We have a long history in office furniture….
Over 60 years ago, three sheet metal workers Barney, Jack and Isador Krost began a steel manufacturing business. Since then, the business has been incarnated a few times over and visited 4 continents but in Australia has settled into becoming a provider of quality office furniture solutions.
We’ve decided to sit down with Cecil Krost, a person who’s lived through Krost’s 60 year history, to find out more about the company.
Cecil has worked, managed and directed various Krost companies from when he was 22 years old. There might not be a better person on the planet to give insights into how the office furniture industry has evolved over the last 60 years.
What has been the biggest change to office furniture during your career?
It used to be about selling the ‘bread and butter’ of office furniture – things like cabinets, filing systems and cupboards. Now, there is much more of a focus on design, desking and acoustics – overall providing a customised offering. The funny thing is that the framework of a workstation is almost the same as it’s always been, with steel frame structures. Our FGR leg has been around for 15 or more years and looks about as good as ever. Other leg profile designs have also been around for as long as I have – but materials now vary a lot and you can add details that you never used to be able to. Things like cable management systems were also never even thought about till 20 years ago.
How has the way you marketed your products in the 50’s changed compared to now?
When we didn’t have things like the internet, our marketing was focussed mainly on our showroom floor. Every year there was a big exhibition where us and our competitors would display all our products. It was widely attended and reported and we were a frequent gold medal winner (over 20) and recipient of trophies for having the best display stands on show. Similar to now, we produced catalogues a couple times a year, but did more things like printed calendars and a lot more advertising in the press.
How has manufacturing changed?
Methods of manufacturing have shifted due to the change in materials that have occurred. When Krost started we made everything from steel because it was cheap, strong and easy to work with. But over time with advances in technology and manufacturing processes it’s become more about finding the right materials to suit the aesthetics of the design. We gradually increased our range of materials from just steel to include, lino, laminate and wood. Even now there’s new types of reconstructed woods so there are definitely much more options now than ever before.
What do you think the biggest changes in the future will be?
Office design always will always rotate around the organisational structures of businesses and what fits that best. I think we will see a re-emergence of hot desking, mobile offices, activity based work spaces and more open-planned areas. But that will all depend on which way technology goes and what structures suit those technologies best.