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Showing posts from 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 c…

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!

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, Fra…

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 loo…

Spectrum Industries and UW-Stout Collaborate to Innovate!

New product could revolutionize design of work stations

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 o…

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 don…

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!

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 …

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 y…

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.

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

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 t…


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 e…

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 poi…

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!

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 Fl…

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 …

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!

"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 represent…

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…

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. Pl…