A Guide to Selecting an Office Relocation Fit-Out Partner
An office relocation fit-out is an intimidating task as there are many different aspects of the relocation to consider and if the situation is not carefully organised, things could easily go wrong or be forgotten in the shuffle.
It is vital that you choose the right team to ensure that the project goes as smoothly as possible, with minimal disruption to the day to day operation of your business.
This guide will take you through the process of identifying the ideal partner for your office fit-out and provide tips for ensuring that the project is a success.
The first thing you need to do is research potential suppliers in the area that have carried out work that is on a similar scale to what you need to achieve. You must then put together a shortlist of the most promising prospects. We recommend 3-4.
Be aware that this may be tougher than it sounds. It is often the case that when news gets out about your search, you will have many suppliers approach you with quotes and ideas. Try to stay focused and do not make any rash decisions based purely on low prices and empty promises.
It is important to gather feedback from your own team and allow them to express their opinions on who they believe should make it onto the shortlist. However, when you have whittled the numbers down, it can be helpful to get independent advice from outside of your company to help you discard poor matches.
When you have developed your final shortlist, invite your candidates to view your new office space or existing premises to discuss your requirements. At this point, you should make sure to explain your office furniture needs and ask for initial space plans and design concepts. The teams should be able to help you define your requirements and develop a full brief that they can work from. Download our Guide to Office Relocation Planning
Following the viewings, ask your favourite two or three candidates to put forward their best offer in a short presentation. They should be able to provide a detailed design, specifications, prices and proposed time scale. Ideally, they will demonstrate several kinds of visual for the new design. This could include drawings, 3D renderings and potentially even virtual-reality walkthroughs. Do not make any immediate commitments during the presentations and be wary of any company that tries to pressure you into a quick decision.
During the pitching stage, you should try to get a feel for the relationship between the team members. Do they communicate well with one another? Do they each have a defined role within the team? Have they been working together for long time? If the answer to any of these is no, you should proceed with caution.
Consistency is key, so it is essential that every member of their team is kept in the loop during the various stages of the fit-out. Miscommunication is a major source of project disruption. In fact, as much as 57% of projects fail due to a breakdown in communication.
When you have selected the most desirable team and design, you need to carry out further checks to ensure their credibility.
Firstly, it is important to ensure that they are financially secure to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. A good rule of thumb is that the company should have a turnover of at least seven times the value of your project. They may also have a parent company which could further defend against financial problems (assuming of course, that the parent company is financially stable itself), so be sure to ask about this.
You should then check for employers’ liability insurance, professional indemnity, public and products liability, and contractors’ all risks policies. Additional things to look out for in the ideal team include a perfect health and safety record, dedicated IT technicians amongst the staff, and ISO certification.
At this point, it would be wise to request several independent references from previous clients. Don’t just rely on the one or two glowingly positive ones that the team was happy to show off during their pitches. Ideally, your references will come from clients that had projects of a similar scale, carried out during their office fit-out. If you have any specialist equipment that will require expert knowledge to install, you should also check to see if they have handled anything similar in the past. If possible, make arrangements to view the offices where they have carried out fit-outs before.
Bear in mind that you should not automatically discount a team if you discover evidence of past problems. It is a fact of life and certainly of business, that sometimes things just go wrong. The team are not necessarily entirely at fault for this. The main point to consider is whether or not they were able to identify and rectify those issues in good time.
Before making any final decisions, be sure to agree the reporting and progress monitoring procedure with your fit-out partner so that you are receiving regular updates on the project. Additionally, ask about their current workload and check to see how much of a priority your project is. This should help you gauge how available to you they will be during the fit-out. Finally, ensure that they are willing to sign a clause that incurs a financial penalty for late project completion.
Having followed this guide, you should now have your perfect office relocation fit-out partner and feel comfortable and enthusiastic about your project. It would be wonderful if it could be carried out without a single problem, but with complex projects, this is rarely the case.
By placing emphasis on strong communication and a structured workflow, you can mitigate the negative effects of any small issues.
Aspire can introduce you to the best refurbishment partners based on your needs and assist you with project manage. We are always happy to discuss any questions regarding office relocation fit-outs, so please do contact us.