HOW WE CAN HELP
All projects, whether large or small, require the same attention to detail. They also all demand the same state-of-the-art technology that assists with specifications and space design, order taking and inventory tracking. There are certain critical events inherent in all furniture projects that must flow, working together to ensure success. The following offers a brief explanation of each of these critical events.
Tangram will assign you an experienced sales executive, designer and project manager to your account. These professionals work hand-in-hand with other “Team” members to research and evaluate both your long-term and short-term needs. This team may include, but is not necessarily limited to:
Client Team– Possibly a facility manager or other representatives, this person is in charge of making purchasing and construction decisions, which must take into account budget constraints, maintenance plans, installation schedules, and office politics, among a million other things.
Information Technology Guru– Large companies have whole IT departments, while smaller companies may contract out when major changes are needed. Since communication (both voice and data) are so vital to a business’ workflow and bottom line, integrating these services with the new furniture and overall design can make or break a project.
A&D Firm– Depending on how large the project is and the extent of what needs to be done, there could be only one or a multitude of design professionals working on the project. Using their education and experience, they are responsible for the project’s overall design direction, narrowing the focus for the client, integrating the furniture into the interior landscape, and coordinating electrical and communication requirements.
More than identifying the “look” company executives want for the office space, the development of a comprehensive design plan includes areas such as:
Business Needs + Development refers to the alignment of business processes, technology, and human resources into a holistic plan that creates a supportive, effective work environment.
Programming involves gathering individual work group information in order to develop an analysis of the space needed. One of the outcomes of this step is the selection of “typical” workstation or office settings.
Block Planning uses the information gathered in Programming to create a simple “block plan,” which breaks out different use areas such as conferencing, workstations, offices, break rooms, etc.
Space Planning represents a conclusion, so to speak, of the design development activity in that the total square footage necessary is formally determined and the individual components of the space developed. With this information the “look and feel” of the space will be decided along with budget and basic finishes.
Furniture is one of the most important parts of creating a great environment where employees can do their best work. The flexibility, durability, ergonomics, and non-obsolescence of the product must be considered.
Fabrics and Finishes can have a major effect on the project budget. Fabrics and finishes are “graded” into the various furniture lines. While you can get just about anything, you may not really want it. Certain fabrics wear quite differently from chair to chair and panel to panel. We recommend to never “push” a manufacturer for a fabric or finish they are hesitant to readily provide. Long term, it may not be worth it when stretching and puckers begin to erupt on the furniture.
Flexibility – Compared to the modest life cycle cost of office furniture, an initial investment of a few more dollars in a furniture system that will allow you to change with the course of tomorrow’s business climate might be the most overlooked issue when making a decision. Can the furniture accommodate a higher head count next year” Can it be reconfigured to accept the latest “technology,” Will the manufacturer enhance the product rather than develop a whole new, incompatible system” Will the furniture support your recruiting and retention needs as your business grows” Think about these issues today.
Lead-time tells you if you will get your selections in the time frame you need it. Today… and a year after the project is complete! Lead-time is not about creating a sense of urgency to “close the deal.” Lead-time is the actual errorless order placement to drop-it-on-the-dock time the manufacturers are constantly updating Tangram on.
Manufactured to Order is exactly what it says and is the case with about 95% of the furniture orders Tangram places. This means that everyone needs to be in agreement on the fabric, finish, style, size, etc. All aspects need to be exactly what everyone wants because it can’t be returned to the manufacturer unless it is otherwise defective. That’s why we will always ask someone – usually the you, with guidance from the A&D Firm –to verify and approve our written proposals and quotations before we place the order(s) from the manufacturer(s).
Quick Ship varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Just because a particular item is available on a quick ship basis today doesn’t guarantee it will still be available on quick ship next year. Quick ship offerings change based on manufacturing plant availability, product demand and many seemingly whimsical reasons.
Deposits are generally not spoken about until it’s time to place the order. Why a deposit” Because the furniture is manufactured to order. The style, fabric, finish, and sizes all were chosen to coordinate with the “look” that was chosen to make a unique corporate statement. Additionally, even though the you may not actually get to use your new furnishings immediately due to construction or carpet installation delays, Tangram has usually received it and been required to pay for it in full. That’s a large chunk of change for us to carry, especially on multiple orders.
The complexity of a furniture project can be mind-boggling. Coordinating with all of the trades (contractors, flooring installers, painters, electricians on a job site is a daunting task. Who needs a project manager for a simple furniture installation” You do!
Pre-Planning an installation is a critical activity which requires the project manager to consider building security issues, elevator use and availability, acceptable receiving and staging areas, man hours to complete everything on-time, location of power and data feeds, timing with other trades and many other issues. All these factors must be considered and are factored into the Tangram’s installation cost.
Job Site Conditions are usually the responsibility of your General Contractor. If the project construction and finish-out falls behind schedule, it is the GC’s job to get things back on track. All furniture installation quotations presume the conditions of the job site to be orderly and on schedule. The painters can’t come in before the dry wall crews and the dry wall crews can’t begin before the framing is complete, and so on. Any delay on any phase of a project pushes back all the work to be completed.
Contractor Delays are a common occurrence. The general contractor or developer will usually build delays into the schedule. Unforeseen delays can have a devastating effect on the furniture installation. Furniture installation, being one of the final phases in a major project, will often be squeezed. Keep in mind that if it takes 1000 man-hours to install your furniture, it will take 1000 man-hours to install your furniture! Adding more men to the job site does not necessarily equate to greater efficiency. Installation crews are staffed at the maximum number of men feasible to complete the project without getting in each other’s way. The only realistic way to finish the project on schedule is to work overtime. And overtime requires a different hourly rate. And that means more money. And no one likes to hear that.
Installation can make or break a job. Tangramemploys over 150 experienced installers to expertly manage your project.
The Foreman is the designated on-site leader for all furniture installation personnel. He is responsible for building and laying out the furniture as graphically depicted on the installation drawing. If it doesn’t look like you expected, get with the foreman and review the drawing together.
Build as Drawn is a term used to describe the finished work of the installation crew. Most price quotations are based on the number of hours to build and layout the furniture as shown on the installation drawing.
Orders are required to do any work not in the original scope of the installation quotation. This could be additional work not part of the original work order or a request to change the build as drawn specification to some other variation. Completion of change order work is based on crew availability and may require rescheduling.
Power and Data work is generally not completed by Tangram installation personnel. This is due to code restrictions and the need for certifiable data connections.
Bear with us – we’re almost finished. Tangram will not consider the job closed, until the critical final details are addressed.
Punch List activities begin with a comprehensive walk-through of the space. This is followed by a written list of all unfinished items, complete with action steps, responsible parties, and target dates for completion. The punch list is the A+D Firm’s and your documentation that the job is not fully complete and a starting point for understanding when it will be.
Replacement/Warrant Orders are given the highest priority by Tangram and our major manufacturing partners. These items that require immediate action, we must notify the manufacturers so they can direct us to the most efficient method of remedying the issue.