As a project manager overseeing the planning and installation of corporate office interiors, you’re constantly wrangling multiple contractors, specialty fabrication vendors, clients, internal stakeholders, and more. Chaos is a part of every project, right?
Corporate interior projects with the fewest mistakes, delays, cost overages and other unplanned issues are the most successful. It often comes down to the amount of control you have over the process but it’s often, well, out of your control.
The key to avoiding the production mistakes and installation delays that can set off a chain reaction at any moment, is to simplify.
Consolidate the number of vendors, timelines, budget items and variables. Rely on a single point of contact throughout the fabrication process, all the way to the end of your corporate interior installation. You’ll be on your way to streamlined success.
It may seem like a tall order, but as we’ll describe in this article, there’s a simple solution. It took us nearly 20 years to develop, but all you have to do is follow the 4 tips below.
Tip #1: Finding the Best Design and Fabrication Studios for Corporate Interior Projects
What’s the best way to ensure a smooth installation for a corporate interior design project? Use the same studio for fabrication services and installation.
When a studio clearly understands the function and purpose of the objects being produced, things have a way of getting done the right way.
For example, fabrications like corporate sculptures will need to last for years in an office environment. Contracting a studio that specializes in fabricating and installing temporary trade show exhibits isn’t a recipe for success.
You want a studio with a range of design and fabrication capabilities, but with deep expertise in corporate interior projects. A studio that can experiment with new techniques and processes to create innovative solutions, but who does it all with a solid grasp of corporate interiors. And, it doesn't hurt to partner with a studio that can streamline the entire corporate interior project process. How do you find such a studio?
Questions to Ask a Design and Fabrication Studio About Corporate Interior Projects
The following questions will help identify the best studios for fabricating corporate interiors:
“Do you build everything in-house?”
A studio with full-service, multidisciplinary design and fabrication capabilities will be able to produce just about anything in-house, without relying on a single subcontractor. You’ll have more control over the process, budget, and schedule, along with a single point of contact and accountability. The benefits are many.
“What part of corporate interior projects do you subcontract?”
If they don’t build everything in-house, you’ll want to know exactly what can’t be done in the studio. If a studio outsources a critical component of the project that needs special attention, or if they outsource multiple elements that rely on exact specifications, the project is exposed to unnecessary risk.
“What type of equipment do you have?”
The ideal design and fabrication studio will have, at a minimum, CNC equipment, 3D printing and scanning capabilities, and knowledge of CAD programming (including 3D solid, mesh, and surface modeling).
“Do you provide shipping and installation services?”
If a studio does not provide these services, you’ll have to contract additional companies for art shipping and installation. This adds another potential point of failure.
“How quickly can you provide pricing?”
A studio should have the expertise to quote corporate interior projects fast. They should be able to actively rework quotes to plan for different pricing scenarios based on material availability, labor, and any custom needs.
Tip #2: When to Bring a Design and Fabrication Studio Onboard
A fresh perspective from a studio familiar with the fabrication and installation process can provide critical insight during the schematic phase or right as the schematic phase is coming to an end. During this time, an experienced studio can verify whether fabrication concepts are feasible and can further help streamline the early stages.
If you choose not to bring on a studio during the schematic phase, you’ll want to finalize all concept details before reaching out to one. This way, the studio has a clear scope of work to estimate, and can prepare to jump right in.
Tip #3: Prioritize Key Areas for Corporate Interiors
When installing corporate interiors, conference rooms, reception areas, and elevator lobbies typically receive the most attention. Neutral spaces in high-traffic areas that include bare walls are also priority areas where wayfinding, logos, corporate wall graphics, company history walls, and other design elements are frequently installed. Be sure to leave extra leeway for budgeting these important spaces.
Next, consider the importance of 3D elements vs. 2D works. In most cases, 2D works (environmental graphics, wall coverings, etc.) are easier to produce and install compared to 3D objects, such as corporate sculptures. Try to budget not only for the fabrication of more expensive 3D objects, but also for the time and complexity of the installation as well.
Remember: A large installation with lots of square footage calls for higher amounts of labor, and installations in hard-to-reach spaces need special equipment, so it’s important to prioritize the installations that are essential to the storytelling experience you want to share.
Tip #4: Find a Fabrication Studio Who Knows How to Budget
Quotes for corporate interior design projects often change as samples are provided, more details are added, and different methodologies are outlined. Studios that are able to rework quotes fast are invaluable for keeping corporate interior projects on track and on budget.
Similarly, a studio with art installation services lets you plan and budget these installation procedures while the interior environment is still being built, saving valuable time. Plus, when the time for installation comes, a studio that manufactured everything in-house will know exactly how to streamline the final stage.
Multidisciplinary Studios are Best for Corporate Interior Projects
The secret to consistent, stress-free corporate interior installations comes down to partnering with an experienced interior fabrication studio that can own the entire process.
If you can find a studio that can perform everything in-house, from schematic drawings to the final installation, you’ll have a valuable partner who can save time, help with budgeting, avoid miscommunications, and eliminate the chaos that comes with multiple vendors and subcontractors.
To see what full-service fabrication and installation for corporate interiors looks like, schedule an introduction to Bridgewater Studio today and get a free, customized plan for your next project.