Office fit out, the first step

If the space you’ve been working on doesn’t seem to fit your needs anymore and you can’t stand another office partitions solution advertised in the local newspaper, then it is time to move. Are you up to the task of fitting out your own office? Well, you might think to yourself that it shouldn’t be that hard, after all you have ran a successful business for a number of years right? OK, the short answer: NO. It is very difficult to assess with any kind of accuracy a fit out project with out experience.

OK then, you might think that your office manager will be able to do it for you then. Again, the answer is no. The office manager is very important in this vital period when you have decided to move your outfit somewhere else. The office manager is there to keep things in the office running smoothly even while the craziness of the move is underway. The manager will not have time to even think of getting the right quotes from a moving company, let alone the other hundred things that have to be consider when performing an office fit out. And yes, that includes the dreaded office partition solution too.

So, I recommend that the first thing you do is to think about getting a Project manager specifically for the fit out. The first thing a Project manager has to do to ensure that everything fits together according to a schedule is to create a project plan. In this plan the Manager will establish goals, give you realistic time tables for the different tasks at hand and generate one of the most crucial part of the build: The budget.

This manager has to work with you to decide what your budget has to be according to your needs. He or she then has to adapt the budget to the layout of the office you have in mind. Remember that achieving balance between what you want and what you can afford is a matter of compromise. Be open to suggestions but be firm so your needs are met.

Once you have agreed on a budget the office manager’s job is to start the tender process for the materials to be used during the transportation and build. During the tender process the manager has to facilitate the assessment and engagement of suppliers and transporters. Not only does he or she have to make it easy for contractors and other suppliers to bid on your project, but he or she has to negotiate prices that are favorable to you and your project. This is something very important, and even if you have experience as a negotiator, a professional office manager will have contacts that might give them special prices or special discounts.

Once you have the budget is complete and the suppliers have been engaged, then the build can begin. The project manager has to agree to give you periodic updates on the build. He or she has to manage delays and work around them. He or she is the one that finally has to deal with that state of the art office partition solution you’ve been complaining about.