Furniture Procurement – The Basics

Or if you feel like being informal about it, choosing Furnitry.

If you’re a business that falls outside of the Google’s and Yahoo!’s when it comes to budget, resources and expertise for furniture procurement then we thought we’d drop some of our knowledge to assist you.

Like everything in life there are guidelines, some will even say unbendable rules to how you should approach this but we say… rules schmules! If you Google “Deaths caused by a business that didn’t follow furniture purchasing rules”, you’ll come up with a death toll of zero. Encouraged by these incontrovertible statistics I shall carry on with sharing a few handy hints.

Attempting a one size fits all approach is design blasphemy but at its essence the message can still be applicable. 80 – 90% of staff will be able to use the same furniture and utilise its adjustable functionality to personalise it to their requirements. Identifying solutions that can cater to the masses is a good start and then time can be spent tailoring specific needs for those that fall outside of gen pop.

The mobility and flexibility of the furniture you choose can have positive implications on how much you need to purchase. Product that can be reconfigured easily and redeployed for varying functions offers efficiencies in both expenditure and space planning.

Look to eliminate empty desk syndrome, if you have part timers or hot deskers then consider their hours and needs and plan space and furniture accordingly. Meeting room furniture that can serve as collaborative and planning space is a good idea. Then you don’t have expensive set-ups gathering dust in between AGM’s.

Utilise your resources and specialists, make your suppliers work for you; use their knowledge and expertise to your advantage. Look at previous projects and fit outs to get an idea of how products actually behave in a new environment.

Ask about continuity and guarantee of future supply, do they have non-obsolescence or refurbishment programs? This ticks a few boxes; it’s sustainable and ensures the effort you spend on choosing an interior scheme now is managed effectively and prospective needs will be met.

Trial pieces of furniture throughout the decision making process and get the people that will be using them to spend time on, or at, the products. They can provide valuable feedback and will feel engaged in the development of the set-up.

When choosing furniture think about future proofing and adaptability for changing business needs. Consider systems that are easy to add components to in the future, as this supports the business going forward.

Most importantly, enjoy the process. You don’t want the finished product to be a physical manifestation of a time you didn’t love.


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