Crafting the Office Furniture Request For Proposal by iupon13


									?If you are deciding the best possible fit for your office, chances are that you have
spoken to many vendors whom may ask you for a request for proposal. Responding to
an RFP is an expensive and time-consuming piece of work, too. If you craft your RFP
in too general a fashion, you'll create a formidable challenge for unfortunate vendors
who will have to go back and forth asking you to make the questions more specific
and then answering these questions. Even thought this may be a bulky task to undergo
it is in your best interest that you become as familiarized with the products'
specifications as you are with the business whom will be handling it for you. Only a
really in-depth, comprehensive RFP will make it easy for potential vendors to draw up
their proposals and save your own time in the long run.
A lot of consideration should go into crafting an RFP (Request for Proposals) to office
furniture dealers and distributors supplying technology-compatible modular office
systems. Some managers may place more weight on certain considerations over others,
but should insist that their vendors strive to meet all of the following desirable

1. Panel Considerations

You should focus on the strength and rigidity when in use and the factors that enables
the systems to remain distortion-free during MACs. A new approach called
off-modular design allows much greater freedom in locating bins, shelves and divider
Newer technologies such as knockdown and ready-to-assemble structural elements
overcome traditional restrictions and, as a bonus, add flexibility while reducing
production and erection costs. These new features give designers and installers
virtually unlimited options in task tailoring today's office and workspace layouts.
Another benefit of this new construction technology is the stackable panel frame - an
innovation taking office furniture systems literally to the next level. Load-bearing
walls 30 inches to ceiling high can be constructed, moved and reconfigured quickly
and efficiently to create spaces in harmony with the work being performed or support
a wholesale job change.

2. Cable Management

Cable management for power and voice/data/video is a major challenge to be
addressed in technology-intensive workplaces. Vendors should confirm that their
cabling installers are trained and certified for power and data installations, and that all
wiring and cabling conform to local codes. Power systems should not share channel
space with voice and data systems, and should be available for positioning either
above or below the work surfaces.
Manufacturers of modular office furniture systems may claim to have addressed cable
management in their designs. Here's a sample of what managers should look for:

?   Certified conformance to TIA/EIA TSB 75 and TIA/EIA -568-A
? Dedicated power and dedicated voice/data cable pathways
? Consolidation points supporting a zoned cable infrastructure
? An internal structural design that supports the concept of "fanned out cable
management" behind easily removed and replaced panel tile segments
?     Disconnect blocks that connect horizontal cabling from the telecommunications
closet to the workstation cabling to permit isolating and testing circuits without
removing cable terminations
?     A simple "plug-and-play" design allowing personnel equipped with a minimum
of training to add, remove or reposition workspaces or cabling without disrupting the
entire office
? Lay-in cabling runs outside structural framing but behind modular removable
office wall tiles. This provides more cabling capacity, pathway options and easier
? Concealed cable management anchor points for slack cable storage
? Easily installed data ports in several work area options

3. Data Throughput

Data throughput, otherwise phrased as the data handling capacity of the office
network, is a subject of its own. Companies will continue to wrestle with the tradeoff
between costs and the efficiencies gained with high-capacity networks.
These throughputs are required to accommodate massive file transfers or download,
lighting speed Internet access and full-motion video to the workplace. A companion
decision, also a subject of its own, is what medium to use for office data cabling.
However, analyzing your needs in detail and making sure all your requirements are
included in the document isn't enough either. Here are a few main things that should
be included in your proposal:

1. Information About Your Company
2. IT Standards
3. Reasons for Requesting a Proposal
4. Project Description
5. Time Limit
6. Proposal Description
7. Requested Information About a Vendor
8. Perfect Vendor's Image
9. Criteria for Proposal Evaluation
10. Confidentiality

Sam Inci is a technical writer on
Office Furniture and Systems Furniture for MaiSpace.

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