A young, lanky, yet muscular teenager rhythmically dribbles down the court. The speed of the dribble quickens as time ticks off the clock. At the precise moment, he passes to the left corner of the court to a teammate sprinting along the baseline. As the final seconds tick away, the teammate launches a dagger of a shot that zips through the net, sending family, friends, and fans into a frenzy.
This impactful moment was obviously brought to you by the supreme talent of the players involved. What’s less obvious is that, behind the scenes, a team of highly skilled professionals built an environment that allowed for this moment to take place. Facilities of all types, from large sports tourism destinations to community recreation centers require specific surfaces, equipment, and furnishings to be installed to ensure an excellent experience for participants and guests.
FF&E procurement is the process of purchasing and coordinating the furnishings, fixtures, and equipment necessary for a sports or recreation facility to operate properly. Items purchased during this process include sport flooring, synthetic turf, sports equipment, food & beverage equipment, site furnishings, and technology items.
An FF&E procurement team can be a tremendous ally to venue owners during the sports facility construction process by using long-standing relationships within their industry and volume purchasing power to generate a tremendous cost savings. They also save time by using their expertise to manage the entire process, including 100’s of design decisions, posting RFP’s and conducting bidder interest campaigns, gathering proposals, multiple coordination meetings, installation oversight, and oversight of accounting closeout.
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The FF&E Procurement Process
Identify Scope: The FF&E process starts with identifying the goals of the facility owner. Much of this will be informed by the facility type (sports tourism vs. community recreation vs event), its purpose (generating revenue, economic impact, etc.), and the needs of the end user. The budget and the requirements from the facility’s financial forecast are considered as well. Through this part of the process, it’s determined what success means for the venue. For municipalities, an examination of their procedures for procuring products and services is conducted. This ensures that the FF&E plan aligns with the client’s process.
Facility Development and Planning Session (FDPS): In this session, the FF&E team examines the site, space by space, to determine what items are needed. Through this process a specification sheet is produced, including the quantities for all items to be procured. This is a collaborative process with the client to also identify preferences in design and layout in addition to equipment needs. During this session, the FF&E team provides an initial design and project schedule review. The goals and objectives outlined in this session will provide critical benchmarks and guidelines for decision making throughout the project.
Bidder’s Interest Campaign: The specs gathered in the FDPS are sent to a national database of vendors who in turn bid on the project work. At the Sports Facilities Companies, we have developed relationships with elite vendors throughout the country, in part, because we are volume purchasers of their goods and services. This allows us to create value through savings and increased purchasing power.
Other early steps:
- Pre-qualifying Bidders/Suppliers
- RFP Generation
- RFP Notices and Advertisements
Many municipalities employ a formal bidding process to draw in and evaluate contractors and suppliers for projects. An experienced FF&E team can develop the Request for Proposal (RFP) based on the projects requirements and then promote it.
Bid Review and Recommendation: Once the bids are in, they are evaluated based on the quality of the product or service, pricing, the warranty, and maintenance policies, among other items. Recommendations are based on the initial scope and linking clients with the products and services that best position the facility to achieve its goals. Variables such as desired programming, competition levels, square footage, and budget influence recommendations as well.
Other steps include:
- Contract Negotiation
- Updating Construction Schedules
Procure Materials: Once items have been selected, they are procured, and onsite delivery is coordinated. The FF&E team works with vendors to ensure that your products are installed correctly, pass quality controls, meet specification, and are fully operational.
The following are key processes and deliverables after the procurement phase:
- Submittal and Sample Review
- Installation Coordination
- Change Order Management
- Project Site Meetings
- Progress Payment Review/ Invoice Review
- Quality Review / Contract Compliance Review
- Minor Variations in the Work
- Dispute Resolution with Vendors
- Project Cost Reports
- Construction Scheduling
Closeout Process: In this final step, the FF&E team provides a closeout document with details on all the design scopes that were led. This includes the proposals, contacts, and warranty information. They also provide the Wrap Report, which outlines the overall project and what was accomplished.
If you would like to learn more about the FF&E process and how it can impact your facility, contact us, or call us at 727-474-3845.