This honor follows the Great Place to Work Certification™ earlier this year as another recognition of Landscape Forms’ success in developing a distinguished workplace culture. Fortune Magazine’s Best Workplaces are determined through employee feedback and a detailed examination of the programs and practices that make a company stand out in a given field.
According to Landscape Forms CEO, Marjorie Simmons, there are many aspects to the company’s manufacturing culture that make it unique, but a commitment to participation and professional development are primary drivers. “We work hard to demonstrate that you can have a long and gratifying career in manufacturing at Landscape Forms,” says Simmons. “As a high variety manufacturer, our team members aren’t just cogs in the wheel—they are leaders with a strong connection to a number of different projects who know they’re creating art.”
The leadership and high degree of participation that defines Landscape Forms’ manufacturing teams goes hand-in-hand with the company’s dedication to the personal and professional development of its employees. “People who come to Landscape Forms at an entry level know that we will invest in them, that we will actively help their career develop along the way,” asserts Jim Marshall, Landscape Forms Vice President of Culture. “If people are willing to invest their time and skills in us, we are more than willing to invest in them.”
Continuing on the topic of professional development, Marshall expands, “I’ve always liked the idea of a ‘career lattice’ as opposed to a career ladder. At Landscape Forms, there’s no one singular path upward, but rather many different paths that intersect and branch out, many different ways for people to maximize their existing skills and learn new ones.”
To Marshall, designation as one of the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production is important not only for Landscape Forms’ own reputation, but also a nod to the historical reputation of the company’ community in Kalamazoo. “The award is absolutely a feather in our cap and an important step in broadening our recognition,” he says, “but it’s also an important celebration of the design-centric culture here in Southwest Michigan, a continuation of the long-standing history of creativity and craftsmanship in the furniture and auto industries in West Michigan.”
This year has undoubtedly been a uniquely challenging one for communities and businesses across the country, but CEO Simmons points to the company’s workplace culture as a defining feature that helped Landscape Forms press on with strength and resilience. “The culture of our company has played an enormous role in helping us navigate the challenges of 2020,” she says. “The teamwork, commitment, pride, caring for each other and our community that I’ve witnessed is remarkable, and points so clearly to our continued leadership in the industry and our communities.”
Landscape Forms is the industry leader in integrated collections of high-design site furniture, structures, accessories, and advanced LED lighting. Since its founding in 1969 Landscape Forms has earned a reputation for excellent design, high quality products and exceptional service. The company is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with manufacturing facilities in Kalamazoo and Phoenix, Arizona, and sales representatives throughout North America, South America, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Asia. Landscape Forms collaborates with renowned industrial designers and consultancies, landscape architects, and architects to design and develop integrated collections of products that address emerging needs and help create a sense of place. Additionally, the company has formed global marketing partnerships with select companies that share its commitment to design. Landscape Forms has an installed base of products around the world. Clients include municipalities, transit centers, corporate, college and health care campuses; and familiar brand leaders such as Harvard University, Linked In, New York Central Park Conservancy, Bryant Park, Google, Coca Cola, Oculus, U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), Nike, National Museum of African American History (Washington, D.C.), Barclays Center, Adidas, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Microsoft, and Uber. It was named a Great Place to Work-Certified company, one of Southwest Michigan’s Wonderful Workplaces by 269 MAGAZINE, one of the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production for 2020 by Fortune magazine, and Michigan Manufacturer of the Year for 2020 by the Michigan Manufacturers Association.