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May 10, 2023 12:00:00 AM3 min read

Scoping the market for the perfect partner? How to identify the best D+ C partner in the market?

Selecting the right project partner for your refurbishment or relocation is an essential part of any successful fitout journey. There may be many service providers in the market, however, that does not necessarily result in a solution of the same quality, positive process and achieved on your budget and timeline.
The most common delivery method for a fitout project is a Design & Construction (D&C) approach. This contract type can provide project security and peace of mind as a full turnkey approach that covers the production and implementation of the entire design, specification, costing, programming, project management and execution of the workspace.

Here are the top considerations when engaging a fitout partner:

  1. A trusted partner A good fitout partner will work closely with you to fully understand the business DNA, project drivers and vision enabling the creation of a detailed brief. They will be able to provide office tours of previous projects and provide solid client testimonials to vouch for their quality of work, and level of service.

  2. Realistic budget As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. The sign of a good D&C partner is a team that is fully transparent with you should the budget and design intent not align. Open communication around what is achievable on your budget is essential, and locking in a fixed fee at the project inception will negate the chance of being stung with hidden additional costs for variations during construction.

  3. Communication is Key During a high-value project such as an office refurbishment, the importance of consistent and continued communication is paramount. Through no fault of either party, things can go wrong or be delayed. It is the nature of the work. By having one point of contact throughout the journey, you can be assured that should there be any issues or challenges, you will be informed immediately and provided with a solution or alternative to remedy the issue.

  4. ‘Free’ Space-planning & test fits ‘Free testfits’ may not be what it says on the tin. Is it likely that costs around creating pre-engagement space planning and test fits will come at a small cost? Reliable partners will be open around these costs and provide them free of charge should they be engaged to deliver the project.

  5. Experience Has the D&C partner worked in your sector and delivered similar-sized projects previously? Early engagement can give a fitout partner time to understand your business operations and extract the key drivers and challenges for the change to create a robust and realistic brief. An end-to-end service can provide benefits such as time and cost savings by arranging any permissions or approvals, engaging service contractors and managing the furniture procurement and delivery.

  6. Partner Credentials A construction partner must have all appropriate insurances in place as well as a robust approach to health and safety, environmental and quality management, both internally and also for all contractors and suppliers engaged in the project. You must also ensure the financial viability of your partner as they will require purchasing power to negotiate for materials and furniture as the fitout commences.

  7. A strong network A solid D&C partner will have a wide network of suppliers and contractors that they have previous working experience with and with whom they have gone through a process of engagement and due diligence of their companies.

  8. Delivery in an occupied property If you choose to renew a lease instead of relocating, you must consider how the work will be completed in a live working environment. Consider whether the fitout partner has experience in staging works and delivering with minimal disruption on the team.

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NB: Image source - Unsplash