The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed shipments from Asia. However, it has also affected the lead times and pricing of some key products manufactured in the US. Supply chain challenges abroad are causing sourcing issues here at home, in part because raw materials coming from overseas are delayed and going up in price.
In this post, we’ll discuss the extent of COVID-19’s downstream impacts on hotel FF&E costs and production.
Although demand for hotel furnishings hasn’t recovered to pre-COVID levels, pricing across FF&E product categories has gone up in 2021. Innvision has seen most products rise by only 3-5%, which is what we would expect in a normal year. However, some prices have increased more than what we’d typically see. Items such as mattresses, refrigerators, and soft seating require certain metals and/or overseas materials. Their abnormal price increases owe much to a hike in the cost of raw materials needed for manufacturing and the difficulty in sourcing them due to COVID.
At the end of 2020, the Economic Times reported that copper, zinc, and aluminum rates climbed by 15-20% in December, while ocean freight costs rose by 40-50%. Our furniture suppliers have also reported an increase in the price of rod, wire, steel, and resin-related materials over the last six months, which make up the inner construction of recliners, sofa sleepers, and other seating products. When it costs more to purchase the product inputs and ship them to the US, the final price of those finished goods cannot help but reflect that.
Most vendors bumped up prices for 2021 and are holding steady through Q1, while others are needing to take immediate action to respond to the sudden cost volatility they are experiencing. Thankfully, price decreases have occurred with some lighting in brand programs.
COVID is slowing the supply chain for several hotel FF&E product categories. For example, we are experiencing mattress delays due to COVID-related raw material shortages. The estimate for seating and window treatment production, after receipt of fabric, has grown to 8 – 10 weeks because of the measuring process. Raw material delays across the board are due to overloaded ports, shipping container delays, and trouble getting containers on the rail to move inland from the main US ports. To learn more about shipping delays from Asia, click here .
The fabric lead time issue, in particular, tends to have a ripple effect on hotel projects and procurement firms such as Innvision because of the surprise need to reselect a new fabric later in the process. That is, Innvision will have selected a fabric for use in a window treatment or seating product, gotten client and brand approval, and released purchase orders, only to hear from a vendor at the last minute that the lead time will be protracted. To keep the project timeline in tact, Innvision must then cancel the first purchase order, find another fabric that will work, again get client signatures and brand approvals, and place another order.
Unfortunately, this chase-your-tail scenario is increasingly common these days, even when procurement firms ask up front what fabric lead times will be when ordering. After all, fabric vendors are limited by some of the same supply chain dynamics as described above. Setbacks such as this can delay a project by several weeks and create significant additional work.
Below, you will find an updated list of major hotel FF&E product categories and their lead times. Although domestic suppliers can be slower than usual, they are still often faster than foreign sources. Fortunately, most lead times below are unchanged.
- Mattresses: Normally run at about 4 weeks, including items such as box springs **delayed due to COVID, now 6 – 10 weeks
- Luxury Vinyl Tile: 4 – 6 weeks, 8 weeks for custom
- Carpet: 4 – 6 weeks for a running line of guest room carpet, 8 – 10 weeks for custom
- Upholstered Seating: 8 – 10 weeks after receipt of fabric
- Fabric (for Upholstered Seating & Window Treatments): 8 – 16 weeks
- Artwork & Signage: At least 6 – 8 weeks after signed approval
- Window Treatments: A minimum of 8 – 10 weeks after receipt of fabric
- Lighting: 12 – 14 weeks
- Vanities: 12 – 14 weeks for domestic, 16 weeks or more for imported, with sign-off
- Case Goods: 10 – 14 weeks for domestic, 16 weeks or more for imported after drawing submission and approval (3 weeks)
Innvision stays on top of updates and changes in the industry regularly so your hotel construction or renovation project is successful. We attempt to anticipate any pricing or lead time issues that could impact our clients’ projects, communicate, and develop a plan to keep FF&E budgets and timelines on track. To learn more about how we can support you, contact us today.