Our Process

Organizational Approach

At the commencement of a project, Ferguson Cox Associates clearly defines the project requirements, preliminary budget, human resource issues, furniture management team structure and, as appropriate, clarifies the project responsibilities of other consultants.

A framework is established for information exchange and interaction with the Client, Architect and other team members together with the appropriate authorizations and approval procedures.

The Client will identify a representative to provide a single point of contact to ensure clear channels of communication. Project information will be organized in summary format to facilitate decision-making, with the appropriate supporting detail required for auditing purposes. Report formats will be established at the onset of the project.

Ferguson Cox Associates institutes and sets the agenda for regularly scheduled “furniture” meeting with the Client. Meeting minutes, an Open Items List and Status Reports are used to monitor work in progress and to keep the team informed.


Project Data is managed by FACTS (Furniture Asset Computer Tracking System), a proprietary relational database, developed by Ferguson Cox Associates. The database is built on open standards, and can be integrated or customized with ease.

FACTS tracks furniture data throughout the entire project lifecycle. FACTS reports are robust and instantly updateable, allowing real-time distribution of project-critical data via email or fax.

FACTS provide powerful and unique financial reporting as well. Costs can be allocated by any grouping the client desires, whether it by cost center, building, floor, or individual item. Using FACTS dynamic cost allocation feature, a furniture item’s final cost can include shipping, warehousing, and installation.

From budgeting to specification, bidding, and ordering, FACTS provides an integrated environment that allows project managers access to vital information when they need it.


Goal: To establish an accurate, realistic magnitude of cost estimate and to ensure that furniture expenditures are commensurate with value and the Client’s facilities goals. Ferguson Cox Associates’ budget also provides an appropriate allocation of spending and guides the Client and other team members in monitoring costs. It establishes realistic spending guidelines against which cost savings generated by Ferguson Cox Associates can be measured. Ferguson Cox Associates’ budget document is comprehensive to anticipate and capture all costs on a line-by-line basis.

Methodology: Ferguson Cox Associates establishes budget parameters through assigning finite dollar allocations by category of furniture type. These allocations are based upon the interpretation of design intent, as reflected in the architect’s furniture plans and preliminary office typicals. Ferguson Cox Associates will validate any items for which the architect has provided specific allocations.

Included in Ferguson Cox Associates’ budget are allowances for items such as attic stock and refinishing plus a contingency for user revisions and field conditions. Preliminary pricing is gathered as manufacturers are evaluated in preparation for the mock-up selection process. List prices and preliminary discounts based upon projected quantities for purchase are used to further refine the budget document.

The financial analysis to determine the appropriate level of existing furniture re-use takes into account estimated costs associated with refurbishing as well as the logistical considerations that may necessitate the rental of temporary furniture.

Deliverables: Furniture and Furnishings Estimate, Room Type Cost Report, Comparative Budget Report, and Executive Budget Summary


Goal: To provide a dynamic project tool that establishes key benchmark deadlines for all furniture management activities, including decisions and approvals. The schedule is the monitoring instrument ensuring that all tasks are accurately accounted for, so that ordering and delivery proceed on time to meet the Client move-in date and that on-time payments are maintained. The schedule takes into account revisions that will occur after orders are entered.

Methodology: Ferguson Cox Associates will prepare and maintain for the life of the project a Furniture Management Master Schedule document with critical dates and activities. This document charts the overall furniture delivery and installation process. All parties review it so that consensus is achieved between the Client, Architect, construction manager and technology team.
The Furniture Management Master Schedule takes into consideration the following activities of other team members whose work precedes and impacts Ferguson Cox Associates’, so that risks to the furniture management process may be realistically assessed and managed:

  • Overall construction schedule and sequence of floor to floor completion
  • Long lead construction items that may delay completion
  • Coordination with custom millwork trade
  • Coordination with electrical, voice and data wiring trades
  • Sequence of floor to floor carpet installation completion
  • Pre-move activities required to be in conformance with public assembly codes
  • Pre-move activities for user support groups, such as cafeteria, trading rooms, accounting department etc.

Working backward from targeted furniture delivery dates, Ferguson Cox Associates establishes a furniture manufacturing strategy, which assesses the following:

  • Factory production reservations and lead times
  • Pre-manufacturing requirements (i.e. COM’s, shop drawings and sample submittals)
  • Required factory lead time for any order revisions and order entry deadlines

Working backwards from order entry, Ferguson Cox Associates establishes a plan for producing and processing purchase orders upon an assessment of the following:

  • Projected dates for receiving approved specifications and drawings
  • Required lead time for Client to cut purchase orders and checks for deposits
  • Factory order entry deadlines

Working backwards from the Client’s final sign-off on all interior design plans and documentation, including finishes, construction details and dimensions, Ferguson Cox Associates establishes a specifications plan upon an assessment of the following:

  • Conceptual design presentation
  • Date of final budget approval
  • Completion of architect’s selections
  • Competitive bidding
  • Finalization of specification details
  • Negotiations and final contracts

In anticipation of accommodating last minute changes and / or transit damage, Ferguson Cox Associates traditionally orders a segment of the final floor for early manufacture and delivery, affording a safety net of components for immediate delivery.

Deliverables:  Furniture Management Condensed Master Schedule, Furniture Management Design Development Schedule, Purchase, Delivery and Installation Schedule, and Delivery/Installation Calendar

Product Evaluation

Goal: To assure product recommendations meet budgetary guidelines, that architect’s design intent is interpreted correctly by manufacturers and to communicate clear performance expectations to manufacturers.

Methodology: Ferguson Cox Associates reviews architect’s program and design criteria for each product category (i.e. workstations, private offices, seating). Aesthetic, technical and dimensional requirements are defined. Non-standard finishes and COM’s are identified. Ferguson Cox Associates prepares document packages and meets individually with each manufacturer to relay the information. Each manufacturer is requested to submit a complete specification package to include typical drawings, finish samples for approval and preliminary pricing. Where required, samples of COM’s are submitted to the manufacturers for application testing.

Ferguson Cox Associates reviews manufacturer’s specification and pricing submittals for accuracy. Ferguson Cox Associates develops an evaluation format and gathers the necessary technical information for the team to consider.

Deliverables: Casegoods Comparison, Preliminary Workstation Pricing, and Systems Furniture Product Comparison

Project Administration

Goal: To provide the Client with the necessary assistance to properly administer furniture procurement activities, support the Client through the implementation process and tie back expenditures to cost center allocations as required by the individual project.

Methodology: Ferguson Cox Associates reviews the Client’s standard procedure for purchasing with the objective of anticipating the necessity to process orders and checks without delay. The time required for the Client’s approval process is anticipated in the Furniture Management Master Schedule.

Ferguson Cox Associates’ Purchase Orders may be used as stand alone documents or as attachments to the Client’s own Purchase Orders. All information necessary to ensure accurate production, shipping and invoicing is included within the order. This benefits clients without a furniture related Purchase Order system in place.

Ferguson Cox Associates provides a system for distributing purchase orders to furniture manufacturers. Product orders are organized on a floor-by-floor basis and separated into categories consistent with the intended delivery sequence.

Ferguson Cox Associates’ Purchase Order Status Report is a working document to monitor: Purchase Order issue dates, deposits, and progress and proforma payment requirements. Cash Flow Schedules are developed as required.

Deliverables: Purchase Orders, Purchase Order Status Report, and Cash Flow Schedules

Field Supervision

Goal: To monitor the progress of Delivery and Installation as it relates to furniture management issues and to anticipate and resolve conditions that ensue.

Methodology: Ferguson Cox Associates reviews and addresses issues such as field dimensioning, elevator schedules and access path into the Client’s building. Ferguson Cox Associates’ field supervisors coordinate the required contract labor force in the field.

A verification process for delivery and receiving is organized to include the manufacturers’ and installer’s participation, assuring ownership of their individual project responsibilities.

Acceptable installation guidelines are predetermined and reviewed with the installer prior to commencement of work, thereby limiting unnecessary punch list items at point of substantial completion.

Ferguson Cox Associates’ field supervisors standardly anticipate remaining in the field to resolve fine-tuning and minor adjustments that occur after move-in.

Deliverables: Field Punch List Reports, Job Site Walk-Through, Product Acceptance/Release Form, Damage Report, Field Labor Request, and Substantial Completion Form