What is the difference between FF&E and OS&E?

With so many different hospitality terms and abbreviations floating around, it can be easy to get things mixed up. While FF&E and OS&E both describe necessary items your hotel will need to be functional, the two categories differ in many ways.

What are FF&E and OS&E?

Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment (FF&E) are stationary items in your hotel such as casegoods, flooring, and lighting that contribute to both the ambience and function of a property. FF&E is a long-lasting hospitality investment, typically only needing replacement every five to seven years once design trends have changed, your brand has issued a PIP, or the FF&E has suffered wear and tear. Procurement for FF&E is a complex process, as hoteliers will need to consider design, lead times, and property layout among other aspects to ensure they receive the right products for their hotel in the necessary timeframe. 

Operating Supplies & Equipment (OS&E) are products hotel guests and staff use daily such as bed linens, personal care amenities, and cleaning supplies. Many OS&E items are consumable, so hotels need to reorder them on a regular basis, typically either monthly or bi-monthly. You can purchase OS&E either through a distributor or directly from the vendor, and most of the items can ship the day after you order if you find yourself running out of supplies unexpectedly.

What is the difference between FF&E and OS&E? [Infographic]

FF&E Procurement Tips

Establish a Timeline

New builds require all FF&E to be in place before the hotel’s opening date, so creating and following a strict procurement timeline are essential to making sure your products arrive on time. With the longer lead times associated with FF&E, it’s best to start the procurement process as early as possible. 

Figure Out the Logistics

There’s far more involved in the FF&E procurement process than picking out and ordering products. Hoteliers will also need to consider receiving when planning out their FF&E deliveries. Take the time to determine how, when, and where you will receive FF&E items to minimize damage and extra costs. 

Partner with Professionals

With so much that goes into FF&E procurement, it’s very challenging for hoteliers to successfully accomplish the task on their own. Hotel projects will need a dedicated team of experts that address all the various details of a property’s furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Be sure to research your procurement provider, architects, and general contractors before agreeing to a partnership. Look into their past experience in hospitality and ask for client testimonials. 

OS&E Procurement Tips

Vet Your Vendors

It’s important to verify that the vendors from whom you purchase OS&E fulfill their promises on both quality of product and quantity of inventory. OS&E supply is a competitive field, with new vendors and distributors popping up all the time but sometimes the low pricing these suppliers provide is a trade-off for poor service levels.

Stick to the Specs

While brand requirements for OS&E aren’t as intensive as those for FF&E, there are still specifications that your products must meet. Each flag can have different requirements for OS&E items such as the product line for personal care amenities and specific wattage and kelvin rating for lightbulbs. Check with your brand before ordering your operational supplies and equipment to guarantee you’re purchasing the right products for your hotel. 

Stock Up on Supplies

Though receiving last-minute OS&E is typically a non-issue, it’s best to plan ahead and have enough product on hand to last you in case of inventory shortages or lead times for items coming from overseas. You’ll want to have two weeks worth of operational supplies and equipment on-hand to ensure you don’t run out of hotel necessities. 

In addition to the differences between FF&E and OS&E, we hope to make it clear that putting together a trusted team of hospitality professionals is the key to success for any hotel project. For procurement especially, it’s essential that your project team know the ins and outs of how hotels work and which vendors are a good choice for your property. 

Innvision Hospitality is an all-encompassing procurement provider that handles everything from product selection and orders to logistics and installation. Contact us today to get started on the FF&E process for your hotel new build or renovation!