Every project regardless of size has its share of complexities and challenges. Large projects clearly tend to have more by virtue of volume of work.
The role of interior design goes well beyond the remit of space plan, colours and finishes. Details on joinery, lux levels, fabric abrasion, heat & cooling loads, chemical composition and environmental footprint are all disciplines in of itself, let alone the responsibility of one Designer or a team of them.
So how do you balance all of it? Can you truly escape the myriad of technical submissions without making errors?
The short answer is “Unlikely”, however you can do a fair bit to mitigate these issues.
Give yourself the time to do a thorough job. This is easier said than done considering the project is almost always given a shorter timeline than needed. The video below needs no explanation and really sums up what designers can achieve given the right time to do it.
2. Value Engineering
Every client wants maximum value for their dollar, however ensuring you have a budget firmed up before you start the specification process can save a lot of time and specification issues down the road.
You may be asked to value engineer a lighting specification as a result of the client’s budget changing mid way through the project. Shifting to a lower priced product without the necessary certifications or project experience in the region.
A great tool to view data exports for number crunchers but not so appropriate for designers entering product details, images codes and locations. Formulas can easily get mixed up and are difficult to trace; copying & pasting wrong cells are also often a problem due to the monotony of repetition.
Systems also have automation built in. Eg: if you specify a task chair often, you want the system to pull up the attributes of the chair you use the most, similar to the hashtags you often use in your favourite social platform.
Repetitive tasks often have the most mistakes for obvious reasons, having a specification tool that accounts for your favourite choices and options brings about efficiency and accuracy in the long run.
Projects can stretch many months, losing team members to an enviable vacation or an emergency is more a reality than a one off. Ensuring your specifications, changes and approvals are all documented through a system can help you sleep easy while your teammate is away and help you pick up where they left off.
5. Using juniors instead of Seniors
This usually happens when estimating at the opportunity level has gone horribly wrong or a Senior has already utilized more time than they planned in a previous stage or project. Resource planning tools can help keep a design studio ahead of a resource crunch and ensure to have the necessary experience fresh and available for the job at hand.
No project is error free, however reducing the impact of the error is a manageable task. Reducing the impact on Time, Cost & Quality will help you grow your credibility and ensure your clients keep coming back.
This post is a part of the .STUDIO blog where we share insights and productivity tips for organizations and people in the interior design industry. We created .STUDIO to help design teams create FF&E specifications and organize product libraries while tracking sales and managing their projects.