IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK:
When preparing the project brief, make a list of the scope of works required for the project, including the potential optional add-ons. Ultimately you’d benefit from appointing a contractor that can undertake the full scope of works under their wing, which tends to result in more cost and time savings. Check how much of it is outsourced and how much is within their core capabilities. If it is a design and build project, find out who are their design partners are and their partner’s core competencies and collaboration history. Would the interior fit-out partner be able to manage your expectations and flow them down to the respective partners while maintaining your objectives? How will they assure you of this? If there needs to be a value engineering exercise, assess if they are well versed in the options available to provide knowledgeable, calculated solutions.
When it comes to making that final decision on whom to appoint as a commercial interior fit-out partner, it’s no secret that it will be a combination of providing competitive pricing and a good track record with an assurance of quality craftsmanship. It is important hence to look into the added value each can bring. Are they showing initiative and willingness to provide solutions even before being awarded a project? This can be an indicator of the potential collaborative working relationship. Are they able to negotiate better rates for materials, consultant services e.g. Professional Architects or MEP on your behalf? By listing the top foreseen challenges of the project, it would be easier to prioritise and rank your options for fit-out contractors, reducing your risk and maximising the value obtained.
During the initial tender and proposal stages, it is important to understand what will be the commitment of the team that will be assigned to your project. Request for a detailed organisation chart as well as the structure of the team that will be assigned to your project. It would also be important to understand how much commitment you’d be getting from each member of the team. You wouldn’t want a large scale project such as a full hotel fit out to be delegated to a junior executive with little related experience.[:]