When it comes to FF&E projects, it’s essential to plan ahead. Not having a logistics plan in place can majorly impact your budget and timeline. Whether in the early stages of a new construction project or gearing up to begin your Property Improvement Plan, you’ll want to consider FF&E delivery sooner than later. 

There are two delivery choices for hotel projects to decide between:

Just-in-Time (JIT) refers to direct deliveries where your hotel receives products on-site, “just in time” for installation. This inventory strategy reduces product handling and makes both receiving and installation of FF&E more efficient. 

Warehousing is a delivery system that enables hoteliers to store product until a property is ready for FF&E installation.

Now that you’re familiar with the options, it’s time to figure out which delivery strategy is a good fit for your project.

Should I Use JIT. Delivery or Warehousing for My Hotel Project?

Choosing Between JIT and Traditional Warehousing

In general, just-in-time is an ideal choice for hoteliers seeking a quick product delivery, but there are instances in which warehousing is preferable or even necessary. Your logistics team will need to consider several factors when deciding between the two delivery options:

Project Type

New construction projects often rely on JIT delivery, while renovation projects are more likely to warehouse products before the property is ready for FF&E installation. It is all contingent upon hotel room occupancy and project schedule.

The size of your property will make a difference in deliveries, too. Midscale hotels of 150 or fewer guestrooms are usually a better fit for just-in-time delivery. Larger hotels may require warehousing if there isn’t enough room to store FF&E on-site.

Location of Property

Location is everything, especially in the case of FF&E delivery. Metro-area hotels must keep street parking regulations and city ordinances in mind when planning truck deliveries. If you are unable to park a large truck on the city street legally, warehousing will solve for this. You can store the product temporarily and then use a smaller vehicle to deliver it to your hotel.

Where Shipments Come From

Whether you order domestic or international goods has a significant impact on lead times, so it only makes sense that it would affect your choice of delivery. Since international shipments can have a wide range of estimated delivery dates, it’s safer to go with warehousing, in this case, to protect against project delays.

Just-in-Time Delivery Tips

Set Up a Schedule

JIT refers to when you receive your FF&E, not how you plan deliveries. It’s crucial to the efficiency of just-in-time deliveries that you get the timing right for your project schedule. Construction should be 90% complete before delivering products to eliminate unnecessary handling and increased risk of damage to your items.

Communicate Clearly

All members of a project team will need to update each other on the status of their schedule. A delay in one area can cause scheduling in other areas to fall off-kilter. It’s important to continually assess your hotel’s construction progress and communicate to all relevant parties to ensure everyone stays on track.

Warehousing Tips

Be Mindful of Warehouse Conditions

Not all storage facilities are created equal, so you’ll want to be diligent in your research before deciding on one. In addition to being bonded and secure, your warehouse will need to be climate controlled so that your FF&E items don’t warp or damage while in storage. Merchandise may remain in a warehouse for months at a time, so the conditions must be fit for every product type.

Give Plenty of Details

A warehouse will need lots of description of your products to properly store and retrieve them when needed. Make sure to specify not just the number of FF&E items you’ll be storing, but their dimensions and product types, as well. Documentation will ensure your warehouse has enough room for storage. Items inventoried in detail are easy to retrieve once you are ready for delivery to your property.

Save Time and Money with Innvision’s Expertise

As a provider of turnkey FF&E procurement services, Innvision Hospitality assists hoteliers with all aspects of a hotel project, including determining which delivery option is best. We collaborate with clients, manufacturers, contractors, carriers, and management companies to formulate a delivery schedule that will minimize costly delays and ensure timely deliveries.

Our experience and reputation as leaders in design-driven purchasing and project logistics deliver award-winning hotel projects consistently. Contact us today to request a consultation or find out more about JIT vs. warehousing.

Note: This blog was originally published in September of 2017 and updated for clarity and accuracy.