Most days, we get calls from dozens of people needing a single pedestal.
A few weeks ago, we got a call from one person who needed hundreds.
We’ve had the pleasure and joy of working with Ugg (you know, the footwear company famous for these boots) on retail displays over the last few years, but this order of theirs was a little different.
They needed 360 clear acrylic pedestals and risers for their big spring sales event—the launch of their upcoming seasonal line—to which they invite all of their distributors, customers and friends.
Acrylic pedestals—made out of the same material as plexiglass—are one of our top sellers. Elegant, modern, and a lot more durable than they look, our acrylic pedestals are fully customizable, available in several colors with various lighting options. The clear option Ugg ordered has an airy, open look that gives your product or art piece a feel of floating.
On the production side, making 360 pedestals is almost the same as making a single unit, though with an order this size the name of the game is: Logistics. As a lean manufacturing company, we make everything to order, so the first step was confirming we could source the materials in time to meet a tight timeline. With so many customers in the trade show or event space, we don’t mess around when it comes to deadlines—we meet them, or we go extinct… so we always meet them.
One of our disciplines to keep on track is The Pre-mortem: a group huddle to anticipate potential issues with a project before we start cutting and to establish daily production benchmarks, ensuring there are no surprises. We also work on a one-piece flow, building one piece from start to finish instead of working in large batches. If there’s a defect somewhere along the line, we catch it on the first pedestal, stop production, and fix the problem in real time on Pedestal No. 1 rather than on No. 360.
We had four guys on this project for 10 days and we’re happy to say we got every last one shipped out with time to spare. And as our mentor Toyota says, “Quality, or nothing at all.”
Have a custom job for your retail space, event or trade show? Let’s talk!
Samantha Rose, founder/CEO of Get It Right, wanted a Home and Housewares tradeshow display that reflected their brand: intelligently designed, aesthetically appealing, functionally perfect.
As a product designer, Samantha knows a thing or two about sourcing and knew she was looking for the original source for pedestals—not a third or fourth party reselling from China. Her search brought her to Xylem (thanks Google!), and we were able to build GIR the custom pedestals needed to show off their gorgeous kitchenwares. And if you don’t think the word gorgeous can apply to kitchenwares, you haven’t seen these.
She was so pleased with the results that she got back in touch with Xylem for their 2017 tradeshow booth. Samantha and team initially planned to order a few custom light boxes, but after talking quotes and turnaround time with Seth, they handed us the entire wall and counter-build as well.
“They did a wonderful job of taking our vision and actually improving on it,” she said. “Everything they did was super tight, easy to assemble and dissemble, came fully labeled and with an instructional video. We really wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”
Samantha was especially thrilled to discover our intentional approach to I&D and logistics made the booth reusable for years to come—saving GIR future time and resources.
It was a joy to work with GIR, a company that shares our desire to fix what bugs them, continuously improve and value people above all else. Bonus: they make the best damn spatula on the planet.
Xylem Design (the parent company of Pedestal Source) does two things, and having worked hard at them for 30 years, we can confidently say we do those two things very well.
We design and we build.
Specializing in displays and custom components for branded environments—including exhibits, events and retail spaces—we take your ideas and make them into real things. Really good looking things.
Our in-house design team can take your concept or vision, vague as it may be, and translate it into a branded environment, retail fixture, piece of furniture or display.
Some of our customers will call us with a solid idea of what they’re looking for, including sketches and dimensions. Others know they have a product to show off and a deadline and that’s about it. We work with both types of customers and everyone in between.
As exhibit and display builders, we’re very visual. We invite our customers into the process using our Gemba Cam—a live video feed into our workspace—where together we review the material, size, shape and lighting until we land on a design that we both understand and love.
Value engineering is one of our specialties—which is to say, we know how to design around your budget to meet your needs, so you’ll never be surprised by the bottom line.
If you visit our shop—which we hope you do (for real)—you might notice we don’t have any storage. That’s because we have nothing to store. All of our products are built to order, meeting the specific needs of our diverse clientele.
We do bulk and one-offs. We work with acrylics, laminates, real wood veneers, and basically anything that begins its life as a 4’x8’ sheet. We can use any skin, any substrate, anything you can dream up (well, almost anything).
We built sixty white pedestals for Maison 10. If you’ve been there, you probably haven’t noticed them—precisely our goal—as they were designed to showcase their wares, not ours. As pedestal and display builders, that’s just part of the deal.
On the other end of the spectrum is the acrylic light box we built for Smart Wool (designed by this rad team of creatives). At 10’ tall, it took one hundred 3” x 3” colored acrylic squares of varying thicknesses to form a giant rendition of their Little Guy logo, complete with beating heart. There was no missing their trade show booth, and that was the point.
We look to Toyota as our sensei when it comes to production: We aim to deliver the highest quality at the lowest cost with the best delivery.
This means we have our systems dialed in, allowing us to turn around projects incredibly quickly— sometimes even same day. Building for events and trade shows, our customers need to trust that when we say we can meet a deadline, we will—come hell or high water. Think that’s an exaggeration? Just ask us about the pallet of custom white pedestals: destroyed in transit when the 18-wheeler caught fire, rebuilt that afternoon, and overnighted in time for the event. It’s a fun story, but we really champion systems over heroes.
Call us old fashioned, but we love face-to-face time. Our customers are all over the map, and it’s our goal to make them feel like we’re just down the street. Being Colorado folk, that’s just how we do. You’re always welcome to visit but even if you can’t, we’ll hop on the Gemba Cam, send you a video of your project in process, and let you know via Facetime/Skype/your-technology-of-choice exactly what you’re getting before it ships. Everything is built-to-order, so we make sure we get it right the first time, every time.
Diehard believers in continuous improvement, both individually and as a company, you’ll find we never get comfortable with where we’re at. Every time we enter into the design + build process, expect it to be better than the last. As our skills and processes continually improve, so does your experience.
Contact us to start your next project. We can’t wait.
Brandon has been working as Xylem Design’s web developer and system administrator since 2013. You are probably asking yourself “WOW, so is he is a genius?” And, yes, he is.
Brandon is the man with the plan when the office internet goes down, your email script is just too tiny, or the spinning wheel of doom shows up to haunt you right as you were about to confirm a customer order.
Brandon has made Lean as much a digital philosophy as a manufacturing one — he leaned out our extensive library of photos by developing a tagging system for our Flickr (have you checked it out? Please do!) Not to mention leaning out his morning routine by programming an alarm clock to trigger bright lights and sounds to smooth out his entrance into a new day. (Again, he’s a genius).
But just because he’s a genius, doesn’t mean he isn’t just like you and me — he loves chowing down on a burrito and drinking a New Belgium Trippel just as much as the next guy.
Amy is our cut-to-the-chase money whiz and straight-shooter numbers queen. Working as Xylem’s bookkeeper and admin assistant since 2013, Amy has leaned out the office by digitizing three “massive” file cabinets of records, eliminating about 80% of unnecessary documents — not your typical bookkeeper’s office space!
And don’t even try permanently borrowing one of her signature purple pens — each are carefully labeled with a sticker of her face. So she’ll know, and you will, too.
You can talk Amy into teetering down steep mountain cliffs in an off-road monster machine, but good luck talking her into a beer (a Noco native, at that!).
Aaron “Woody” Hocking is a lean, mean cowboy, always prepared with a tape measure or a wise-crack, just in case. Over the past four years of work at Xylem Design, Woody has contributed to some of our biggest custom projects.
Today he is Head of Production/Operations on the floor and his greatest Lean improvement is the Operations Kiosk he dreamed up and built. It’s home base for our factory floor, sort of like a fancy mission controls center.
Woody might be up at 3:30 a.m. tending to his ranch of goats, chickens, horses, ducks and turkeys, but you’ll never see him break a sweat — or drink any of that local, micro-brew stuff.
You’ve received your Pedestal Source product in the mail, unpacked it following our handy dandy instructions and now it’s time to spiff it up! We inspect each product for scuff marks, chips, imperfect edges and more at the final detailing booth before shipment.
But while all of our products leave the workshop in perfect condition, there may come a time when you want to clean it. To help you keep your pedestal in mint, factory condition, we recommend following these cleaning instructions, tips and tricks.
1. Use multi-surface Pledge as a cleaning agent for acrylic, wood veneer, metallic and laminate surfaces. You can also use ammonia-free Windex on acrylic surfaces.
Do NOT use any cleaning chemicals with ammonia, such as Windex (unless it is ammonia-free Windex)
2. We recommend using a microfiber rag to administer the chemical and another microfiber rag to follow and dry. Microfiber rags prevent the surface material from being scratched by the more abrasive fibers in most rags.
3. Spray Pledge directly to surface of product OR rag, wipe until desired clean is achieved and follow with the dry rag.
4. Avoid rubbing the edges and corners of your pedestal while cleaning. We color-match the edges and sometimes apply a small amount of wax material at the corners for a seamless finish. Cleaning the edges and corners can rub the finish away, exposing the edge of the laminate or substrate.
Seth is the master of commands in Xylem’s sales and marketing office. The son of a furniture builder, Seth has been rooted in the world of woodworking since childhood and began working in Xylem’s shop as a punk college kid in August 2008. Needless to say, Seth’s knowledge, knack for leadership and facial hairs have grown tremendously within Xylem Design over the past few years. Seth leaned out our sales strategy by establishing follow-up practices to increase our business’s engagement with our customers. Lean’s “5 S” is a foundational tenant in his personal growth — you’ll find him up at 5:30 a.m. before work reading and writing (his labor of love), nourishing his mind and soul emotionally before getting down to business at Xylem. Ever want to grab a beer and pick his brains about poetry, yerba mate, or the future of AI? He loves New Belgium’s Eric’s Ale — hint hint.
Not all light is created equal. A good way to measure a bulb’s ability to illuminate an art piece is referring to the CRI — Color Rendering Index. The scale runs up to 100, meaning colors illuminated from the light source are 100% realistic and natural. To give you some points of reference, cool white fluorescent bulbs have a CRI of around 62 (top picture), while the highest quality bulbs are typically 90+ (bottom picture).
Now you can go au naturale with a CRI LED bulb option for our Overhead Lighting product! Our LED bulbs have a CRI rating of 95, meaning your art piece (even more important than your strawberries) will be represented in all of its original artistic intent.
You can continue reading about CRI, temperature and wattage in our lighting guide. We know once you’ve tried this bulb, you’ll never go back. To prove it, our overhead lighting integration with CRI 95 LED bulbs are on sale now!
Born Loren Jones, LJ is the shop’s Chief of Kaizen Operations and second in command (Yeah — it’s a big deal. He’s a big deal.) He started with Xylem Design as an entry level custom woodworker in 2011 — and the rest is history. He was at our founder’s side as they championed a Lean movement in the business beginning in January 2013, assisting in the implementation of the first two Lean practices EVER at Xylem: daily meetings and cleaning the bathroom (the ultimate sign of respect and something each team member takes turns doing).
LJ has since Leaned out his life by enacting strict regulations regarding his possessions: for every item he brings home, two must leave! (We hope this doesn’t apply this to his underpants, but you can’t stop the Lean machine, ya know…)
You can find LJ sipping on New Belgium’s La Folie — which may be more indicative of LJ’s personality than nearly any other words we could try to describe him by. I mean, just look into those eyes…
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