Shopfitting is not just design and manual labor. This would be too easy. Shopfitting is also about networking and knowledge. It is for this reason that professional shopfitters are a better choice for fitting projects than hiring separate carpenters, designers and laborers. While convenience also plays a part, of course, the specialized knowledge is key. By knowing the market and the sectors, the shopfitters play a role that is like that of a consultant.
Shopfitters use a lot of items in setting out the shop, from tables and chairs to light fixtures and railings and many other items depending on the store. Having a solid network of suppliers allows shopfitters to access better prices and reliable items of quality. Networking is a key aspect of shopfitting. Not only does it allow better pricing due to both economies of scale and the benefits of a reliable supplier network but it allows knowledge of the market. Suppliers can see trends that are not yet available to others since they have data that may not already be reflected. Put simply, suppliers know what everyone is buying when they buy it, which is before you see it already put up in shops. This can help the business that is now being fitted to avoid looking just like their neighbour or conversely decide if they too want to fit the trend.
Being a full source for shopfitting means more than just the actual labour or the conceptual phase. Being thorough and having excellent attention to detail is critical but the intangible aspects of shopfitting really help companies to continue to be successful. This is reflected in networking as said before but also in details such as organizing the shop fitting in a way that the project is broken down into phases that disrupt the workings of the shop as little as possible.
The ability to provide solutions across all sizes of shop and all budgets is also an important skill. Having a team that can work across a variety of projects means they are able to respond to changes in the original design with greater ease than teams that are fixated on specific and recurring designs they prefer to use. Teams that are not flexible are likely to recommend in their interest and not that of the owners.
These soft skills are all attributable to excellent communication. The quality of communication is what sets shopfitters apart since good fitting can really only be done when the idea of the project is firm. Of course, this only happens when the fitters and shop owners can communicate. However, it is too common that only the broadest sense of the project is communicated before work begins. Shopfitters who are serious about their work would communicate in detail at the design phase so the entire project is conceptualized not in a broad way but very specifically. Communication would not necessarily come to mind at first as an essential skill in shopfitting but it is certainly one of, if not the most, critical soft skill in shopfitting