How Do I Keep My New Office Furniture Project on Track?
If you are contemplating a new office buildout or replacing furniture in your existing space, you have probably wondered how to make sure the new office will be ready to go on schedule.
If you are contemplating a new office buildout or replacing furniture in your existing space, you have probably wondered how to make sure the new office will be ready to go on schedule. After all, your team needs to minimize downtime and is excited to get to work in their new, upgraded workspace.
The reality is that an office furniture upgrade/buildout is a project with a lot of moving parts and while you can’t remove all the risks, you can maximize your chances of success by following these steps: Choose the right furniture dealer, finish the design process efficiently by making quick choices and checking lead times on your selections, and have a dedicated project manager.
Choosing the right dealer
Does the dealer you are working with have the products you want and are they committed to making their process fit your needs? Are they willing to try to work within your budget and schedule constraints? If you make your furniture dealer aware of your required budget and completion dates, they should be able to help you chose products with lead times that can make this happen if it is possible. They should also be able to guide you through the design process with your final budget in mind, not spend weeks on design only to present you with a surprise price tag that’s 50% above your budget at the end.
If you are on any kind of tight schedule, plan to make design decisions quickly early in the process. Try to bring your designer a list of requirements (number and type of workstations/storage/desks, data and electrical locations) and design preferences (finishes, styles, materials) right at the first meeting. Being organized on your end will help this process go smoothly and get your order in quickly to let the clock start ticking on any lead times to get your products ready.
In any project like this, it pays to have a dedicated person overseeing the project as a whole. This person needs to maintain and update schedule and budget realistically, not relying on assumptions and wishful thinking. Will there be enough time for the painters to finish before installation begins? Will the electrician have electrical supply in place in time? It is best to have a conservative timeline to complete tasks like these before your furniture installers arrive at your job. The project manager also needs to keep everyone involved in the loop on any changes and give regular status updates. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary delays and surprises as your project progresses.
No matter how you look at it, moving and/or upgrading your office furniture is a big lift. It’s a large investment of both time and money and there are a lot of decisions to be made. There are unavoidable risks along the way. By being aware and mindful of these big picture items, you can give yourself the best chance at having a smooth process and keeping your budget and schedule under control.