Regulation & Realization
How GSA Projects Work
We do a lot of GSA work at Interiors by Guernsey.
“[Government office furniture jobs] trickle in every week it seems like,”
says John Sites, the Furniture, Space Planning & Design Project Manager for our northern headquarters. We’re talking with him over the phone, but you can hear the fond smile in his voice.
Working with the government is uniquely challenging, but it’s a challenge John relishes.
“[It’s] not like a commercial industry where people will cut corners to save money. The view is that it has to function because the government can’t cut corners and can’t fail.”
Instead of worrying about budget from the get-go, government clients generally have buying contracts in place with approved GSA office furniture manufacturers and pricing already locked in, so the focus is more on functionality than cost. Even with the pricing locked in deals still must go through procurement, though. It’s a detailed process that requires lots of communication and forethought. For the Interiors team, that means staying on our toes and bringing every ounce of experience to the table.
The process involves more people, and that’s to the client’s benefit. To stay organized and on top of such complex jobs, the Interiors team takes a slightly different tack, adding a few extra steps to our system. For example, we work closely with our manufacturers on the pricing and timing of each quote. In fact, every factory we work with has a representative dedicated specifically to government jobs to ensure that no one ends up in a regulation rut.
More than the practical approach to funds though, GSA clients are great to work with because they take a real interest in how the space is going to function and whether the design truly meets their needs. This big-picture outlook is something that Interior’s project managers, like John, make sure to bring to the table for all clients. Working with the government makes for a nice meeting of the minds when it comes to the importance of functionality.
Budget is king and regulation a tyrant in most of our minds, but in spite of all the regulations and complexity, or perhaps even because of them, the Interiors team finishes GSA jobs cleanly and efficiently every time. Perhaps it’s that those regulations help us realize what really matters in each job. Pretty furniture is lovely, but it’s the work that’s done that cannot and will not fail.