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When Is Facility Management Staff Involved With Office Furniture?

Facility management personnel are usually involved with office furniture. However, the level of their involvement can vary from company to company. The decisions made by project facility management personnel can be based on many conditions. Some of these conditions could be:

Budget - Even when the budget is provided by a financial officer of your company, the facilities staff can be responsible for breaking out the amount by department or some other factor.

By this time you have a budget, you should be in contact with a reputable furniture representative who can provide you with furniture brochures or other furniture samples based on your preliminary budget. (If you are working with a design firm, they may be involved in this process.)

Internal politics - If this is relevant at your company, facility management personnel will certainly be aware of the situation.

Efficiency - Choosing the best furniture applications based on the needs of the staff and your budget.

If requested, the furniture representative will interview staff members at your direction. This can be both helpful and timesaving for facility management personnel. The results of these interviews indicate the overall furniture needs of specific staff members and/or departments based on the type of work they perform, their filing needs, etc.

Important: The purpose of this interview process is not for the staff to choose their furniture unless this has been requested. I have experienced situations where staff members interviewed thought they were meeting to pick out their own furniture.

Design and style - This can include paint color, carpet selection, wood finishes, fabric choices, laminates, and paint colors to name a few. If you don't have a Designer/Decorator on your project facility management staff, you need a professional to help you put it all together. This professional can be from an architectural firm, design firm, or your office furniture dealership.

If the project is large or complicated with many finish choices, the facilities people should be presented a "finish board" before making final decisions. This comes in handy later on if more furniture is needed or change colors, etc.

Growth or downsizing - If your company is expecting one or the other, the facility management personnel will definitely be involved.

Other responsibilities that can be the responsibility of facilities staff:

  • moving people and/or furniture
  • rental furniture
  • disposal of unwanted furniture
  • furniture delivery and/or installation
  • reconfigure existing furniture layouts
  • warranty information
  • ergonomic issues and furniture that resolves these problems
  • electrostatic painting of used files and other metal furniture
  • making elevator and other building arrangements
  • coordinating security requirements
  • project coordination
  • schedule project meetings

  • In my experience, facility management personnel was very helpful when there were unusual situations. They are familiar with their company and the needs of the people working there.

    About the Author: Janet Vogel, who is retired from the office furniture industry, is now the owner of Homemade Gift Basket Ideas which she created to supplement her retirement income

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