Aug 30 2019

A simple idea: renting office furniture and equipment

Desks, office chairs, laptops, phone booths, coffee machines and much more besides: Berlin start-up Lendis supplies office furniture and technology in return for a monthly fee. The rented office equipment is priced from Euro 15 per workstation, and that’s with installation and maintenance included. 

But this idea is not really new. Cologne company Alvero has had 30 years of success with this business model, and Roomhero from Frankfurt has a similar offering. Here we take a look at all three companies. 

Lendis – a rapidly growing furniture start-up

The start-up Lendis was founded in May 2018 by Julius Bolz and Stavros Papadopoulos. Their vision was to offer businesses fast and easy access to office infrastructure. 

The Berlin company makes the process of furnishing an office very straightforward. Customers can enter the scope and equipment that they need for their workplaces online. They then receive a professional interior design concept. 

Lendis supplies the furniture and IT infrastructure based on this concept. In addition, it sources services, including digital services, from its partners. It is a way for customers to lease large investments and only pay a low monthly instalment in exchange. 

When the rental period expires, customers can rent new furniture or take advantage of a cost-efficient hire purchase option. Alternatively, they can return the rented furniture to Lendis. After any retouching or repair work has been completed, the furniture is then leased out again. 

Lendis already has more than 100 customers in Germany and Austria. Its client list includes large accounts, medium-sized companies, start-ups and co-working spaces.

Alvero – 30 years in the furniture rental business

Cologne company Alvero has specialised in renting out office furniture for more than 30 years. Its customers gain access to a multifunctional range of quality office furniture – from tables, chairs, cupboards and office devices all the way through to lounge and designer furniture.

They can rent these items for use at temporary events such as conferences and trade fairs or hire them for longer periods. They pay a transparent fixed amount each month. At the end of the rental period, the furniture can be returned or purchased. Leasing new office furniture and equipment is also an option with Alvero.

Service is included in the price: Alvero handles delivery and assembly. The company will also collect the furniture at an agreed time. With RFID technology, customers always have a clear overview of the inventory of furniture that they own and rent.

Roomhero – 2,740 workstations furnished

Roomhero describes itself as Europe’s first digital outfitter. Although the company actually specialises in an all-round service for furnished residential properties, it also provides professional office furniture to its customers.

The Frankfurt-based company takes care of the whole process, from planning to the finished office. Customers can easily send their requirements for their workspace to Roomhero using the Office Configurator.  Once they have provided information on their personal needs and style preferences, a Roomhero planner contacts them with a tailored, fixed-price quotation. The price includes delivery and assembly of the office furniture.

The concept seems to work: according to the company’s own figures, Roomhero has furnished a total of 41,110 square metres and 2,740 workstations. 

What can furniture manufacturers and retailers learn from this? In the age of New Work and the associated flexibilisation of the world of employment today, renting out office furniture could be a lucrative business model. But the logistical overhead shouldn’t be underestimated.

After all, the concept requires considerable storage space plus a vehicle fleet that is large enough to transport the furniture – unless these services are provided by external partners. But whatever scenario is adopted, end-to-end quality management is a must.

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