sales force.

Statistics tell us that K-12 enrolment has been steadily increasing despite a lagging economy.

Texas’ public school enrollment increased by 20.1 percent over a 10-year period, despite enrollment declines in eight of the state’s 20 regions.
Enrollment in the public schools reached 4,749,571 by the 2008-2009 school year, which is an addition of 795,137 students over the past decade. On average, the state added 1.9 percent more students each year, according to a recently released report called Enrollment in Texas Public Schools 2008-2009, published by the Texas Education Agency’s Division of Accountability Research.

To support this growth Spectrum Industries has recruited two local representatives.

South Central Texas will be represented by:

Travis Rozacky

North Texas will be represented by:

Rob Wellman

Look them up using the rep finder feature on our web site. Or keep an eye out for the mail and email you might receive announcing a local or regional show that Travis or Rob are attending.
Spectrum prides itself in listening to what educators and administrators are looking for. Find out our solutions to the questions we have heard you ask.
Do you have a favorite "Texas jackalope" story? I'm sure Rob and Travis would enjoy listening.

You can also find out what is new at Spectrum by going to

Happy 118th Birthday Sierra Club!

Spectrum Industries, Inc. would like to congratulate the Sierra Club on 118 years of environmental service and education. When famed conservationist and preservationist John Muir successfully campaigned to expand the Yosemite National Park in 1890, he set his sights higher to protect the Sierra Nevada. That progression has continued to this very day, and 1,300,000 members extend sustainability efforts throughout the United States.

One part of the Sierra Club Mission Statement especially rings true for Spectrum: To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources. We have always taken the role of stewards of our environment very seriously. It’s not a fluke that we received the U. S. General Services Administration’s prestigious Evergreen Award. Spectrum prevents waste by recovering and recycling materials instead of releasing them into the environment. Our products are designed and manufactured intelligently with our customers’ health in mind. We take serious conservation efforts when it comes to using as little energy as possible in our manufacturing facilities.

To get our message to the masses, we recently have made major efforts in the area of Social Media. A local college student helped those efforts by making a Wikipedia page for us. It nearly failed, however, because it was so environmentally based that an editor compared it to “a tract for the Sierra Club”. Sorry, we’re not affiliated with the Sierra Club, but thanks for the comparison! And a huge “thank you” to Lindsey for helping us – you are awesome!

We at Spectrum Industries will continue to improve our sustainability efforts – hopefully with the same success the Sierra Club has achieved in their 118 years.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is “Disability” Just an Ableist Word?

Most of those that carry on in daily activities without using an aide have a skewed vision of those that use aids to walk, see, hear, eat, etc. We call them “disabled”. And what does that conjure in the mind? Someone who can’t do something.

Could I dunk a basketball like LeBron James? On a 10’ rim, no way. A torn left ACL and a torn right Achilles & the ensuing operations have limited those types of abilities. Give me an 8’ rim, however, and I’ll at least give you a good show. And that’s precisely it. Give those that use aides of whatever type their “8’ rim”, and they can do whatever the pros do, and in many cases, do it better.

We haven’t lost track of that here at Spectrum. We have a respectable history of working with the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute to produce innovations that level the playing field. Our latest collaboration: a workstation for those with physical limitations. It is aimed at those pursuing math and science careers, but is capable of so much more. Please read the official Dunn County article for more information.
As a manufacturer, do we have a perfect plan to change ableist perceptions of the word “disabled’? Tough question. But we continue to use our research and development resources to find that next best 8’ rim.

Many thanks go to Jeff Annis and WHEELIE cATHOLIC for collaboration and inspiration, respectively.

What does that 8’ rim resemble in your world?