The demand for office space in the Philippines is expected to accelerate even further in the coming months as local and foreign investors flock to the country to ride on the country’s enviable growth numbers.
And as demand for office space grows, demand for office furniture and fittings will likely go up, too, thus spelling good tidings for five-year-old Manila Commercial Fit-out Corp. (MCFC), which is making a name for itself in office furnishings custom made according to each company’s specific requirements.
According to MCFC managing director Don Caringal, speed is the name of the game in commercial furniture as companies run on a tight schedule, with landlords or building owners usually providing just a month free to get the office up and running.
Delays will mean added cost as rent will begin to be collected as soon as that allotted time to complete the interiors is up. Plus there is the lost revenue opportunity that comes with delayed completion.
To cope with the tight deadline and continue to deliver on the agreed specifications at the agreed cost, MCFC invested in its own fabrication facility so that it can complete all aspects of production. Relying on imported products will mean being at the mercy of suppliers, plus dealing with unpredictable importation and delivery schedules.
“We expected a few years ago that speed of completion of a project will be a crucial factor and started to set up our own off-site fabrication called Dovetail. This build and install system allows us to start well ahead of the turnover of the site and has cut 20 percent of the time needed to do a traditional fabricate-on-site process,” Caringal said.
Prefabrication also means that most of the work can be done off-site, thus reducing the chances of getting noise or air quality complaints from the dust, crucial factors, considering that work will have to be done during office hours with other tenants in the building.
Depending on the size of the development, MCFC can turn over the unit from 45-60 days for a typical 1,000-2,000 square meter office space, a rapid development from its early days when it was working on 250-sqm offices.
“As we progressed in this business, we were able to put in innovations to make our work even faster and more efficient,” Caringal said.
From business process outsourcing offices, MCFC has expanded its portfolio to include offshore gaming offices and corporate offices, an indication, Caringal said, of the continuing growth in the Philippine economy.
“We are also building shared offices, which is another trend. We are also catering to startups and incubators,” he said.
The bustling business has encouraged MCFC to look into expanding outside Metro Manila, initially in Clark, Pampanga, and Cebu.
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