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Safety is IMPORTANT!

At CSS Office Solutions, safety is part of our everyday practices and routines.  Literally!

When our workers are kept safe and hazards are identified and controlled, everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.

In fact, the cover page of our comprehensive safety manual reads:  When everyone makes it home safely at the end of the workday, this is always a good day!  We stand by this through and through as our work family’s safety is of the highest priority.

It is our responsibility as a company, to ensure that all of our workers are safe, performing their job duties safely and are aware of their rights as they relate to workers’ safety.

Do you know the rights of workers as per the CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)?

As a worker you have three rights that are fundamental under the OHS law:

  • The right to know.
  • The right to participate.
  • The right to refuse dangerous work.

It is also good to know that as an employee, you are expected to work in ways that ensure your own health and safety, plus the health and safety of others.  At CSS, we always evaluate a workers’ awareness and how cognizant of the surrounding they are when it comes to safety protocols. Think of all those split-second decisions that are made, and then something catastrophic happens because someone didn’t take a moment to ask: is this safe, what should I be doing, or asking for, to make this safer for me and everyone else?

Awareness and openness are critical components of a safety program.  It is one thing for your workers to be aware, but it takes it one step further when a company can create an open, non-judgmental environment when it comes to safety practices.  As in life, and as in safety, there are never stupid questions!

Including safety practices and protocols as part of our business operations is crucial to keeping our workers safe.  In fact, there are a number of inclusions, practices and policies that are mandatory if operating a business in the province of Alberta.

At CSS, we have a couple of practices that have become second nature for our staff.

One of the first items we require before any worker can step foot on a CSS worksite (aside from all the on-boarding stuff in the background), is STEEL TOED FOOTWEAR.  This seems like a no-brainer, our staff are working with heavy items, are moving items that have multiple pieces and chances are high that something could drop and land on your foot.  We actually had a worker many years ago, while carrying a safe with other workers, have the safe drop on his foot…holding your breath?  You can breathe knowing that because this worker had steel toed footwear on, his foot was saved from intense damage!  The footwear had to be replaced as the steel was literally crushed inwards!  But his foot was safe, the worker had no lost time, and now we have a real-life story to share about the absolute importance of wearing the proper equipment.  For our workers that includes mandatory steel-toed footwear, no exceptions!  If a worker shows up to work, and isn’t properly outfitted with the necessities, we send them home to get what they should have arrived with.

You would think that workers in our industry wearing steel toed footwear would be a standard, right?  Well, think again.  Sadly, having workers in this industry wear steel toed footwear is not always the norm!  When we see other companies performing work like we perform, and their staff are wearing running shoes…we’re absolutely in shock and it should raise a red flag to have you ask, does that company really care about their workers’ safety?  What happens if…?

If a company can take little steps and create simple rules and regulations to maintain workers’ safety, then it should be undeniably implemented.

We have a policy at CSS, that if we’re working under a desk and are drilling into the underneath of the desk surface, we have a mandatory rule that eye protection of some kind must be worn!  Why all the time?  Why is this mandatory?  Because many years back we had a staff member that did not wear safety glasses while drilling a hole for an install on the under part of the desk surface, low and behold shavings from the desk landed in his eye – OUCH!  This equated to a time-lost claim as the employee had to be off for a couple of days to ensure his eye would heal properly from the scratched eyeball, not pleasant, right?  So, now we have a mandatory rule because we have learned that reviewing incidents and implementing steps to avoid potential hazards is paramount to our safety program.

We know some accidents cannot be avoided, but accidents can be analyzed and evaluated for proactive solutions that can prevent them from happening again.  Obviously, we know this isn’t always the case, but doing the analysis post-incident, is just as important as conducting the hazard assessment before beginning any work.

Safety matters to not only us, but to our clients as well.  It isn’t out of the realm to be asked to produce our safety stats and information about our internal safety program.  At CSS, we’ve always had an excellent safety rating with the Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta.  For the 2022 reporting year (which includes the three years’ incidents/claims from 2020, 2019 and 2018) our Safety Experience Ratio was 86.66% lower than our industry average!  Breaking it down, that means that CSS experienced 86.66% lesser claims than our counterparts in the same industry.  That’s pretty darn incredible in our view and an indicator that we’re doing the right things in the awareness and training of our staff.

Safety needs to remain a priority, especially in our industry of office moving, furniture installation, warehouse storage, etc.  If you’re hiring a company, don’t be shy to ask them about their safety program and safety statistics.  And pay attention to how equipped the workers are.  Are they wearing steel toed footwear, and is their company educating them on the employee’s rights when it comes to safety?

Keeping safe and aware allows CSS to keep on doing what we’re doing in offering the very best in office services and moves.  We’re proud of our safety statistics and are always happy to educate and inform our staff working in this industry.

If you’re wanting to know more about what CSS offers, or learn more about our safety program, please don’t hesitate to call or email our office!

No Nightmare Office Moves Here!

You found out your office is moving, exciting news!


At least those were your initial thoughts until your agenda and checklists keep filling up and you haven’t even hired a mover yet!  Never fear!  Not only because I’m here to help you look like the professional, but because using these introductory straightforward tips when orchestrating an office move will aid in making your office move as smooth and efficient as possible!

My suggestion is simple: find a moving company that offers comprehensive move management services!  You’ll be laughing with joy throughout the entire move process, and well beyond move-in day!

Moving forward using these tips as a starting point will help alleviate undue stress and potential wasted energy when hunting for a competent mover.

  • Let’s Talk Insurance – Your mover should be able to meet, if not exceed, your building(s)’s minimum requirements; make sure of this even before asking for an estimate!  RUN, far and fast, if your mover cannot produce a current Certificate of Insurance listing required coverage amounts.  Also make sure your moving company has the ability to add, not only your company, but the building ownership entities as additional insured on the certificate.
  • Safety #1 – Obtaining a Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Clearance Letter from your mover will identify if the company (a) has a valid WCB account, (b) whether it is in good standing with the WCB, which includes (c) having their premiums paid to-date.

WOWZER FACT: did you know that if you hire a company, moving or otherwise operating within your workplace, and their premiums are not paid up-to-date, the possibility exists to hold YOUR company liable for not only the owed premiums, but also the associated claim costs should an injury occur on your site!  The WCB even suggests requesting another Clearance Letter prior to releasing final payment!

Thoroughly check your vendors’ references and credentials.

  • Full-service moving company or just the movers?  Hiring a company that performs more than just the physical moving of your office furnishings is crucial!  For instance, levelling the file cabinets, bookcases and desks when moved, more often than not is completely overlooked by “just movers”.  Any uneven furnishing can be a safety hazard!  And omitting this step can actually cause permanent damage to your furnishings!  It will also lead to reduced drawer functionality over time, lock mechanism wear, etc.

Also consider this, does the moving company provide after-move services, such as hanging artwork, adjusting keyboard trays and work surface heights to each worker’s preference?  Do they move file rooms including the shelving too?

  • Furnished?  Move with Furniture?  Do you move with your office furniture, get new furniture, or are you moving into a space already furnished?  Your moving company should be able to provide you with pricing options for all scenarios to help give you a realistic perspective on the decision at hand.
  • Got supplies?  Plastic moving bins/lids with security ties, labels, computer or map bags, packing materials, bubble wrap covers for monitors, various sized cardboard boxes, Masonite to protect the flooring, walls and door trim – your moving company should be able to supply all of these materials and so much more!  What about the moving company’s equipment they’re going to be using – are they stocked well enough for your move and is it maintained in a respectable, safe condition?  Are their trucks up to date with the annual inspections as part of Alberta’s CVIP (Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program)?

Plan ahead whenever and wherever possible!  For instance, booking of the elevators and loading docks can get very sparse depending on what else is happening in your office building.  As soon as you know anticipated dates, lock of the elevators and book the
loading dock at all required buildings (or if you have an awesome full-service moving company like CSS, we’ll take care of this entirely for you).

Bottom line is this: ensure you’re hiring a full-service moving company offering comprehensive move services, a company that know what they’re doing with your office furniture, files and assets.  These are important to you and your company and should be even more of a priority when being relocated by your movers!

These tips are merely tiny specks of sand out of the entire desert on guidelines to coordinate a streamlined office move.  I could write a book on tips on how to properly choose an office mover, so please feel free to contact CSS Office Solutions by phone or email to speak with one of our Account Managers directly if you have any questions regarding your office move.

The CSS People that Make it Happen – Brent

Meet Brent – our extraordinary owner and President!

In this posting, it is my absolute pleasure to be able to introduce you to our incredibly talented leader and company owner, Brent Reid.  His official title is President, but if you’ve ever been lucky enough to know him, you know that he really does do everything imaginable in this business!  Brent is the true definition of an integral person, with a definite problem solving, get-it-done mentality.  He’s the driver of this business, and I can positively say the company wouldn’t be here without Brent.  He learned a lot from his Dad, but at his young age he already knows so much more than his Dad did at this age – that’s a great progression of success for any family-owned business.

Brent is definitely known as the office furniture expert, in all ways imaginable (yes, of course I’m biased – I married him!).

When Brent answered the question about all the best parts of being a member (and leader) of the CSS work family naturally it is the nature of teamwork and the staff comradery.  Brent has witnessed firsthand what great teamwork is and what it can accomplish.  Working hard to build a culture of teamwork and integrity has been an important part of Brent’s development of CSS throughout his years as an owner.

No two days are the same, for anyone at CSS.  You’ll hear this a LOT from us, our staff, and our clients!  This is what Brent finds interesting about the industry – the variety of what your day can hold!  Brent could be seen on-site doing a walk-through with a client to quote for an RFP (request for proposal), or be in the back shop completing a customer repair to a chair or desk, or driving and loading a truck – without a lie, we really do mean that no two days will ever be the same working at CSS or in our industry.

Spoken like a natural woodsman, Brent would spend his lottery winnings on an incredible hunting trip and a fly-in fishing trip – should I mention he loves any backwoods adventures, or did you get that already?

Which brings us perfectly onto the question he was asked about his favourite meal: a nice rare moose steak…I can also add he enjoys anything BBQ’d as Brent certainly masters this skill well too!  He’s the one who handles the best of cooking for our company camping trips, and our employee social nights.

Brent enjoys a good ol’ IPA beer, which of course goes along well with everything that can cook on a BBQ.  His go-to easy-to-find brand is Keith’s if you’re ever wondering what to surprise him with, that’ll be the winner-winner!

When Brent isn’t hustling and wearing all the hats possible for CSS, you will find him escaping to the forested woods west of Calgary, or anywhere that there’s mountains to be enjoyed.  With lots of travelling on the backroads and forestry trunk roads, Brent is always a person who’s up for family time in the mountains, especially when it is outside of cell service!

As our staff spend lots of time in buildings, we like to ask the question: what’s your favourite building in downtown Calgary?  Brent personally enjoys Jamieson Place, why?  For obvious reasons that any office furniture company desires and longs for in all buildings: the best loading dock and direct access to the freight elevator!  Always a solutions seeker, I’m not surprised that Brent’s building favourite is one that helps make CSS’ jobs and tasks easier.  Something as simple as having indirect access from the loading dock to the buildings’ freight elevator can cause significant upset in a project.

Brent has been around to witness the company overcome many challenges, satisfy a whole lot of clients, supersede expectations, move thousands of people and manage office services for clients well beyond the Calgary area.  Brent is in amazement when he steps back and takes a moment to realize the sheer volume of work that our talented crew has achieved.  Not just in CSS’ 35+ years of business, but on any one project or service call.

Brent leads our team with distinction and courage, making sure our clients’ best interests are always taken care of.  The volume of work that CSS can achieve as a crew is a direct reflection of Brent, the devoted leader of CSS.

The CSS Office Solutions Inc. Staff Spotlight series of introducing the world to the people behind the CSS scenes has been rewarding.  Without our people, we aren’t a service company.  Especially this time, writing the spotlight has been absolutely wonderful for me to showcase a little bit of who Brent Reid is, as a leader, as a company owner, and as a member of the CSS work family.

Want to connect with Brent on LinkedIn? Click here

If you’re interested in learning more about Brent’s expertise as it relates to his client relationships and services, furniture repairs or usefulness of such, don’t hesitate to contact our office to get in touch with him directly. 

 

 

Digitally Moving Forward with Jobber

Advancing and innovating is what we’re striving for!

One thing I have noticed in my years of business, either in the position I’m in now or when I worked in retail customer service many moons ago, innovation stops for no one!  Not one single person can stop innovation and the incredibleness that can come from it!  And that means WE can’t stop innovating.  At CSS, we cannot stop looking for ways to be better, how to do the work better and smarter while still delivering the same level of customer service we’re known for.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying: if you stop innovating, you die (from a company perspective anyways, don’t get all morbid on me).  If you know me, then you know I’m a think-tank of ideas and my hamster wheel is constantly spinning and thinking of betterment and the “what if’s”.

CSS as a business has overcome challenges of change and adaptation as we’ve seen our industry evolve and holding on to what the Calgary economy has thrown us in the last 10+ years.  Some of our competitors have updated their ways from past outdated practices, while others haven’t, plus the everchanging compliance and regulatory requirements we need to meet.  Considering all this, and knowing innovation doesn’t slow, at CSS we’re constantly looking at ways to make doing business with us easier, better and more efficient for everyone!

In the last year, we’ve changed drastically internally even though it may look the same on the outside.  All the changes have been for the good, and all targeted around ensuring we’re delivering the best customer service experience.  CSS is known for the amazing customer experience we already deliver, so as we constantly innovate and change for the better, it can only improve from here!

One of the biggest improvements our clients will interact with and experience firsthand is our transition to an online scheduling and booking software!  After much research and deliberation, we were happy to choose a company based out of Edmonton: Jobber; that meets the majority of our business operating needs within one software platform.  Our official debut for accessing the online platform and having it connect with our website, etc. is January 2022.

Utilizing Jobber allows CSS the opportunity to receive scheduling requests or jobs to book from new or existing clients, all through an enticingly accessible web link.  We’re managing our employees’ timesheets, daily schedules and receiving real-time updates from our sites, all within one platform.  We’re also able to send quotes directly through Jobber, have clients request changes if needed and send the approval all with the click of a button!  This, plus so much more is happening within this platform behind the scenes – we’re so thrilled to be able to advance CSS in this direction!  We’re happy for our clients who are along for the exhilarating ride and especially the ones who’ve provided feedback during our experimental stage to direct us appropriately to meet their needs more effectively.  We’re also able to use this software to keep detailed, digitally accessible records of site visits, pictures taken specific to each project, and organize notes made by all staff while they’re on-site.  If you’re a client, you may have already received a copy of a customized report we created, aptly named an Action Report.  With being able to customize and add forms to different areas of the platform, we can truly create a superior customer service experience all while observing any possible touchpoints and data gathered.

Have we mentioned how many buildings may have to access on any one day?  Or how many of our clients have multiple properties?  Another bonus of using Jobber is the ability to add as much detail as needed for each property and connect it with the specific client.  Items such as security check-in procedures, or where to obtain access cards if not obvious, etc.  This has been a helpful for our staff from an efficiency standpoint and created peace of mind for our clients to know we always have up-to-date building protocol information immediately accessible.

That’s likely enough about me geeking out on the coolness of this platform, let’s get down to the real fun, right?!  How do you access this incredible platform?  It is super-duper easy!

If you’re an existing client of CSS, you can use your email address to login to the Client Portal, using this link: EXISTING CLIENT LOGIN

If you’re a new client, and don’t yet have an associated email address with CSS, then you get to use this amazing link that will bring you right to our NEW CLIENT REQUEST FORM – just take a few moment to complete the details and you’re automatically entered into our queue.  We receive an instant notification and assign your request to the appropriate staff member who will get in contact with you shortly using your preferred method of contact.  Once your email address is registered, you now also have access to the CSS Client Portal.

It is just that simple for you, as a client or new potential customer to submit a move request, enter information about furniture needed or a repair you’re looking to schedule.  It can all be done online using either of the above links.

You’ll also find these handy links that connect to our online service request system on our website and our social media platforms. 

Always know, if you’re interested to learn more about the Jobber platform, the transition we experienced and our overall innovation in this department, don’t be shy to reach out.  I’m always happy to talk about reinventing and revolutionizing the world of office furniture services!

Let CSS show you the way of making doing business with us easier and transform the way you request work with us!  Contact us today to experience the real CSS customer difference!

The CSS People that Make it Happen – Jim

Meet Jim – one of our extraordinary warehouse coordinators!


Today I am elated to introduce to you another highly valued member of the CSS work family.  Meet our warehouse coordinator Jim!  He has been with us for only the last two years, but he makes us feel like we’ve known him for many years now!  You may not see him quite as often on site in your office but for sure you will find him in our warehouse, helping to take care of the many aspects of being a warehouse coordinator.  His hard work and sincerity say it all.

Jim highly appreciates the care and concern CSS Office Solutions provides to each and every employee.  And yes, that’s the reason we call it our CSS work family.  Working together like a family makes us unique and helps build up our individual strengths every day.  We are proud of all our employees!

His favorite type of food has changed lately as Jim is experimenting with various gluten free foods.  Good thing the food industry has made leaps and bounds with gluten free options that taste great!  His go to drink is Pepsi although now he is trying to get rid of it in the evenings, so please be sure to offer him a Pepsi only during the day!

Jim says if he won the lottery, he would like to buy CSS Office Solutions.  Not sure how well that would work, but its nice to have dreams!  The merging of two major manufacturing powerhouses, Knoll and Herman Miller, has been an interesting area for Jim in our industry.

He has yet to decide on his favorite downtown building and local Calgary destination as he says there are a lot to pick from; and we agree.  Jim is from a small city so while he says he like Calgary, it’s far too big for him.  But since CSS is here, he has a great reason to love Calgary.  Jim, you are an asset to our family, and we are so lucky to have you!

The CSS People that Make it Happen – Nicole

Meet Nicole, one of our marvelous Moving Supervisors!


Today I am ecstatic to introduce to you one of our core crew members, Nicole Fortin!  Nicole has been with CSS for over 21 years!  She is one of the most recognizable faces in the CSS work family and Nicole has amassed quite the fan base with our clients.

The best part of being a member of the CSS Work Family for Nicole is the loving staff that she works with every day.  Further proof that we aren’t just co-workers, we truly are like family.  The fact that CSS will do anything for our clients is something that Nicole has always found interesting in our industry.

If Nicole won the lottery, she would spend every cent on her family, making sure everyone was safe and comfortable.

She’s a pasta lover and can’t get through the day without a good cup of coffee…or maybe two!

Nicole’s favorite building in downtown Calgary is The Bow – she is as familiar with that building as she is with her own house!  She also loves the museum and all the green space parks that Calgary has to offer.  When not working, Nicole enjoys taking her dog for walks.

 

 

The CSS People that Make it Happen – Jennifer

Meet Jennifer, our awesome HR and Safety Manager!


Today I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to our HR and Safety Manager, Jennifer Eriksson.  Jennifer has been with CSS for almost one and a half years.  She came to us with decades of experience in the field of safety with an HR background and is incredibly talented!  She’s been an appreciated resource and guiding force in ensuring compliance for our in-house and industry safety requirements; plus, her tremendous support through our huge transformation from paper to digital systems and processes!

Jennifer’s favorite part of working at CSS is the camaraderie and laughter that inevitably occurs during the workday while we’re all getting the job done.  Not having much of a background in office furniture she found it very interesting to see how large pieces of furniture are moved easily with the right tools and equipment.

Her absolute most favorite type of food is chocolate cake, and to wash it down she reaches for a latte from Rosso Coffee.  Sounds like a winning combination to me too!

If Jennifer won the lottery, there’s no way she would pay off debt!  Instead, she would spend it all on guinea pigs!  They are her most favorite animal and would have no trouble renovating a room in her house to be a guinea pig room.  She would have one of every color, short haired, long haired and everything in between!  Maybe an obstacle course?  Jennifer would probably need a veggie garden in the back yard too!  One thing is for sure, she would be in “piggie heaven”!

Jennifer finally figured out how to get to Scotsman’s Hill and that’s officially her favorite local destination to visit.  She also loves the old feel and grandeur of the Hudson Bay Building in downtown Calgary.

She has been lucky enough to get out of the office once or twice to shadow the crews on job sites, getting a firsthand look at everything that goes on behind the scene of a move and install project and says, “we are the unseen people of the office world”.

The CSS People that Make it Happen – Jen!

Meet Jen, our amazing Operations Manager!

It is my wonderful pleasure to introduce you to the wonderful person who handles all things operationally happening at CSS.  If you’ve had any contact with our office in the last 20 years, then chances are quite high that Jen has part in your contact/service/billing, etc.  She currently occupies the role of Operations Manager and has fulfilled many roles while working for CSS!

When Jen was asked the question what’s the best part of being a member of the CSS work family – her response made perfect sense!  She feels that the solid relationships that are built over time and get stronger with each year that passes are pretty incredible parts of her daily work!  She also appreciates knowing how valuable she is to others – and we supremely appreciate how valuable she is to us!

Even in Jen’s twenty years of being a part of the CSS work family, she knows that there is still so much to learn from our business operations and the industry in general!  We’re always learning new things as the industry and economy evolve and Jen is a person that has learned so much during her employment – add to that all that she has contributed that’s resulted in so much positive change at our company, we’re pretty happy to have her at CSS.

If Jen won the lottery, without a shadow of a doubt, she would move to an acreage with too many horses and a collection of chickens, cats and dogs.  Fun random fact about Jen: her post-secondary education is in equine studies, so no surprise where her animal love started and has stayed!

Jen’s most-loved type of food is Caribbean, especially doubles – what she tells us is the most amazing street food in Trinidad and Tobago.  Not too sure how this would pair with her favourite beverage which happens to be whiskey, but I’m sure she manages to enjoy each of these favourites when the opportunity arises.

At CSS we encounter so many buildings and offices in and around Calgary given the nature of what we do, so its really enjoyable for us to ask our staff what building is their favorite, as there are so many to choose from!  We’re always astonished by some favourites shared by our staff, and it brings us joy to discover the buildings that are exciting to them for various reasons!  The Doll Block Building, being beautiful and haunted ranks as Jen’s favorite building in Calgary.

Not exactly a local Calgary destination, but Jen loves spending time in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.  Being so close to nature in Calgary, why wouldn’t someone want to enjoy actually being right within the mountains whenever possible!

Jen is such a valued member of our work team and office environment, not a day goes by that there isn’t some form of laughter or comradery that helps define us a wonderful workplace, with an even better work family.

If you’re ever near our office location, don’t hesitate to stop by and say hi to Jen – guaranteed you’ll leave with a bright smile on your face!

The CSS People that Make it Happen – Alicia!

Meet Alicia, our amazing Administrative Assistant!

We think it’s fun to put a face to the name, so we recently introduced #friendfriday so you all can get to know everyone behind our stellar service!

First up, meet Alicia!  You’ve probably spoken to her over the phone or had the pleasure of being greeted by her smiling face when you visit the office.  I’m confident you’ve heard that smile through the phone too, she just radiates pure positivity.  Alicia is our incredibly talented Admin Assistant – and we’re sure glad she is part of our team; we’d be lost without her!

Alicia’s favorite part of being a member of the CSS Family is the work that she does and the appreciation she receives.  An interesting fact she learned from her time with us is that moving furniture is SO MUCH MORE than just putting it on a truck and going.

If Alicia won the lottery, she wouldn’t quit working with CSS!  What?!  She would give it all to her mom to start a before and after school daycare and teenager hangout in her village (see why we love her?  So much kindness).

Her favorite food is anything she doesn’t have to cook, but Subway and Chinese food are the top of the list.  If you want to spoil Alicia bring her some sparkling water or “water pop” as her son calls it, or a Kinder Bueno bar…and watch her eyes light up!

She loves the Bow building in downtown Calgary, especially the Lego display in the lobby (she’s a little bit obsessed with Lego).  Heritage Park and the Calgary Zoo are her favorite local attractions to visit.

She says, “The people I work with are amazing and always willing to help whenever I find myself stuck on something”.

Here’s to many more years of fun, friendship and family Alicia!