Suzanne is a senior team member of Distinction Furniture who we had the pleasure of getting to know and of working with. Early last year we as a school had started down the path of establishing MLE by looking into a range of different MLE. Suzanne captivated us and her experience and understanding of MLE was outstanding. However, it was her ability to listen and capture Bellevue School’s unique culture and vision (Montessori and main stream) that has enabled a momentous shift here in Bellevue School with the establishment of the first of many flexible Learning Studios.

Suzanne willingness to listen and understand all of our reservations and requirement was remarkable. It was help by her incredible passion, knowledge and expertise that enabled her to bring together a myriad of opinions and thoughts as she worked extensively with our students, senior staff and myself. She constantly listened and communicated with us; doing classroom visits and observations, texting, e-mailing, Face time calls and hosting a contingent of us on a tour of some North Island schools who were effectively teaching in MLE using Distinction furniture.

One of the key factors that made this experience for Bellevue such a positive one was the way in which Suzanne valued our student’s voice in the decision making process. She warmly and easily connected with the students and developed an excellent rapport with them. This was particularly evident when hosting us during our North Island schools tour. Suzanne casually and unassumingly went about doing the little one percenters, where she would sit down alongside a group of students, listen, encourage and laugh with them and take on-board the students thoughts, suggestions and ideas. This was very noticeable as she would do this even whilst walking around the distinction factory floors during one of our stop offs. The establishment of Bellevue’s first MLE has been nothing short of fantastic as it has given our students a real sense of ownership of the furniture and of the Bellevue School’s vision. Consequently, they students, love, maneuver, experiment with and respect the furniture.

The furniture is really effective in complimenting the vision Bellevue School has of best practice teaching and learning. The furniture has enabled our students to learn where and in a way that best suits them. It caters for a huge variety of different learning styles and learning dispositions which we think is tremendously important for today’s learners. The effects of Distinctions MLE have been very evident and quantifiable. We have noticed a much greater attendance, engagement and positive attitude towards learning, in particular, that of our priority learners.

Bellevue Primary has developed a philosophy based on inspirED (inspired education) which links to some of the principles of known models of best practice including that of Maria Montessori and the Hermann Brain Model. The MLE furniture complements and connects with our philosophy beautifully and what was a trial has turned out to be a fully-fledged, all in, change of pedagogy and practice from our staff. To know more about our inspirED philosophy you can follow via Twitter or Flickr @inspirEDnz or like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/inspirED.

Thanks Suzanne for making the impossible possible.

Please feel free to pop in anytime or arrange a time to visit me in class. Alternatively, call or email as I am extreme confidence in Suzanne’s ability and would whole heartedly support and endorse her in whatever she puts her hand to.

Kindly

Marshall Diggs

Deputy Principal

Distinction has been a valued supporter of Papamoa College through the establishment phase and now our first year, with supplying a wide range of stock and customised furniture.

No problem is too challenging for the team at Distinction. Their prior experience in the furniture industry is reassuring and it is clear that their business is well supported by suppliers, manufacturers and freight firms.

They are expert at building a solid working relationship with their clients and backing it up with results. The quality of product is high and delivery is always on time and in excellent condition.

They do what they say they will do!

I have no hesitation in recommending Distinction as a business that operates with integrity and 100% commitment to their clients.

Steve Lindsey
Principal

Albany Senior High School has been delighted tow work with Distinction Furniture in the setting up of the furniture and equipment requirements for our interim campus.

The company understands the need for sturdy, well constructed, and reasonably priced furniture for the education environment. The flexibility to adapt designs to suit our particular needs, and their advice and guidance has been very helpful.

Our best decision has been the Pantoflex chairs. They have been well received by both staff and students and are proving to be a very good choice.

The communication between Distinction and ourselves is excellent with any issues being followed up promptly and with consideration. Their follow up is also invaluable and greatly appreciated.

A great company to work with….

Christine Routledge – Business Manager

I have known Julie Carter and the team at Distinction Furniture for over 12 years. They have been supplies of furniture to three schools that I have been Principal of over that time and to our family business which is based in Albany. They have also been strong supportes of the professional organisations in education that I have been involved with since 1994.

Julie Carter is a person of high personal and professional integrity. She makes it her business, as do the rest of her team, to develop a long-term client relationship with those she deals with. This means that she has always been willing to listen to our needs and try and develop solutions to meet those. Once the furniture items have been supplied I have always found that Distinction has stood by its products and have been unfailingly diligent about recitfying any problems and issues.

The Distinction team were our suppliers of choice for the new school we opened this year at Snells Beach in Rodney. As principal of this school, I knew that I could rely on Julie and her team to assist right from the early stages of design and that her suggestions and idea would fit with the brief that we gave her. As a result we opened on 5 February with a set of furniture in every classroom that was well fit for purpose, looked modern and inviting and whiuch has proven to be extremely practical. We also sourced our administration and staffroom furniture and furnishings throught Distinction and we are extremely pleased with the professional, smart, yet welcoming result, which we feel fits with our community and our school ethos. Distinction also arranged the supply and installation of the whiteboards throughout the school and this process was very smooth.

Jill Corkin, Principal

It is my pleasure to write in support of Distinction Furniture, based on my experience of using their services during the establishment of Mission Heights Junior College.

I found that Distinction Furniture stood out as the company of choice, not only on the basis of their ability to deliver quality product at the best price, but also on a number of other important criteria.

We had the pleasure to work with Dorothy Pearce during this process and Distinction’s commitment to allocating a key person as our liaison for all matters was very important to us. We built a relationship of trust and were impressed with Dorothy’s unfailing and prompt responsiveness to our needs.

Distinction were prepared to work with us to achieve the best result. They arranged delivery to meet our needs, responded to and acted as an intermediary with suppliers if there were any concerns over product specifications, and followed up to ensure our satisfaction.

We were built as an environmentally sustainable designed school and, as such, had rigid requirements around material specifications. Distinction worked with us to ensure these were met and provided all necessary paperwork for compliance. This was achieved without compromising quality or cost effectiveness.

As a new and innovative school, we custom designed a number of our furniture items to meet our specific learning environment. Distinction were prepared to make prototypes for us to test before we committed to mass production of the items. This was greatly appreciated and has resulted in quality products which are meeting our needs.

We believe we have an amazing school environment and the quality of our furniture is a key aspect of this. Based on our experience of working with Distinction Furniture, I would have no hesitation in recommending them warmly as a quality supplier with integrity and a commitment to customer service.
Joan Middlemiss, Principal Mission Heights Junior College

What a difference our new furniture has made. Not only do our classrooms look smarter but they are quieter (no more banging lids!) and the students love working with their new 21st century furniture.

Our team are satisfied that we have purchased quality ergonomic furniture which will provide for many generations to come. We are especially pleased with the design of the Pantoflex chair as it is not only comfortable but great for all those growing bodies.

Distinction were extremely professional and helpful throughout the whole process – from providing colour schemes, assisiting with correct heights and combinations, right through to delivery.

I have no hesitation in recommending Distinction furniture and service. Thanks for the jellybeans!

Steve Wadsworth – Principal

I have pleasure in providing a testimonial comment for ‘Distinction’ – (Education Furniture Specialist Ltd) for inclusion in their web pages, in support of the service this company provides to the education sector in particular.

I have had a very amicable professional association with the Principals, julie Carter and Dorothy Pearce, and in fact the whole wider team at Distinction for close now to seventeen years, the last eight here at Epsom Girls Grammar. Their helpful advice, suggestions and problem-solving solutions, their friendly and courteous attention to, and understanding of, the procedures and processes often associated with furniture design, style, colour and fabric choice, and their ability and willingness to often source more appropriate and cost-effective alternatives, is part of their enduring style and service; it can relieve much of the stress that is often associated with end-of-project deadlines and budgets constraints.

The Distinction team have a very broad level of knowledge and experience within the education market, and their firm is highly regarded in the education circles where the production of quality, style, guaranteed workmanship and competitive pricing are key governing factors.

Whilst I have always found the Distinction price extremely competitive, it is their pre-order, post-order and post-delivery follow-up and fact that they stand by their sales absolutely, that makes them such a reliable and responsible firm to deal with. Any organization or educational facility looking for new furniture, or the upgrade/renovation of existing furniture or areas, whether classrooms, resource rooms of office spaces, would be well pleased with a decision to contact Distinction. Existing customers would, I am certain, vouch for their satisfaction.
Graeme Bryant
Business Manager

I am writing to state how impressed we have all been at Manurewa Intermediate School with the high level of professionalism and service from Distinction Furniture. Although I have always been impressed with their service, particularly with Julie Carters expertise and affability, over the past ten years, I have been more so these past six months in my new position at Manurewa Intemediate School as we have been lifting the school in so many ways, and doing so under strained financial circumstances and with an impatience, from me, that could be frustrating to those meeting deadlines.

Distinction has provided us with expert advice as we have remodelled office areas with new furniture, as well as new furniture in reception and staff areas. At all times Julie has been prompt, efficient and interested in what we have been trying to do. She is always friendly, positive and attention to detail is to the fore, thus ensuring our choices are correct, functional and attractive! Follow up is always forthcoming and done so with a smile on their faces.

The quality of the furniture and accesories has been outstanding and favourably commented upon by visitors and staff alike. I wholeheartedly recommend Distinction to any individual or institution looking at new furniture and I am more than happy to expand on my recommendation if necessary.

Iain Taylor – Principal

I am pleased to have the opportunity of providing a reference on behalf of Distinction. I have worked with Dorothy Pearce and her team for over three years, during which time the Saint Kentigern College roll has increased by approximately 50%. During this time, Dorothy has assisted us with the fit out requirements for three significant buildings, with the renewal of furniture in a large number of our existing classrooms, and with various office and reception requirements. Dorothy and her team have impressed me by their responsiveness, attention to detail, ability to understand our needs and willingness to go the extra mile. It is for these reasons that we continue to use their services.

Eric Shiels General Manager Saint Kentigern Trust Board

…We are very happy with the furniture and classroom fittings that have been installed and purchased from you this year. Everyone from the receptionist, manufacturers, sales team, through to the deliverers have been outstanding in the professionalism and smoothness in carrying out their work and meeting our needs… …I have been particularly impressed how you will go out of your way to drop in samples, colours fabrics or even the trademark jelly beans to my staff that you are dealing with. Your attention to detail is outstanding. Thank you for making us feel like we are your most important customer always. The quality of the goods you provide is of the highest standard…..we are truly grateful and will continue to be a loyal customer of your business.

Darren Smith Principal St Leonards Road School

Rototuna Primary School was established at the beginning of 2003 with Distinction Furniture being the sole supplier of both classroom and office furniture. Distinction gave excellent guidance and advice in the planning and ordering of our furniture requirements including types of furniture, amounts and colours. We were particularly impressed with the service that we received, especially when furniture was delivered and the high standards of quality control that they insisted upon. I would have no hesitation in recommending Distinction Furniture

Phil Cowie Principal Rototuna Primary School

I commend Distinction Furniture on the quality of the furniture, the excellent service an the prompt delivery. We would have no hesitation in using Distinction Furniture in the future for any of our furnishing requirements.

Terry Hewetson Principal Glen Eden Intermediate School

…James is my primary point of contact at Distinction Furniture and I value his relationship-based approach to service opposed to the “hard sell/volume” based approach that you see from some sales reps. James maintains regular contact not only with a sale in mind but also just to “catch up” and make sure everything is OK. On the odd occasions where there is a defect with an item of furniture that Distinction has supplied, there is no hesitation on his part in resolving the issue and generally within 24 hours. It is with pleasure that I would like to take this opportunity to thank James and the team at Distinction for all their support both in the past and the future.

Graham Henricksen Business Manager Lynfield College

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the professional service you have provided to me as a purchaser of school and office furniture. Having dealt with you at my previous school (Wainui) and now in my role as Foundation Principal of a brand new school (Upper Harbour Primary School), I have considerable confidence in your ability to provide efficient, effective sales (and after sales) service. Reflecting back over the past few years, several key attributes spring to mind: – Your willingness to supply and deliver a range of demonstration furniture for us to ‘try before we buy’. – Your responsiveness in sorting out any issues with any product that you supply. – Your enthusiasm for sourcing other furniture options from outside of your core range, in a quest to provide what we need. – Your friendly, positive and professional interaction with school staff. …Thank you for your ongoing service.

Jason Valentine-Burt Foundation Principal Upper Harbour School

…Our dealings with sales representative James Redmond have always been positive. Nothing is too much trouble. James is always prompt with responding to requests for quotations, providing options and advising the school on suitable products. He is pleasant to deal with (knowledgeable and positive without being pushy) and took on board our concerns over a particular item that wasn’t standing up to the use as well as we would have liked. While we deal with a number of companies and make comparisons all the time, we will continue to put Distinction high on our list of preferred suppliers…

Jeannie McLean Business Manager Waitakere College

I have recently outfitted a new twenty-nine classroom building at Westlake Girls High School with new furniture. The majority of this furniture was purchased from Education Furniture Specialists Limited (trading as Distinction). Following a rigorous inspection of the furniture marketplace, Distinction Furniture was chosen for its lower prices, sound construction and quality furniture which looked great. We have outfitted Art and Science classrooms, resource rooms, staff workrooms and management offices in this building. The assistance from Distinction Furniture staff during the design and colour matching process was invaluable and very professional… The best recommendation I can give is that I look forward to doing business with them again, as this has been a very successful exercise.

John Underwood Property Manager Westlake Girls High School

In the establishment of our new school we had to purchase furniture for every need within a school. It was a mammoth task and we decided to use Distinction. Both Dot and Julie showed attention to what was wanted, they are active listeners and innovative business people. Their knowledge of the product is excellent and they completed their job from order to installation. I do recommend Distinction and ask that if you are considering furniture that Distinction is given the opportunity.

Luke Sumich Principal Summerland School