COFCO is expanding into Washington D.C.

January 1, 2019

This past month, COFCO acquired PBI to establish a new partnership. These two certified Women Business Enterprises provide innovative office furniture solutions to clients across the government, healthcare, and commercial sectors. We sat down with Joan Waters, the CEO of COFCO, to discuss the acquisition, and what this means for both companies. “What’s unique about this acquisition,” Joan explains, “is that it’s rare to find two organizations aligned with the same values, culture, and commitment to integrity.” For COFCO, providing an elite customer experience across every level of the organization is a key aspect of the company’s identity. While PBI is still growing, they share in that commitment and desire to service their clients at the highest level of quality possible, which they’ve demonstrated time and time again across their customer solutions.

“In today’s day and age, furniture has more of a role than simply providing a seat for someone to sit in,” Joan says. “It helps shape culture, it helps shape environment, and it creates better collaboration in an office space.” Both organizations go to great lengths to understand the unique needs of their clients. This involves meticulously evaluating the culture of customer businesses in order to select the ideal solution for their office space. Taking the time to fully understand the needs of the client is key in fostering strong, long-term relationships which the clients of both companies have consistently enjoyed.

Leveraging the unique skill sets of each organization will be an important part of ensuring the success of this new partnership. PBI’s extensive experience in dealing with government clients and agencies is a specialty that will open up new avenues for COFCO. Their knowledge of certain types of vehicles during the execution of government contracts will improve COFCO’s ability to service this market. In the same way, COFCO’s resources and history within the healthcare and commercial sectors will provide PBI with more support to grow their infrastructure and continue to fortify their reach as an organization.

Another benefit to the acquisition is that the two organizations are based out of different geographical locations. Founded in 1946, COFCO has been faithfully servicing clients in the greater Philadelphia area and on a national level for 72 years. PBI, on the other hand, has a devoted client base that spans Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. This new partnership will allow both organizations to increase their influence and reach across new markets and client bases, while providing customers with improved solutions. “We are thrilled to become part of a larger furniture dealership and to be instrumental in introducing COFCO to the DC area,” said Patricia Burnham, President of PBI Inc. “It’s been an amazing 24-year ride and we look forward to continuing to do what we do best!”

Establishing a strong leadership culture has been a driving force behind COFCO’s success. The company has shown a tremendous commitment not only to their clients, but to the growth of their own employees. “COFCO strongly believes in building from within,” Joan says, “Over my time at this company, I’ve watched team members at the entry level advance all the way to Vice President.” The opportunity to grow within the organization is essential to building a culture that remains committed to providing the strongest customer experience possible.

When asked about her thoughts on PBI, Joan responded: “Patricia Burnham has done an outstanding job building this company. Their commitment to their clients and integrity is second to none, and we’ve been incredibly impressed with this team.” The alignment of these two prominent organizations is a focal point of the new partnership. Their shared values, leadership cultures, and passion for providing elite furniture solutions to clients will be the defining attributes of the acquisition and ensure a bright future for the new organization.