Rehmann Employee Retention Credit

2021 Greater Lansing Business of the Year: DBI

In the business of workplace solutions

The combination of form, function and comfort are the three steps to transform any office into a productive one — and that has been the mission and purpose of DBI for nearly four decades.

From pens and paper to space planning and moveable walls, the Lansing-based DBI has prided itself on being the one source/one solution option for any and all workplace needs since 1984. If the traits of a successful entrepreneurial enterprise are passion, confidence and determination, the leadership at DBI has exemplified those characteristics tenfold over the years. It’s why the organization received the honor of Greater Lansing Business of the Year in the 2021 Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards.

“We feel honored and appreciate all that nominated DBI,” said George Snyder, president and owner of DBI. “We have been successful because of our great members who solve customer opportunities daily and truly deliver a value-added solution to all DBI customers.”

Snyder established his credibility and credentials from the beginning of his career. Starting at DBI in the warehouse and achieving success in every department from purchasing to accounting and sales, he worked his way up the ranks to ownership and CEO. Snyder and partners Steve Klaver and Doug Smith purchased the Doubleday Brothers Inc. furniture company two months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Shortly after, their dealer affiliate, U.S. Office Products, filed for bankruptcy. With Snyder’s leadership, DBI was able to pull through its uncertain first year in business and continued to prevail, even amid a global pandemic.

Combining open-environment collaborative areas with moveable walls, sound masking and state-of-the-art meeting areas, DBI’s showroom aligns work environments with work styles, allowing clients to experience firsthand furniture and environment options based on their individual criteria. The DBI showroom experience heightens customer relationships and creates an atmosphere for conversation that guides the strategy in providing the right space, furniture and equipment to optimize each customer’s workplace performance.

That attention to detail has paid off.

In 2019, DBI was recognized as one of “Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. Haworth, a world-class manufacturer of office environments, honored DBI’s culture of excellence with the 2021 designation of Best in Class for the 10th consecutive year.

Yet the company leadership knows that it can’t rest its reputation on past recognitions and understands that the future of sales is transitioning along with customer expectations.

“The landscape for the office has totally changed,” said Snyder. “We must be strategic in navigating the post-pandemic working environment.”

Snyder has long recognized the importance of brand communication. He envisions DBI’s brand as the total customer experience — from logo and print ads to the website, digital exposure, social media experiences and even the way customers experience staff. The company foresees a seismic shift coming in how customers buy and the services they are going to value. Understanding the market and the customer, defining ownership’s future vision, and communicating that vision to every DBI member is a critical component to DBI’s future success.

“We will continue to try to navigate this new business landscape that we all have been exposed to and continue to give back to our local economy as good business stewards,” Snyder said.

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