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Transforming Corporate Spaces: Corporate Interiors Inc. and WSFS

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Corporate Interiors, with locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, began as a Steelcase furniture dealership – in the business of facilitating the purchase of furniture for corporate environments. However, recognizing the shifting dynamics in the office environment, leadership at Corporate Interiors saw the opportunity to be more than just a furniture dealer. Instead, they aimed to revolutionize the customer experience by becoming an integrated workplace solutions provider.

Jake Leone, President & CEO of Corporate Interiors, articulated this strategic shift: “We saw the need to shift our approach to one that was customer centric vs. product centric we needed to evolve beyond just furniture to offer comprehensive workplace solutions. This entailed broadening our capabilities to encompass flooring, millwork, A/V, branding, acoustics, alongside installation and design services. By expanding our offerings, we could better uphold the initial design intent and forge genuine partnerships with our clients.”

It is that type of partnership that Corporate Interiors was looking for when it came time to evaluate their banking relationship. WSFS’ John Matarese had kept a pulse on Corporate Interiors’ success over the years and had remained in touch frequently, something that Leone noted had always stood out about the bank.

“John stayed connected with us for years, he knew our business intimately and most importantly, was patient,” said Leone. “Understanding our evolution was key but WSFS also had the right mix of products and solutions, and a collaborative approach that meant the team was accessible to us.”

Matarese recalls Jake and his partners placed a high value on the relationship aspect of their future banking partner. “In addition to our interest in understanding and solving our clients’ objectives, access to decision-makers and executive management was a key selling point in Corporate Interiors choosing WSFS. For a new ownership group going through a management buyout, this team-approach and transparency into processes helped ensure a successful transaction.”

One aspect of the banking relationship that has significantly benefited the brand in this growth stage has been the use of WSFS’ Integrated Payables solutions. While Corporate Interiors had a similar solution with its previous banking partner, it was the relationship and execution that Corporate Interiors was keen to get right. It was imperative that WSFS bring a solution and technology that would allow the company to process payables efficiently while being adaptable for the future.

“Ultimately, we opted for a more challenging onboarding process involving our files that would benefit us in the long run,” said Leone. “It took some time but WSFS was with us every step of the way. The platform was simple and straightforward and WSFS’ responsive approach gave me every confidence that this was the right partnership for us.”

“The WSFS team was very responsive to our needs and worked with our existing format in order to set us up with Integrated Payables,” said Bryan Schlack, CFO of Corporate Interiors. “We have been utilizing the platform for six months now with no issues.”

Reflecting on the experience, Leone said that simplicity is something that stood out throughout this experience with WSFS and is something other business leaders should be mindful to look out for when considering their own shifts.

“When considering your banking partner, there should be simplicity in working with their online banking system as well as working with the partner themselves,” said Leone. “There was a lot of negotiation and open dialogue during initial conversations with WSFS; how you get through those kinds of conversations is a strong indicator of how the relationship could be if things become turbulent.”

Kyle Babcock

What’s next for Corporate Interiors? Investing back into the company to stay local. “Leveraging our relationships to identify new revenue streams that keep us on the forefront and support our customers is at the heart of everything we do. I’m excited to have a banking partner that will support us in that.”

Written by Kyle Babcock, the Integrated Communications Manager at WSFS Bank. He has a decade of experience in product and professional services marketing, communications and advertising.

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