Time for Procurement
W H A T Y O U C A N E X P E C T . . .
CONGRATULATIONS!! You are now moving into one of the final stages of your project. This is the final round, just before your installation/construction starts! This phase of the process is our transactional phase, known as Procurement. This is the time that's associated with buying products and scheduling services by way of research, negotiation, and even further planning. This will include creating and distributing Purchase Orders (P.O.s), receiving purchase requisitions, evaluating received RFQs, and arranging payments to suppliers/vendors.
Up until this point, our fees have been based on assumed/projected hours, to complete the design process. If you're reading this, then the design phase is now complete and we're halfway there! Now, at this stage, we cannot properly quantify how long the remainder of this process will take, as we place your project-outcome into the hands of other trusted vendors and partners. We will begin recording our activities and sending a monthly update on our progress, with an accompanying invoice. For most clients we budget a few hours of this procurement time into our Proposed Services--which means some of your hours are already covered. As a friendly reference, please see 3.3c of your signed agreement: "Following the completed hours of P1, P2, and P3, the client will be moved to an hourly billing cycle, which will be sent monthly, in which work was accomplished, as it pertains to the Project. Clients will receive detailed emails, each month, leading up to the invoice due date, which will outline the work performed. Design fees are due upon receipt of invoice."
To better understand what will happen in this phase of your project, we have broken this process down into the following stages...
In this phase, our team will now review all specification sheets, presentations, and notes pertaining to the project. These are in-house documents that have been created along the way, to properly communicate our concepts and intentions; some have been shared with the client while some have not. These sheets include details for all products to order as well as the costs of any outside services we will need--these may include contractors, art hangers, window treatment specialists, wallpaper hangers, electricians, kitchen designers, etc.
These documents technically house all goods and labor that will be needed to complete the project--to which you have already agreed, both in contract and in payment. But this part of the process is our opportunity to, once again, confirm that no component or aspect of the job will be overlooked.
Once all of the information has been confirmed and no additional items are missing, our administration team will enter all merchandise into our digital project management and product sourcing platform, specifically designed for our industry. This is where we house all of the proper details like fabric and frame selections, codes, SKUs, finishes, dimensions, changes/modifications, etc. Basically, we include any/all images/details that we believe are critical to ensuring the purchase of the correct item.
Depending on the scope of the project, we may spend a few hours, to several days, making sure all entries are properly entered.
PROJECT FINAL REVIEW:
When our administration team confirms that all product entries are entered and correct, a team meeting is held to review the entries once again. Not only are we looking for any errors/mistakes but we are also approving delivery locations, quantities, and any additional modifications another team member may want us to consider.
For reference, we generally ship all products to an outside receiver. However, for any smaller items that can be housed in our office, or can be shipped directly to the client's house, we prefer to take those alternative routes, so we can save money for the client, both on the storage and on the delivery fees.
At DDLLC, we strive to work with as many manufacturers as possible, in order to offer the highest quality products, at the best prices. To do so, we must establish relationships with known vendors, and act as retailers for their companies.
Just as an FYI, in many partnerships, the process to order a single SKU will not be as streamlined as a single retail purchase by general consumers. Instead, we must create and then issue a Purchase Order (P.O.) to a seller to indicate the type, quantities, etc, of our order. Depending on the vendor, there may be several checkpoints afterwards, to actually complete the single purchase. For example, after a vendor receives our P.O., they may issue an Acknowledgement to us, the buyer. From there, we must then return a response, in the form of a signature or written agreement, approving the Acknowledgement. Some vendors will even require us to fill out a payment application form, for each purchase--even if we have an ongoing and open account.
Our intention in detailing this information, is to explain why finalizing your order is not as simple as buying furniture online. Some responses can take minutes and others can take days--so the timeline is not so cut-and-dry. But to get the discounts we pass on to you, our favorite clients, we must comply with their procedures for transactions.
With all of that being said, at some point, all product orders will be placed! ^_^ Depending on the size of the project, this can be done in a couple of days, or could take up to two to three weeks to finalize. Generally, if we have provided any type of timeframe for installation, we have already considered this time constraint and have strategized accordingly--so no worries there. Subsequently, once the orders are placed, we will be tracking/monitoring the products' lifespan, which will continue to occur until the final installation date, which could be 3-12 months from date of inception. These confirmations will include acknowledgement of product, receipt of final fabrics/finishes, manufacturing acceptance and/or complexities, final construction recognition, cargo loading, shipment dates, arrival estimates, receipts of delivery by receiver, inspection and review, receiving codes, and updated client files. Lastly, these order confirmations will include re-selections of backordered, out-of-stock, discontinued, and/or misplaced items. Note: for re-selections, the lifespan cycle will start all over, in order to track the secured package.
As a friendly reminder, all products will either be shipped to our commercial receiver (or to our office) to be stored, inspected, and assembled. We will not send anything to the project-site, prior to the furniture installation, unless stated otherwise.
If your installation includes any type of remodel or renovation, we will be in touch separately, to discuss timeframes for work to begin. Typically, we schedule this after all of our product orders have been confirmed, to coordinate the furniture installation after the final days of construction.
As you can see, there will be so many moving parts and so many points of contact, to turning your spaces into something truly amazing! And we have decided to mention this so that our wonderful clients have a better understanding to what we will be working on, and why we charge for this time, over the coming weeks and months.
Lastly, please note, our team may fall silent for a bit during Procurement until product orders are completely confirmed. We are aware that you have recently signed our design proposals and have submitted a significant investment into your future--and we do not take this lightly! So, we just wanted to give you some insight into our process, to better understand what we will be doing in our time and with your money!!
For next steps...
We ask that you just hang tight and sit patiently, while we work our magic. This is going to be the absolute hardest part of this ENTIRE process--even harder than any construction you may have, if applicable. Once we place orders, everything will be out of our hands--and we are at the mercy of all vendors, manufacturers, and suppliers. While we have relationships with trusted partners, we (unfortunately) cannot control how/when shipments will arrive. But we always remain hopeful!!
As of today, our team will start prepping for/administering the ordering process and may pop-in with an email, here or there. If there is any need for reselections, we will surely touch base, as needed. Otherwise, once the orders are placed you'll receive an additional email confirmation. And after that, we will email you every two (2) to four (4) weeks with updates from our vendors/receiver, etc.
We know that this is a lot to take in, all at once, but if you have any questions or concerns--we will be happy to clarify any stage of the Procurement Phase.
Thank you so much for your trust in us!! At this time, we encourage you to sit tight, while our A-Team starts to bring your dreams to life!! ^_^