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Ben Berry, Founder of The StudyBed Company, tells us about their innovative products for student living

Posted by Hannah Oakman | May 29, 2014 | Facilities

Q. What makes your product so different from anything else on the market?

The StudyBed is unique in that it combines a very large desk with a normal bed all in the same compact footprint; the clever way in which it converts from one mode to the other, ensures that everything on the desk surface (including lamps, computers, drinks etc) remains in place, and similarly, none of the bedding needs to be removed, which means it literally does take just three seconds to convert from study to sleep mode and back again

Q. How can this be of benefit to student accommodation providers?

Essentially, it is all about optimisation of space, as well as enhanced facilities. Combining a large desk and the bed in the same footprint increases usable floor space, and this can either mean improved comfort for the student or even the ability to create a larger number of bedrooms within the whole building. Additionally, StudyBeds can allow for twinning in an average size room, and this can mean increased income for the accommodation provider combined with reduced rental for the student.

Q. What exposure have you had so far to this market?

StudyBeds are currently successfully operating in several universities throughout the country; our first installation was for 26 beds in Halls of Residence at Portsmouth University nearly five years ago, and these have been in almost daily use without one single problem arising. We have supplied directly to both universities and independent accommodation providers.

Q. Student accommodation can be a harsh environment for furniture, how does your product stand up to the job?

Despite the clever mechanism, there is absolutely no compromise on the quality or robustness; they are designed for everyday use and proudly carry the same 5 year warranty for commercial as well as domestic purposes. They are made from Double A-sided real oak veneer on an mdf core, giving both strength and beauty. They are already well proven in the field, and we have never experienced any issues of abuse or misuse in the many thousands we have supplied thus far.

Q. This combined product could cost more than a separate bed and desk, how do you justify the extra expense?

Traditionally, lower priced, poorer quality desks and beds are provided in student accommodation with a view to them being replaced on a fairly frequent basis; we know our product will last five years and beyond without any problems, and this in itself provides long-term value for money. However, the main benefit is space-saving, and StudyBeds can either provide enhanced student facilities in small rooms, or allow for effective twinning in a small space, thus increasing revenues, or creating a workable 'void strategy'. In the words of Portsmouth University's Head of Residential Services, "You get flexibility and quality combined. When we considered the cost of each room void, the investment was clearly worthwhile".

Q. What is the best way for potential buyers to see them?

Without doubt, taking advantage of our free trial offer, whereby we will deliver and install a StudyBed whenever you like, leave it for your thorough evaluation, and collect it once you have finished with it. Alternatively we can be seen at conference-related exhibitions, such as ASRA or CUBO or you can visit our showroom in Thame.

Q. Do you have any further innovative products due?

We are very proud of our innovative ConverTable Desk, which uses the same system but combines a desk with a table. Although this may have less relevance in the bedroom, it can be efficiently utilised in study areas or libraries and again provides a 2-in-1 solution, saving space, and allowing workspaces to transform to meeting areas. These, of course, are also available on a free trial basis.

Web: www.studybed.co.uk

Email: enquiries@studybed.co.uk

Tel: 01844 214484

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