Sourcing is integral to securing the perfect FF&E procurement. It is, therefore, key to understand what goes into this phase of the design process in a bit more detail.If FF&E is a mountain – then purchasing is merely the summit: you’ve been through the trek up, but there is also the trek back to tackle before the project is complete. Think of sourcing as the trek up. Here are the five steps we go through when we’re sourcing products:
Research: Everything starts with product and supplier research, usually driven from the interior designer’s specifications. Getting the right product aesthetically is key, however, we consider many other factors including how sustainable are the products? Do they meet industry standards? Are the materials durable? Are they safe? Are they functional? Do they meet the budget requirements? What are the lead times?
Product Development: Often designers create bespoke products and designs for a project that have never been manufactured before. So the OCCA Buying Team will undertake a rigorous product development process with suppliers and manufacturers, developing prototypes to bring these products to life.
Testing: Before finalising product selection, we will often co-ordinate third-party product testing for things such as sustainability, durability, flame retardancy etc to ensure that every product we procure meets the relevant standards and regulations.
Budgeting: alongside the specification & prototyping stages, each product is processed through the budget framework for the project and put out to tender to obtain best pricing and value for our clients.
Scheduling: The sourcing process must also factor in the programme and how long it takes to manufacture or produce items. This is known as lead time, and part of our job is to accurately plan around lead times in order to procure the right products and schedule a seamless timetable of installation later on.