It’s barely October, but it’s already time to start thinking about Chinese New Year – and I don’t mean what you’re going to wear. With so many materials, parts, and finished goods still produced in China, the annual CNY holiday has a big impact on the delivery schedules for hotel furnishings. This could occur to an even larger degree this time around thanks to the coronavirus. A little extra planning now can go a long way towards keeping your new construction or renovation project on track.

CNY’s Extended Downtime

The dates vary each year, but in 2021, Friday, February 12th marks the beginning of this public holiday in China. CNY itself is officially seven days long, though the CNY festival lasts through February 26th, so many Chinese companies and factories will close for ten days or more starting on the 12th. Those companies that don’t close for an extended period will still be short-staffed, with workers traveling and taking time off to celebrate CNY throughout the month of February. Normal production often tails off in late January and doesn’t resume until early- or even mid-March.

Lead Time Risks

Under non-COVID circumstances, you can plan ahead a few weeks and be confident that you will avoid the schedule disruption. However, because the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the global FF&E supply chain in 2020, constraining capacity, limiting production, and delaying shipments, the impact of CNY in 2021 could be unusually large.

Some manufacturing is currently behind and racing to catch up due to labor and materials shortages. Other factories may be suffering financially and closing their doors. In addition, there’s a chance that the producers who are still in business receive more orders later in 2020 for projects that went on hold earlier in the year because of COVID. These factors, should any of them occur, would extend lead times even further. If tariffs or any other complexities arise, there could be even more risk to schedules.

Planning & Dates

The best plan for CNY that would allow you to avoid setbacks and receive shipments in the February, March, or April 2021 time frame, regardless of whether the products you’re buying are foreign or domestic, would be to place orders as soon as possible. Each manufacturer has a different cutoff date, after which an order will take an additional six to ten weeks for fulfillment. We recommend submitting an order before October 23rd, 2020, and sooner if possible, to give your project the best chance of staying on track.

If you can’t submit an order by late October, it may be best for you and your procurement provider to evaluate alternative sources of domestic manufacturing. Your cost of goods may be higher in that case, but the cost of freight will be lower and you can avoid an extended delivery that would delay your project. Certain product categories have fewer options, such as lighting. But in general, the more flexibility and advance planning you can incorporate into your process, and the sooner you begin working with your procurement provider, the smoother your FF&E experience will be.

Innvision Hospitality, with our nationwide team of experienced, field-based design and procurement consultants, can help you navigate 2021’s Chinese New Year season. Our manufacturer relationships offer domestic options with more accommodating lead times, and our logistics team tracks and manages both international and US production and shipments through delivery for peace of mind. Contact us today to keep your upcoming project on schedule.