Above: Mark Bailey, Founder, By Bailey
Here’s some exciting dealer news get the new year going. Last month, UK furniture dealer By Bailey announced joining forces with leading US-based dealer Insidesource to create a first of its kind global firm. The merger grew out of an opportunity to provide product and service continuity to clients with presence in both North America and Europe markets.
The By Bailey studio was founded in 2015 by industry veteran, Mark Bailey, who saw a niche to provide higher quality solutions for private offices and meeting rooms. Insidesource, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, was established by Dave Denny to offer high-quality refurbished and used furniture in the 1991 economic downturn. Today, the company is one of the largest Allsteel (HNI) dealers and service providers in North America with East and West Coast offices in San Francisco, San Carlos, San Jose, Seattle, Connecticut and New York.
So just how did the partnership come about? ‘It developed out of a need to provide a large, US-based advertising firm our services in London,’ Lisa A. Giordano, General Manager of the Insidesource New York Office, recalls. ‘We initially serviced a 100,000 sq ft floorplate for this particular client in New York. Because the CEO was so happy with our work, we were asked to handle their London expansion. With the opportunity to figure out how we would deliver the same seamless experience across the pond, I came to London and talked to a number of manufacturing partners who, as it turned out, all wanted control of the project and of our client. From experience, I knew that only a creative, hands-on approach would work.
Above: Lisa Giordano, General Manager of Insidesource New York Office
‘As fate would have it, a referral from one of our US suppliers landed me at breakfast with Mark Bailey on my last day in London. Learning that Mark was part of the HNI family as the sole UK agent for Gunlocke brought a natural synergy to the conversation. We talked at length and mapped out how we could partner cohesively. Essentially, the plan was to have Insidesource continue to manage the project and have By Bailey act as the feet on the ground for us in London.’
Mark, who guided Bene UK to success in the late nineties, with typical honesty, adds. ‘We very quickly realised how demanding the American client is from a facilities management perspective – it’s a land built on service! We could have started with an easier, smaller project – but this gave us the momentum to move things forward together.’
As time went on, opportunities organically materialized for both dealers to expand geographically and provide even higher service levels to American companies. It was essential that other Insidesource customers, like Pinterest, Pure Storage, GoPro have an advocate on the ground in Europe. It was not long before Insidesource and By Bailey realized they had both the experience and the program in place to take the successful project model and replicate it for other clients.
Of the merger, Mark says, ‘Bringing these two businesses together represents something that is completely unique in the industry. It is unprecedented. My experience with European products, local currency, electrical codes, VAT and industry contacts ensures US-based companies have an advocate in Europe. It’s a dynamic approach that I think will allow business to flow both ways.’
Above: Dave Denny, President, Insidesource
This new model not only allows the newly-merged organization to offer a cohesive global service, it also allows the traditionally tech-based Insidesource to diversify into other sectors. ‘Being in the heart of Silicon Valley and in Seattle too, tech has always been at the heart of what we do,’ Dave tells us. ‘This certainly allows us to move into other sectors as well as support tech companies in even more ways through their own rapid diversification. On the whole, it’s interesting and exciting. Business has traditionally been really localized. You don’t see a lot of people talk about being in multiple cities and in Europe. It can be difficult to take specific market success and repeat it somewhere else – it really needs an entrepreneurial spirit behind it. I believe we’ve got that. What’s really surprised me is how quickly our clients have embraced this concept – but they are global, so they get it. They trust us because they can see that we have the right people on the ground and are able to deliver.’
With projects in multiple business segments already completed in Europe, Asia and the Emirates, the concept has turned into a flourishing reality. Watch this space!