What are the main challenges of the Office Fit-out, and how can the companies face them? Would an ERP system help in their daily struggle?
People don't want just huge buildings or new, extravagant constructions, they also want to look at the eco-friendly way of doing things: no more tearing down buildings to create new ones, look at what exists and think creatively in order to make that space work for you. Design and Fit-Out companies have become best friends now, working together for the Office fit-out projects on the market. Opportunities for the Fit-out sector - for the Fit-out companies - are growing as project owners launch projects for mega-events such as International Expos or even Olympic Games. The Interior Fit-Out sector/market in UAE alone is expected to cross 973 million dollars by 2022.
Bringing the Fit-out sector - and the Fit-out companies - on top of the game also brings significant challenges for them. Today we want to look at the top challenges of the Fit-out market and suggest some solutions to them. Take this journey with us and let us know, inside the comments section, your thoughts and feelings on this subject.
Looking at the growing market of Office Fit-Out projects we see these challenges arising:
The building sites of the past, the offices and the way they were designed - were not forward-thinking, and they did not anticipate the number of people working in the office. Nor that the employees will be working on shifts, nor the fact that there would be shared desks. Also, the older buildings may raise issues for the Fit-out companies, with the old plumbing systems and the limited number of toilets. The Office Fit-out companies and the designers handling it now, need to be extra creative. There are innovative solutions with carbon dioxide occupancy sensors and air-flow systems that help clear the air. Another essential thing to plan is the reliable and secure WIFI network that you will set up and also the demand for electrical power - a backup generator is a must nowadays. Talking about backups - a new-generation ERP system helps you keep track of all your projects, of all the information in one place, making sure that it is accessible at any time from any place. There is no singular server where data is stored, and there is always a backup for your data. You will not lose any precious time and your project will always be up-to-date. Having live data available is crucial in the fit-out projects, make sure your ERP software allows you to manage it properly!
One of the greatest challenges of the Fit-out market that arises, when it comes to Office Fit-out projects and its execution, is how will the Estimation be done? Some of the constant challenges in the Fit-out market include: Contractor-Client Communication; prices rising for the materials used; skilled labor shortages - all these combined make the Project Estimation even harder to perform. Keeping all information in one place, easy to access by everyone in the team, becomes key! A Project Management software for contractors will be a life-savior for the Fit-out companies, no matter their project - it will be the solution of a lifetime. An ERP system for Fit-out companies combines the possibility of solving the communication issues inside your team and with your clients and subcontractors. A good system will help you keep track of your project’s value, associated costs, outdated payments, sent and received invoices, and planned expenses to make sure you stay on budget and increase your project profitability. It will allow you to run comprehensive reports on all financial data already present in the system and it will allow you to see the Financial Health of your project instantly! An ERP system for Fit-out companies should allow you toimprove your business by managing all your project aspects in one place. You will be able to create inside the system the Programme of Works and share that with your client, for approval. You will be able to see the data in a Gantt Chart view - ensuring optimization of resources, time and costs. All in one place, shareable data - allowing you to improve the communication with your team and client; you can shoot two birds at once!
Rising Prices of Materials
A report by JLL states that the average cost of an office fit-out increased by 12% in 2018. We have no dates yet for 2019 but we can safely assume that the price also went up, in comparison with the previous year. The costs for materials like steel rose almost 19% and aluminum rose 6 % in 2018 amid U.S. tariffs on imported metals, the Portland Press Herald reported. Every country around the globe is affected by the rising prices of materials and alongside that the logistics will also be affected. An investment in a good ERP system - a good fit for your company and your team - could save you, as it will track the stock you have and allow you to make decisions based on live data.
With the demand for Office Fit-out projects and the increased number of employees in an open-office space environment, it is more than evident that your clients will request additional parking. Even if half of the people would use eco-friendly methods of transport - like the public transport system or their own bikes/scooters/motorcycles/ electric scooters etc. - you will still need to think of creative ways to bring in some parking spaces. On the bright side, the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) initiatives have allowed developers to reduce parking requirements in suburban locations that have direct access to public transportation. Make sure you check the law for the area where you have the project and see what public transport methods are available nearby.
How about your team and your company? What other challenges do you face in the fit-out industry and how did you manage to overcome them? We would love to hear your thoughts. Do share your ideas in the comments section below!