There are a few tricks to wrap up your project for a clean closeout, it mainly comes down to which considerations are made at the beginning. Product procurement is an easy fix to finishing a project on time, on budget and looking its best.
Whether you’re building a world-class fitness facility or a one of a kind family optometry office. You want the best of the best, at the most affordable and reliable course. You never know what can come up during planning, scheduling, and construction – why not worry about as little as possible.
* Photo: Steve Nash Fitness – Park Royal North Vancouver, BC
What is Procurement?
The process of purchasing goods or services on behalf of a client. According to Wikipedia “Procurement is used to ensure the buyer receives goods, and or services at the best possible price when aspects such as quality, quantity, time, and location are compared. Almost all purchasing decisions include factors such as delivery and handling, marginal benefit, and price fluctuations. Procurement generally involves making buying decisions under conditions of scarcity.” Pretty much if you’re relying on just yourself it can be a giant pain in the butt.
The biggest perk of procurement services is it makes it easy, relying on someone else to cover all the bases – find the right price and quality for each product while delivering on time. While having your own personal shopper for the project is first and foremost the best part of procurement services, there are other pretty sweet advantages that come with the deal.
Advantages of Product Procurement Services
Knowing the Right People
Product procurement teams are working with vendors daily and can build strong relationships. They work hand in hand with interior design teams that in turn have built their own networks. The result is a stacked Rolodex of exceptional vendors and suppliers that can meet the needs of any project size. It’s like a networking trifecta – procurement manager – designer – vendor, they all rely on one another.
Vendors are more willing to go above and beyond because designers and procurement managers are repeat customers. So, when worst comes to worst, it’s easier to resolve any conflicts or issues when you have that connection. As a result, a well-connected team can provide clients with extensive options, and preferred vendor pricing.
* Photo: Upper Left Photography for House of Funk Brewing – North Vancouver, BC
It Saves You Some Money
While cost savings shouldn’t be your primary motivation for enlisting procurement professionals, it’s a nice added benefit. Designers will get and review pricing from multiple vendors to receive the most competitive offers. In most cases, a firm will often receive designer trade discounts with savings that are passed on to clients. Designers can also purchase the items directly from the vendor. This can avoid multiple markups when typically purchasing from a contractor and/or subcontractor, who is then purchasing from their supplier.
Forecasting the Future
Design consultants are typically brought in to a project sooner than a contractor or any other vendors – they get to see into the future, or so it seems. This allows the client a larger breadth of selection and the ability to order products with longer lead times well before construction starts. Just like magic, they’ll be on-site when needed and not delay a project.
* Photo: Luke Potter for Key Marketing – Vancouver, BC
The ability to look at products with longer lead times tends to open your world – literally. It allows consideration of products that may not be readily available. Specialty lighting and furniture typically have longer lead times beyond the scope of smaller project schedules. Adding procurement services to a project may open those possibilities.
Getting the Right Goods – in One Piece
Knowing where to start selecting products can be very overwhelming. Design teams are great at knowing where to get what’s good. Designers not only have access to a wider range, they also have insight on new product trends and offerings. Resulting in the right items for your project.
When you find what you need, ordering straight from the source and having your design team handling coordination, you can be sure that the correct item will show up for the project. There are times when a vendor may find substitutions to meet tight timelines that don’t provide the same quality or design intent as the original. If any issues of quality or spec arise, the design team will work with the supplier to ensure it is dealt with.
Peace of Mind
When sourcing items for a project, designers will create a procurement plan and manage the process from item selection through to ordering, delivery, and installation. Working with the General Contractor to ensure items arrive on-site as scheduled and coordinate with vendors to remedy any damaged or defective goods.
At Cutler, we provide all warranty, maintenance manuals, and service agreements to our clients. Reassurance, knowing that someone is overlooking all of the orders for a project with the client’s best interests in mind.
Negotiating a contract with a design consulting and project management firm that provides these services to handle your procurement early in the process can help you be better prepared to complete your projects in the most efficient way possible.