10 things to ask ... before choosing an office furniture and equipment provider
Planning a commercial project anywhere in the world is a complex endeavour and requires a range of activities and skills to converge together in a synchronous manner so that the end result is aesthetically pleasing and functionally efficient. If you are planning to execute an interior design or renovation project for any commercial property worldwide, here are the 10 top things you must consider or ask your furniture and equipment provider.
1. What is your long-term vision?
Furniture is more than just decoration or the colour of your walls that can be changed easily as and when desired. It is a larger investment that needs to be supported with repairs, maintenance and upgrades. Also as your organization grows, you need to buy more furniture and it may be important for you to ensure that your office furniture provider is a manufacturer that invests in its own moulds and designs so that it can support your long term needs and supply the same/similar designs as your needs grow. On the other hand, if you decide to work with a trader you may/may not get long term support and every batch of furniture you buy in the future may stick out like a sore thumb.
2. Do you have experience furnishing a variety of spaces?
Does your office furniture manufacturing partner have experience with various types of workspaces and an understanding of your own unique needs to plan your workspace and ensure your aesthetic and style are consistent throughout your office?
3. What’s your range of products?
While many manufacturers focus on specific types of furniture like chairs or desks because they sell in higher volumes, does your furniture provider take your needs into account and also give you reception tables, boardroom furniture, breakout rooms furniture, couches and waiting-area chairs so that you can get complete solutions under one roof?
4. Can you fit within my budget?
You can’t go for caviar when your budget is that for pasta! Does your furniture manufacturer or provider have the ability to give you lower-cost options without compromising on quality or aesthetics? Does he/she demonstrate an innovative approach to providing alternatives to high-end items if you are on a tight budget. Perhaps you can buy marble laminate top tables instead of real marble, which are impossible to differentiate with the naked eye, but help reduce the cost by a major percentage.
5. What’s your delivery time frame?
It’s important to know how long it will take for the furniture to be delivered, especially when you need it by a particular time or want to set up client meetings in the newly furnished rooms. Even if you are not in a rush, you should act soon because selecting furniture is time-consuming and logistic hurdles have made manufacturing, shipping and delivery a bit more complicated these days. So advance planning & placing orders in time are important for you as the buyer while order planning, just in time manufacturing and efficient logistics coordination is important for the commercial furniture manufacturer or provider.
6. Are you a manufacturer or trader?
Obviously, if you need to buy a small quantity of furniture for your office you may need to contact a local dealer or distributor but if your office is larger or the amount of furniture you need is larger, you may be able to deal directly with a manufacturer and take advantage of direct factory rates which will result in huge cost savings even including the extra cost of shipping. Moreover, a manufacturer can provide you with better service in terms of spares, warranties and long term support.
7. What’s the durability of your products?
Experts say to check specification sheets that detail the durability tests, loading capacity, components and dimensions, including the thickness of the panels. If you are not already aware of the technical components of your office furniture you can also ask your furniture provider to help you understand the advantages/disadvantages and cost implications of using A1 boards or Grade 3 Gas lifts or Melamine finish Vs Veneer finish tables. This thorough understanding of materials, designs and cost by your furniture provider demonstrates their credibility and helps establish trust.
8. What’s the quality of your furniture?
A desk’s quality is often most evident in the construction of the drawers, which should open and close easily while bearing weight. You can save yourself possible long-term costs by investing in ergonomic furniture to reduce strains, aches and other work-related ailments. You also want furniture that is easily transportable to avoid breakdown costs if you move. Since furniture is a heavy-duty item and especially if you are buying it in bulk, let's say a few containers, it is equally important to know how your furniture provider packs it and ensures there are no damages in transit.
9. Is the warranty included?
Warranties vary by manufacturer and product. Often when you're buying from low-cost furniture manufacturers you may get no warranty at all. The warranty itself will give you a good idea of the quality, durability and life expectancy of the furniture.
10. How can you help?
Does your furniture manufacturer or partner look at you as a cash cow and is only interested in closing the order and collecting the cash, or do they look at you as a partner and are truly interested in solving your problems? If you need help with 3D designs or AI-assisted rendering of how your workspace will look after furniture installation, does your office furniture provider have the capability and willingness to help?
Stellar Global is an international office and hospital furniture manufacturing company that has been in the business for over 32 years and exports furniture to over 80 countries worldwide. We have helped plan and execute hundreds of large scale projects in different parts of the world from co-working places to commercial offices, government buildings, educational institutions - schools & colleges, libraries, auditoria, hospitals, operation theatres and clinics. Get in touch with us if you're planning any large scale commercial project and need help with any type of commercial furniture.