What does FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) mean to a bank architecture project? Depends on who you ask. Some consider it the pretty part. Some might think of it as the fun part. Others acknowledge it as a necessary part of the process. And more than a handful just want to know someone is handling it. Whatever thoughts and feelings you may have about FF&E, remember that it is an essential component of a financial institution architecture project, and it deserves some attention.
Regardless of the specifics of your branch, it will require FF&E. These items will contribute to the design of your lobby, offices, conference rooms and employee-only areas. They will become part of the experience you provide your customers, and they will be a representation of your brand.
For those who choose to go it alone, FF&E procurement can amount to one long, drawn-out process filled with missteps and confusion. There are vendors for every component of FF&E, some who cater to the financial industry and others with a more generalized approach.
FF&E logistics is more than just building out a procurement plan and ensuring you have the right number of everything. To illustrate the intricacy, navigating FF&E requires:
- Technical knowledge of bank equipment, furniture and materials
- Understanding a project’s requirements for alarms, security and cash management
- Preparing price estimates - FF&E can equate to 1-15 percent of project costs
- Developing budgets
- Preparing RFPs for vendors
- Making vendor and product choices
- Reviewing and tracking orders
- Timeline incorporation
- Planning and overseeing install
In the realm of financial architecture, it’s important to realize the impact FF&E has on achieving the functional requirements programmed for interior spaces. A well-designed bank interior allows visitors to intuitively know where they need to go in order to meet their needs. And a well-designed bank interior requires attention to FF&E.
Receiving FF&E Services
By working with an architectural firm who offers full FF&E services, all of the responsibility comes off of your shoulders. Maintaining vendor relationships, ensuring you have the right number of every item and managing FF&E logistics can all be handled by a firm with experience navigating these aspects.
Plus, receiving FF&E services through an architecture firm ensures the design integrity of the overall project is upheld within the tiniest details. This includes attention to budget control, opportunities for pricing advantages and project-bound shipping timelines.
Choosing an architect who includes FF&E services in their offering is one of the surest ways to ensure your project stays in alignment, from the largest concepts to the smallest details.