Behind the Scenes of Hotel Development – The FFE
As the residential market continues to cool across Australia, developers are looking at ways to diversify their portfolios by moving into hotel projects. But many developers are underestimating the intense undertaking required from a furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) point of view.
The FFE process is crucial to a hotel development’s success, and it can be the difference between a project that operates seamlessly upon completion, or one that experiences numerous operational issues – however, the entire process can take a developer as long as 18-24 months to complete from concept design right through to installation.
According to Marc Conias, managing director and founder at PPS Tailored Furniture Solutions, developers need to understand that the FFE undertaking for hotel projects is large, but manageable – especially with the right contractors, manufacturers and management company assisting throughout the project.
“It’s important that a developer doesn’t underestimate the FFE timeline or just how complex the process can be. From design concepts, to choosing the right factories to manufacture the inventory – it’s a big undertaking for a project team”
Marc Conias, Managing Director and Founder PPS Tailored Furniture Solutions
For developers looking at undertaking a large-scale hotel development, this is the entire FFE process that they need to be prepared for:
1. Preliminary Design Concept
24 Months Prior to Installation
The initial step is for architects to develop a preliminary design concept and scope of works. This will guide the FFE process throughout the development phases, and ensure that the desired visual aesthetic is maintained in the hotel upon completion.
2. Create Mock Up Room & Build Inventory
24-21 Months Prior to Installation
Once the preliminary design concept has been completed, a mock up hotel room will be completed to give the project team a visual representation of the FFE requirements.
From this, the FFE team will be able to begin building an inventory of what items will need to be built and installed.
3. Tendering Process
21-18 Months Prior to Installation
Managed by the project’s FFE dedicated company, the tendering process is a crucial step to identifying the best factories, products and warehouses for the project – both on and off shore.
The process could involve up to 10 suppliers and factories for the one project, and the FFE management company will need to secure tenders from each supplier in order to meet project requirements.
At this stage, the suppliers will also identify any required design changes as well as providing alternate cost saving methods when it comes to manufacturing the inventory.
4. Manufacturing Pricing & Identifying Difficulties
18-16 Months Prior to Installation
The FFE team will receive pricing from various manufacturers, who will also identify and advise on any potential difficulties that can be expected with the design or finishes.
The developer can then address these issues with the architect to resolve these issues and re-design what’s required.
5. Final Design Agreement
16-15 Months Prior to Installation
All parties involved in the project approve the final designs and all required inventory to be manufactured is sent to the relevant factories.
The factories will then provide final pricing for their tenders.
6. Sample Selection
15-13 Months Prior to Installation
Prior to commencing mass production, samples for all products will be specified and chosen for manufacturing and inspection.
7. Design Changes Finalised
13-11 Months Prior to Installation
If there are any design changes to any products, or changes to the required manufacturing – these will need to be resolved and finalised with the architect and the relevant factories before proceeding to mass production.
8. Mass Production Commences
8-3 Months Prior to Installation
At this stage, all designs have been finalised and mass production commences in order to produce all goods and inventory required for the project.
This stage should also include full quality assurance inspections and reports throughout the entire manufacturing process.
9. Freight & Importation of Goods
12-6 Weeks Prior to Installation
When all inventory has been manufactured, the goods are freighted from off-shore to a local storage facility – where they will be ready for installation.
6 Weeks Prior to Completion
Once the project is ready for installation, all products will be installed in one line or in a staged process – depending on the completion program for the development.
11. Project Completion & Hotel Operational
All products are successfully installed, and ready for the hotel to begin operations.
Developers who are looking at diversifying into hotel developments need to be aware of the arduous nature of the FFE process, and be willing to take the time needed to ensure that every step is completed in order to deliver a successful end-product.
Despite the lengthy time commitment required, the assistance of a dedicated FFE team can make the entire process operate seamlessly – resulting in an entire inventory of products that are on-brand, high-quality and are going to be enjoyed by future visitors.