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Pick a Pro, Save Time: Benefits of Early Collaboration When Setting Up a Construction Field Office

Growing and managing a small business from an entrepreneurial perspective takes more than just talent and determination. Knowing when to partner up with key collaborators can make all the difference, and that’s especially true in the construction business.
Every project manager knows that any given project is bound to have tons of moving parts, each of which could easily outpace the budget. Cost control, making the most of available resources, and maximizing productivity are key to keeping the entire project on time, and on budget.
One of the best ways to ensure things run smoothly throughout any project is to start with an efficient construction field office. After all, when you’re on site, this will be your home away from home (or office away from the office), so you need to make sure it’s up and running quickly, and equipped to boost productivity.
Melanie Jones, Regional Business Development Executive at CORT Furniture, is at the forefront of an exciting movement that’s changing the way furniture is used in workplaces of all types. She has been sharing the benefits of the “Furniture as a Service” (FaaS) model with landlords, commercial realtors and project management teams since she joined the company in 2015. She’s provided us with some insight into how furniture rental can help businesses set up and execute a project.

Flexibility and Cost Containment

Project management is all about dealing with the curveballs that come along on any given day. Staying lean and agile allows the team to successfully weather the ride along the way.
"In nearly every major market in the U.S., we support field planning and satellite offices,” says Jones. “No one has a crystal ball, and maintaining flexible options is especially critical in these situations. With CORT, many of our clients enjoy national account benefits. They work with a single point of contact, maintain standardized pricing, and are able to outfit or change an office or temporary housing within hours, in some cases."
The cost of building materials and increasing building sizes tend to put extra pressure on a project's profitability. When a construction or engineering firm can leverage the power of renting furniture for their own teams, they gain a new level of financial and operational freedom.
Choosing furniture rental for construction projects allows project managers to pay for exactly what’s needed, for as long as it’s needed. It also provides access to a larger inventory than many companies can maintain on their own. This leads to an array of other cost-saving benefits — there’s no need to buy the furniture, pay for storage, or deal with maintenance and repairs, and transportation to and from the site is also taken care of.

Furnishing Your Construction Field Office

Those in charge have nearly endless details on their minds, so why not let someone else handle furnishing the construction field office? With the right partner, project managers can keep the focus exactly where it needs to be — on the project — without sacrificing great office space. Even better, furniture rental means that field offices can be quickly set up to minimize downtime in the early phases.
Every field office is different, with unique needs and size requirements. Selecting the furnishings that best meet the needs of the location and having the ability to customize each field office is a game changer. Plus, the ability to keep the furnishings for as long or as little as they’re needed keeps costs low. Jones sums it up best, "The costs of outfitting the workplace are flexible. The furniture can be returned, changed, or moved as plans evolve."

Scalability for Your Temporary Jobsite

Working in construction, energy, or engineering is exciting, fast-paced, and demanding. FaaS supports any industry by providing a fast and flexible solution that can pivot on a dime. In helping clients, Jones says, “I ask, 'What is the end game?' If owning furniture for a long-term assignment is the goal, then that’s the right decision. However, if uncertainty lurks, if having to manage assets and dispose of them after a project is less desirable, or if conserving capital is beneficial, a conversation with CORT is a smart move," she says.
In fact, it turned out to be a great move by one of CORT’s national partners, JE Dunn Construction, when they helped Google build a facility in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Jones recalls, “They needed to create workstations for a team of approximately 100 employees for 24 months. The teams at JE Dunn prefer to stay asset light and leverage the Furniture as a Service model whenever possible. Years ago they decided they were tired of having to dispose of furniture after a project, or worse yet, find a place to house it until another project came along that needed similar furniture.”
Instead, they turned to CORT for everything necessary to create a comfortable working environment. As Jones says, “From cubicles, to conference rooms, lounge areas, to kitchens, ice markers and break room spots. It’s so easy.”

FaaS Provides Ultimate Flexibility


Ultimately, FaaS provides the flexibility needed not only to successfully set up a construction field office, but also to successfully navigate the fluid environment of construction management. CORT designs, installs and then removes the entire set up when the project is complete. And if change is needed between delivery and pick-up, CORT is a phone call away, so project managers don’t have to take any time away from the job site to get everything accomplished.