It's Harder Than it Looks

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Have you ever looked at your kitchen or bath and thought, “It is time to do something about this.” But then you begin to panic at the cost for doing it professionally. Your next thought is, “How hard can it be to retile a bathtub or replace cabinets and a backsplash?”  So, you go to Home Depot and become Tool Time Tim.

That sentence….”How hard can it be?” has gotten us all in trouble at some point. By the time we have dealt with the stripping, tearing out, prepping, sealants, grout, measuring, cutting, levelling, our next thought is, “Now I know why they charge what they do. It’s harder than it looks.” 

There is a season for everything. Gone are the days when I would fly coach class because it was cheaper. I just want to get there, cheaply! Now I care much more about whether my knees are jammed up against my chest and I am willing to pay a little extra for leg room and no middle seat. It is the same with construction projects at home, and the same with your workspace.

When it comes to your office design and workspace furniture, you can go to Ikea and put it all together yourself. How hard can it be? But what about data? Electrical? The time to put together 80-100 desks and chairs? Even though furniture as a product is a commodity, the quality of the experience is based on the service of the company providing it.

People are rarely interested anymore in office furniture that is long-lasting and warranty assured. That is a fact. They are okay with throw-away quality that they will simply replace in 3 years. But your project success and quality experience is based on who is standing behind that product, getting it all organized, planned, and put together with no mistakes. The workspace equivalent of doing all the prepping and measuring for you.

Once you realize that the answer to, “How hard can it be?”, is actually, “Pretty hard”, then what do you do? How do you know who to trust? Let me help. You need to get prices from more than one dealer, that is just being responsible. But beware the Response for Proposal. RFP’s do not always address time and quality when forming the budget. They do not allow you to have a conversation about your needs. They create a situation similar to that of playing darts blind-folded. Price always wins and the process not only encourages a price only focus, it also drives you toward looking only at the dollars, no matter what the dealer promises in service of face time with you.

If not an RFP, what should your fist steps be? Talk to an architect, Talk to a few furniture dealers. Don’t just ask about price. Talk about your needs. Maybe your lobby needs to be blow away cool, but your team can deal with a less expensive sit-stand. Talk about responsiveness, ask about different scenarios and alternatives. Ask about creative solutions. Make sure there is experience and commitment backing up whatever furniture you choose.

Just as you care about the quality of work in that kitchen/bath project, you care about the quality of service from your workspace advisor. SideMark makes work feel good and is ready to talk to you about making your project a success. 

-Sandi Jacobs

Jennifer Sharpe