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Scottsdale Interior Designer | SMART LUXURY: Procurement

Posted August 27, 2014 by & filed under

During any major project—both new builds and remodels—there are generally two distinct aspects: construction and what we call Soft Furnishings. The term soft furnishings can be slightly deceiving as not everything involved in this aspect is literally soft, but it suffices as a distinguishing term. All of the stages of Smart LuxuryTM that have been discussed so far are typically, in some form or another, found in both the pre-construction period of a new build project as well as the construction aspect of a major remodel. However, the preconstruction aspect is complete with the submission of the Spec Binder with, of course, additional time for Project ReviewTM as needed.

Let’s go back for a moment to the discussion on Design DevelopmentTM.  The same process that was discussed in relation to the construction aspect takes place for the finishes and furnishings. Sometimes this occurs simultaneously, other times the Soft Furnishings aspect follows the submission of specifications. No matter the timing, the process remains the same so we will not rehash that stage at this point. The procurement process is its own stage. Consider, for a moment, that a single accent pillow requires, on average, 4 separate vendors to complete. Each vendor requires approximately 10 data points to complete their piece of the order. That single order will need to be touched a minimum of 5 times by IMI staff (the designer’s initial design with required information, the creation and submission of the purchase order to the vendor, receipt of the acknowledgement from the vendor and any details that need to be adjusted, at least one tracking follow up and then receipt of the item and payment of the vendor). Now multiply that by all the pillows, furniture items, window and wall treatments and other accessories throughout the entire house and there are literally thousands and thousands of pieces of information that are involved in the Procurement Stage of the Smart LuxuryTM Program.

Managing the massive quantity of information and details that are required to keep a project flowing smoothly and ensure the accurate creation, delivery and installation of the selected items is no small feat. An additional aspect of the Procurement Stage is the cost of the pieces themselves. IMI works closely with numerous fabricators and installers and has long term relationships that make pricing available to our clients that are not generally available to the general public. In turn, IMI passes all of these discounts and savings on to the client. One point that needs to be highlighted, however, is that often times the delivery and installation of projects can be delayed by factors outside the control of IMI’s procurement team or even our vendors. IMI places orders from vendors from around the world. Each location has its special challenges. Some countries close down for various holidays that do not exist in the US; perhaps a flood or other natural disaster has occurred and damaged a mill and delayed a fabric order; perhaps international political situations have caused Customs delays of days or even weeks at various ports of entry. We have experienced all of these things and we always hate passing this news on to the client. We know how exciting the design process is and how eager everyone is to see it come to fruition. But we do like for our clients to know it is a possibility and that is why we are here: to handle the stress for you.