FF&E stands for Furniture, Fixtures And Equipment – it is an essential part of every commercial building project. We explain in short what FF&E is and how we manage your FF&E procurement in China to generate cost savings while getting high quality products.
FF&E is a common expression in the construction industry, that describes interior assets of a building, which have no permanent connection – such as interior fittings, furniture, and lights. The expression FF&E is also used in the accounting of building projects to summarize these tangible assets in one umbrella term. Especially for hotels, casinos, and restaurants FF&E is an important part of the initial investment.
The first part of FF&E refers to all kind of loose furniture and case goods, such as chairs, tables, desks, beds, and alike, which are not being build in or fixed in the room. It does not include fixed furniture, such as build in closets, kitchen units or other joinery that is actually installed.
The second part refers to all kind of products that are fixed in the space. These are furniture that are actually installed and fixed in some way, such as build in closets or headboards. But it also includes light fittings, ceiling fans, wall sconces, and even plumbing fixtures such as toilets, bath tubs and wash hand basins.
The last part of FF&E is equipment and it refers widely to operational equipment or electronic equipment, such as telephones, computers, and office equipment. Sometimes even automotive equipment is considered to be part of FF&E. In hospitals this equipment also includes medical instruments. For hotels and restaurants it can be difficult to differentiate FF&E with OS&E, which stands for operating supplies & equipment.
Before the FF&E procurement for a project can begin, the design team and interior designers need to specify all kind of furniture, fixtures and equipment that shall be used in a building. It is common to work out a Bill of Quantities (BoQ), which is overseen by the quantity surveyor, that lists all products with proprietary specifications. Based on the specifications and the BoQ the project team can set a budget. Normally the business owner oversees and solely approves the budgets. When building a hotel, that will be run by a hotel chain, it is also common that the hotel operator is already involved at this stage. Hotel operators, such as the Hilton or Radisson Group, are key decision makers and point out brand standards, and often even try to push in their own procurement provider. Once the BoQ is specified and the budget is set, the project team will award a procurement provider or start a tender process.
When we are being involved as a contractor or procurement provider, we are starting with quoting the entire BoQ. Based on our prices, the budget can be adjusted, and we are even able to value engineer specifications to reach a lower budget. We will then work in close cooperation with the interior designer to manufacture all required FF&E. Before starting bulk production we hand in finishing and material samples, and manufacture mock-ups for final review and approval.