Installing new furniture, fixtures, and equipment acts as the finishing touch on a renovation project. It’s that final piece of the puzzle, which creates a polished, professional space where your team can work, one to which you can welcome customers with pride.
Naturally, you’d want this phase to go as smoothly as possible. After working with all kinds of operations across the island—retail stores, hotels, restaurants, military bases, and offices—we’ve put together a list of five things you can do to set the stage for a flawless FF&E installation and save yourself both time and stress. Let’s dive in!
1. Prep Your Team and Get Their Buy-In
Even if you hire an outside company to install your FF&E for you, you’re still going to need assistance from your staff. For example, if they keep any personal items in your space, they’ll need to pack those and put them away so they don’t get accidentally lost or damaged in the move. Additionally, you might find it helpful to have a few team members around during the install, in case your contractors have questions.
Because you’ll need their help, you’ll want to get your team’s buy-in early. Explain exactly where and when you’ll need their support. Make it clear what they’re responsible for and the contractors are responsible for, so there’s no confusion. Remind them of what this renovation will mean at the end of the day: a refreshed guest experience that will lead to greater customer satisfaction, for example, or a more comfortable working environment for them. That way, your team will understand the greater impact of any contributions you’ve asked them to make, and they’ll be more willing to get behind any initiatives you need help with.
2. Communicate Early and Often
Communication with your vendors during an FF&E install is critical. If you’re coordinating the shipping and delivery of the FF&E yourself, keep in touch with the company (or companies!) handling these items. If anything changes—if a shipment misses a critical sail date, for example—your project timeline will be impacted. Make sure you know who to contact in case of questions or to request updates.
If you’re using a contractor to manage all the logistics of your project, ideally, they should reach out proactively to update you on timelines. However, if you’re ever in doubt, reach out on your own.
This is especially important when you’re working on a timeline-critical project. For example, we worked with an organization that wanted to move over a specific holiday weekend to minimize downtime during working days. Executing that project required constant monitoring to keep all the moving parts on track for completion. If you’re in a similar circumstance, keep in close contact with your vendors and contractors to confirm that everything is moving forward as projected. If not, it’s better to know sooner rather than later so you can develop an alternate plan.
3. Clear Staging Areas and Pathways
In the final days leading up to your install date, you’ll want to make sure that your installers have room to work. As a result, you’ll need to clear two things: 1) staging areas and 2) pathways from the staging area to the installation area.
If you’re doing a smaller FF&E install, you may find it easy to designate a staging area and get it cleared out. However, when you’re installing a significant number of pieces, you’ll need a large area to unload the FF&E and sort it for easy installation.
(By the way, if you’re doing a large-scale FF&E project, such as redecorating an entire hotel, you may want to stage your FF&E on the mainland.)
Along the same lines, make sure there’s a clear path from the staging area to the furniture’s final destination. Debris in the area could result in a trip and fall and having to navigate a number of obstacles will only slow down the job. Do as much clearing in the days before the move so your installer (or your team, if you’re doing the work yourself!) can work efficiently during the install.
4. Make Plans for Furniture Removal & Disposal
When you’re working with an FF&E installer, furniture removal and disposal isn’t always automatically included in the contract. If you’ll need help removing your current furniture, fixtures, and equipment, make sure to let your installer know upfront. If you’re not using your installer for this particular task, make sure all the furniture is removed before installation day.
Note: On Guam, furniture disposal can become a bit of a challenge. We’ve put together some creative solutions for our clients, though, so reach out to us if you want to investigate a solution for your office, retail space, restaurant, or hotel.
5. Make Sure the Electrical Is Covered
While some FF&E installers can assist with furniture removal and disposal, one thing many FF&E installers won’t do is electrical work. If your FF&E requires electrical connections—such as light fixtures or workstations with integrated power strips—make sure you hire a licensed electrician to do any necessary wiring.
This is a source of frequent confusion during FF&E installs. If you have any questions, ask your FF&E installer to clarify, so you can have the electricians you need on hand to complete your install smoothly.
In FF&E Installs, a Little Preparation Goes a Long Way
When it comes to renovations or redecorations, everyone involved is working toward an on-time, on-budget delivery. A simple and smooth FF&E installation will go a long way toward those goals. These five tips will help you pave the way, putting you that much closer to welcoming your team and your customers into your new space.
Looking for some help with your next FF&E installation? We’ve been on the ground in Guam for more than 35 years, offering full-service moving, transportation, and installation services to our clients. We’d love to help you! Just request a free quote to get started.