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No Such Thing As 'Too Careful'

When agreeing to be a designer and project manager for a client you are responsible for ensuring a smooth process – that’s why they’ve hired you after all, to handle all the mundane and annoying coordination that goes along with renovating and revamping a space. This is why there’s no such thing as being too careful. If you’re well into the process and feel something is off or could go wrong, check in with the contractor, vendor, manufacturer or shipper – whoever can get you an answer to conclude whether or not things are aligned properly or not. If everything’s fine then you’re just getting a good dose of relief, and if not, you may have an opportunity to fix the issue before it blows up into something bigger.

For example every detail needs to be in written form on your PO’s, especially for custom furnishings. PO’s should state the name of the product, SKU number, dimensions, construction method, finishes and any other details that would indicate how the manufacturer should fabricate the product. If you order a custom upholstery piece such as a sofa and the fabric chosen has a pattern or grain, the direction of that material should be specified on the PO. If this isn’t noted you can’t assume the manufacturer will know which direction you want it even if it may seem truly obvious.

Don’t worry about being excessive or fussy. Of course you want to have a good repertoire with your cross-functional teammates, but even if you end up annoying a shipper by checking the tracking a few times in one day to make sure a piece will arrive in time, who cares? Who cares is your client! If you guarantee their new dining table and set of chairs will arrive before their upcoming party you need to absolutely make sure of it. Your clients will appreciate you sticking to your word and the deadlines you set. Your reputation is at stake and you should go out of your way to safeguard it.

The bottom line is it doesn’t necessarily matter who’s to blame for the mishaps that may take place, as the designer they will always be on your head. Do yourself a favor and double-check everything. As the old saying goes, measure twice cut, once.

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