Experience is the key to this game and you simply can’t learn that.
The starting point for selecting the right fitout partner for you is to make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. A good fitout partner should have all the key disciplines, workplace consultancy, design, IT, project management, construction partners, furniture suppliers as well as post contract support and facilities management.
It is important to consider the nature of your fit-out partner, and whether they will be able to form a positive relationship with your in-house team. You must ensure that they align with your business models and ethics, and understand the importance of delivering high quality work in line with your company name and culture. A fitout partner could be working with your company for weeks or months or years on end, so it is vital to ensure that they are the right fit across the board. Analyse their track record and performance, look for their experience, and study their technical skills and knowledge.
A factor that should be considered amongst this is whether the project itself is suitable for the fitout partner. Evaluate whether the project is too big or too small for them. See if they specialise in high or low value contracts, and that they can easily service your project from wherever they are based. Make sure they use language you understand and do not merely communicate in industry jargon.
Most importantly, do they seem as if they really want your project? Are they committed? Will they do whatever it takes to deliver your brief on time and within budget?
Your fitout will involve significant costs, and the implications of your chosen fitout partner failing to complete the work on time, or at all, could be substantial.
Check them out thoroughly. Satisfy yourself that they have the right level of financial stability and insurances to cover the project and survive the frequently turbulent commercial property sector.
It still surprises us how many professionals take things on face value and do not take up references when embarking on such a huge undertaking. It is therefore not surprising how many people subsequently live to regret it. The best advice here is to meet with them, speak with their clients, and carry out the proper due diligence.
Ask for confirmation that what you see is what you get. Check that the people you meet during the selection process are the people that you will work with and not just the “front men” or sales people. Ensure that you meet with them and form an understanding of the people that you will be working with. Too often, the projects start with the key people and your project is then passed down the line to a more junior person.
CR Commercial Property has no problem with you reviewing our capabilities – its why we wrote this article.