Posted January 24, 2011 by Ty Franke 

Project Timing: Complete It, then Welcome Them Back to Campus!

As busy as your campus can be this time of year, the time to plan a furniture installation project is now! There are several reasons for this, but it only takes a few to justify getting a head start on this year's project.

The final few weeks before the academic year can be one of the most hectic times on a campus. Preparing for the return of students and making sure your building is in perfect shape is time consuming. Add to this the large furniture project that is still waiting to ship from the factory, and you have my favorite recipe for a stressful start to the new academic year.

Assuming you have chosen the brand you want for this furniture project, which can be a long process in itself, the project now begins. But you have a completion target of early August, so why start now?

Here's why:  

  1. Whether it is a banquet chair, lounge seat, or sofa, you are required to specify a fabric, frame finish, leg finish, back height, seat height, arm style, leg style, cushion style, ganging option, wood stain, and more. Consider how many people will be involved in the decision process, and you quickly begin to see why you want to start early.
  2. Factory lead times can often be 8–12 weeks as the rush begins—that is three months, which means a factory may need an order in hand by May to deliver before students are back on campus.
  3. The above scenario assumes that the fabric is in stock in the volume that you need for your furniture. The bottom line with fabrics is that the earlier you order or specify the fabric, the better your chance that it is in stock. Once the factory has the fabric, they have all the materials to manufacture your furniture.
  4. Many factories close for a short period between May–July, usually for about two weeks to retool, inspect, and prepare for another year. So subtract two more weeks off of your target date.
  5. Furniture projects are often large, capital purchases, which means that your purchasing department may need to go through a bid process. How long this takes depends on your campus, but it can exceed 30 days in many cases.

Now that you have the inside information, you should feel compelled to start your next project sooner than later—it will put a smile on your face in late August when those students return to their beloved campus to sleep on those new sofas!

Need a furniture quote? Visit the ACUI Procure website for a quick quote today!




Ty Franke

Ty Franke is the Business Development Manager at Traf-Sys Walker Wireless.

Ty is responsible for the daily activities of ACUI Procure group buying program. He also serves as secondary support for a wide array of corporate partnership services for ACUI.


Great insight, Ty. I've found myself behind the 8 ball before with furniture order timing, so this is a nice reminder to start planning. For those ACUI members attending the annual conference in Chicago, a special off-site experience is being offered that is a great tie-in with Ty's post. Delegates can pre-register for an off-site experience on the Wednesday afternoon of the conference to see contract furnishing vendor showrooms at Merchandise Mart, the 2nd largest commercial building in the world. A variety of vendors will be opening their showrooms for a private showing to delegates for a meet and greet and opportunity to see the latest and greatest in interior design furnishings (fabrics, office furniture, lounge furniture, meeting room tables/chairs, floor coverings, etc.). Three floors of the Mart house more than 100 showrooms of contract furnishings. For anyone coordinating a project in the next couple of years, no matter how big or small, this opportunity will be a great way to "test drive" furniture and conveniently compare products in person all in one place. Save time and money by taking advantage of this unique opportunity! The best part of this... it only costs an extra $5 (enough to get you to and from the Mart via the subway). Registration for this experience is still available as an add-on to your existing registration by visiting: Don't miss this unique opportunity! -Ryan City Tour Coordinator 2011 Chicago CPT
Ryan Willerton
Comment posted 01/25/2011 12:49 AM
Please remember that various vendors change fabrics and materials periodically and that is often near the end of Summer and sometimes the end of the calendar year. Ask your vendors when they anounce such changes and either be prepared to pick another fabric/material selection or bump your order forward so materials can be ordered before the change to new items. We have had this happen a few times and it puts a real handicap on pushing to meet a new Semester with everything installed.
Eric Johnson
Comment posted 01/31/2011 9:40 AM
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