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Herman Miller - a West Michigan Based Furniture Manufacturer

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Essay title: Herman Miller - a West Michigan Based Furniture Manufacturer

Herman Miller, a West Michigan based furniture manufacturer has embarked on a project to create products that are "green" and a methodology to ensure that the products are ecologically friendly from beginning to end. Like Friar Tucker, Herman Miller must follow a pathway to successfully design and implement this project.

The initial parameters were for a new evaluation process to determine just how ecologically friendly the raw materials for use were. "To evaluate the extent to which a product is manufactured using safe nutrients, Herman Miller works with MBDC to calculate a "material chemistry score" for the product" (Rossi, 2006). A flowchart process was developed to determine which materials met the companies demand for a "green" material. Parameters linking the materials to toxicity, heavy metal contents and other grading points were used to determine just how environmentally friendly the materials are. The materials were also judged on factors such as quality and material costs. The use of recycled raw materials and the ability to recycle the materials at the end of the products life cycle were deemed critical for this project.

The prioritized listing of desirable materials was charted to be efficient, and once the data was compiled, it was placed into a database. The database will allow future products to adhere to the high standards Herman Miller has set. This project took a great deal of research to accomplish. "Miller has committed substantial organizational resources to designing its products to be ecologically healthy and to evaluating the extent to which its products achieve that" (Rossi, 2006). This attention to details is a major factor in projects.

Friar Tucker must have the same detail oriented concern that Herman Miller shows with its cradle to cradle cycle. This concern for detail is crucial for its Galleria project to be successful. Also, with the new movement toward ecologically friendly, Friar Tucker can learn a great deal from the Herman Miller project by using environmentally friendly concepts in its projects. This tact of being seen as "green" will blend well with the companies drive to expand its brand. Use of databases will allow Tucker to rapidly track its costs, much the same as Miller used them to track the ecologically friendly nature of its materials. By following the same type of method, Friar Tucker can become more efficient.


Rossi, M., Charon, S., Wing, G., & Ewell, J. (2006, Fall). Design for the Next Generation. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 10(4), 193-210. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database

Jet Propulsion Laboratories has begun to face changes in the way that it does business. "JPL was placed into an arena where they were required to provide formalized proposals to NASA for program approval" (Owen, 2007). JPL had to begin to justify any new programs to NASA. "NASA began to evaluate proposals not only

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