Workflow Guides

Collaborative Owner Furnished Contractor Installed (OFCI)

This guide will walk you through the concept known as OFCI – Owner Furnished, Contractor Installed. We'll explain why owners furnish their own equipment and how you can best collaboratively manage the process.

What is OFCI?

Typically general contractors are responsible for furnishing the materials and equipment that a construction project will consume. The acronym OFCI means Owner Furnished, Contractor Installed. This term refers to any owner supplied equipment or materials that are installed by a contractor.

OFCI materials can be anything from specialized equipment such as the machinery in a factory to custom light fixtures. It could also be more mundane materials, such as structural steel or aggregate for site preparation. 

Why do Owners Choose to Furnish Their Own Equipment?

An owner typically negotiates directly with a supplier to combine buying power across their program. Aggregated purchasing results in economies of scale such as reduced costs and sometimes better lead times. Owners may also negotiate specialized production terms for ofci equipment such as higher quality control procedures.

Here are some common examples of equipment owners typically furnish, but installed by contractors:

Data Centers - Hyperscale and Colocation providers both will typically aggregate purchases for long lead equipment. Commonly purchased equipment may include generators, chillers, and other integrated equipment.

Manufacturing - Owners of manufacturing facilities often directly purchase specialized machinery such as tooling or other process equipment.

Homebuilding - On a smaller scale, custom tile, specific fixtures or appliances are all commonly purchased by an owner.

However, these benefits sometimes come with a major drawback. Think about your homebuilding example: If you are rebuilding your kitchen and the tile you ordered does not show up on time you are ultimately responsible.

Liability for successful delivery typically rests with the purchasing party, especially in commercial construction. By "going direct", the the owner usually shifts liability for project completion to themselves.

Effective OFCI management involves collaboration among many parties.

Group 431

  • Architects and Engineers need to design spaces based on the specifications of the owner-furnished items.
  • Owners will handle the specification, procurement, logistics, and transportation process. Portions of this may be sub-contracted to a third party such as an owners rep, a 3PL/4PL, or the GC.
  • General Contractors are responsible for the proper installation and integration of these items into the project.

The crux of successful management of OFCI in construction lies in robust coordination and clear communication among these stakeholders.

Responsibilties Matrix

Pro-Tip: When managing OFCI it's important to review your contractual documents carefully. Build a RACI matrix in Layer from this information and use a Shared View to put this information in the right hands.

If a specified piece of equipment experiences a production delay, it can cause a large schedule delay. Worse, delays can cascade across the project if there is more than one dependency on the material. Transparent communication between the owner's procurement team and the GC & Construction Administration teams is essential.

Before starting a project with extensive OFCI, you should ask yourself these questions:

1. Who will manage the overall process?

Various individuals will be involved in procurement, placing orders, and logistics. It's essential to have smooth coordination between all parties as well as a single source of truth shared between teams. Ensure you have adequate resources for effective coordination of these tasks.


2. How are you planning the work sequencing or project timeline?

Layer App-Layer Framework for Project Handoff-10 (1)

For optimal efficiency and cost reduction, the alignment of delivery and installation dates with other project phases is vital. Assign someone to oversee the schedule to prevent delays and budget excesses. Having an alternative equipment sources as a contingency plan is advisable in case of unforeseen issues.

3. What's your strategy for transportation and storage?

Organize for the required tools and materials to be shipped to the site. Failure to synchronize delivery dates or unexpected construction and transportation setbacks could result in a need for storage solutions for the incoming supplies. Maintain clear communication and closely monitor the schedule to avert delivery challenges.


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