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  • Mariki Terblanche

The Future of Procurement and Budget Control

Updated: Jun 28

At SBDS we try to improve on the procurement process to give the client as much control possible while simplifying the presentation so that they can make informed decisions on a micro scale.


Although we do not usually write self-promoting blog posts, the Management Team at SBDS felt that one particular piece of work by Ms Danming Chen was worth a mention.


Ms Chen was tasked with providing an interior architecture budget to an international client involved in a luxury housing development. It is standard practice at SBDS for these kinds of developments, and in order to give the client increased control over the money spent, Ms Chen broke the budget down on a room by room basis.


However, the level of detail that Ms Chen went into and the way she approached the task, left us all speechless.


Ms Chen started by establishing a general pricing level for each design element in the budget such as floor finishes, skirtings, wall finishes, ceilings, etc. This was presented in both Rands and Dollars so that the client could better understand the pricing level used. An extract of the pricing level document is presented below:




Ms Chen then used the pricing level rates to populate the room by room budget breakdown, allowing the client to see what the current design will cost for each individual room in the house. An extract of the one room is presented below:




The final document consisted of 46 pages of detailed room by room cost information, giving the client the ability make decisions and control the budget on a micro-level.


We believe that this type of control is the future of procurement, especially in the wake of Covid and a focus on re-purposing existing office buildings into mixed use / residential developments.


An interior fit out budget that is broken down into this level of detail will provide developers the control needed to spend their money where it will make the most impact, reducing unnecessary expenditure in areas that do not provide a return.


The initial pricing structure is costed after detail discussion of mood boards and design principals with the architects at the very early concept design stage. The whole project can be controlled and the effect of each element on the budget can be discussed in the first concept presentation. All prices in the pricing level rates, are linked in an excel spreadsheet. The client can instantly, during the presentation see the effect of his choices. This cuts down the time and effort of the design team in making adjustments/redesigns to meet the budget.


We would like to thank Ms Chen for her dedication and hard work in preparing this amazingly useful document. We hope to implement this approach on more projects going forward.


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