Whenever you go on a first date, it can seem awkward to talk about long term goals, plans, or babies...? In a similar fashion, when you meet with your dispatch furniture vendor for the first time and they start asking you questions about elevators and trailers, it might seem like they’re jumping the gun. You might be thinking, “Whoa there, cowboy! I just want to get a drawing!” You were probably prepared to answer all the standard questions like: “How many positions? What is your preferred configuration? How will your equipment change? What’s the budget?”
So what about the nitty-gritty stuff and why does it even matter?
It doesn’t seem important to talk about dispatch furniture installation during an initial meeting, but there’s no time like the present to be thinking about the next steps. Not to mention how things can directly affect your budget! The best way to avoid delays and unnecessary expenses is to start having conversations about this as soon as you can.
Here are some questions you should expect when getting your next dispatch furniture proposal and why the answers are important:
- Is your Center 53’ trailer accessible? Do you have a loading dock?WHY? Most furniture is brought into agencies via trailer. Your desks will be delivered and the trailer will go on to the next lucky agency. If you CAN’T accommodate a 53’ trailer, you’re furniture vendor will have to plan for that and adjust accordingly.
- If you have existing furniture, who is going to break it down & dispose of it?
WHY? It’s exciting to think about your new furniture, but what’s going to happen with the old stuff? You might NOT have the budget to hire someone for the breakdown and removal of your existing furniture, so make sure you investigate who is going to do what. You don’t want to be the one stuck with a sledgehammer!
- Do you have a dumpster onsite for use?
WHY? If you’re trashing your old furniture, it’s got to go somewhere! Or ask if your DPW can take care of it. Maybe you have a new building getting furniture, why do you need dumpsters? Remember how the desks are coming via trailer? Well those bad boys will be on pallets and those will have to get trashed, too.
- Do you have a freight elevator?
WHY? If your Comm Center room is in the basement or any other floor besides ground level, there may need to be a plan in place to get the furniture from the ground floor to the room. If you don’t have a freight elevator, this could take more time to unload the truck(s) and trust us, you’ll want an accurate timeline for install.
- Where will you be staging furniture
WHY? So a 53’ trailer coming to drop off you new furniture, but where’s it going to go? Leaving furniture in your parking lot is not ideal, to say the least. Think about available training rooms and basement space you could free up and use during install. If you’re literally in a full house, your vendor might have to rent a container and you’ll want that in the budget for sure!
- Is it a live cut-over?
WHY? If you can relocate your dispatchers when you’re installing your new workstations, you could save time and money. It’s important for your vendor to know if your Comm Center room will be empty so they can plan and quote you the appropriate amount of time and labor.
This might seem like a lot to think about for a first meeting – and it is! But, getting new furniture, takes a lot of planning, which is probably why you only do it once every 10+ years. Starting to think about these questions will not only help you plan ahead, but can also help avoid hiccups later down the line. Help your vendor get you the most accurate quote and be ready for these questions!