Since in the past they relied on in-person meetings, travel, and events, hospitality procurement firms are now having to think differently. Yet somehow, while communication in many other industries is challenged, FF&E providers are still finding a way. The recent pandemic has sparked new methods of working that are effective, such as using digital platforms for project meetings and apps built for measurements and floor plans.
In this business, like many others, relationships are a key to success. Maintaining connections with clients is of the utmost importance, but emails and texts can often create an impersonal feeling. With that in mind, procurement providers such as Innvision have always spent time on the phone and at a client’s hotels. But since visiting a property requires travel that is not as feasible these days, video conferencing is now the next best thing.
Anything that can establish a more personal relationship and increase connection during this pandemic is helpful. Procurement providers know that many hotels have lost occupancy over the last several months and are operating very differently than before COVID-19. FF&E firms are more aware than ever of the challenges hotel owners are facing and have gained a sensitivity and appreciation for their current position. Procurement providers have learned to be a shoulder to cry on when needed these days and think more about the hotelier’s perspective.
Before the coronavirus, one could easily say that each hotel renovation or new construction project was unique. With COVID considerations, that is even more true now. Therefore, procurement providers must be up-to-date with any brand changes or relevant information to help educate owners on what they need to know. For example, meeting rooms now must have social distancing in mind. Bathrooms need further consideration to determine how many individuals can safely use the facility at one time. A new focus is community tables and gathering areas, since creating social zones now demands more space. Increased individual and small group settings are needed. Furthermore, new solutions incorporate outdoor spaces more frequently.
Specifically, when working with hotel brands, procurement providers face new obstacles.Without regular hotel visits, it can be difficult for an FF&E consultant to understand the space. Hotels must also be very attentive to cleanliness and sanitation. It’s a challenge to know how these changes may affect brand standards as it relates to furnishings. In some instances, clients are hesitant to move forward with a project until they get better clarification. The key is staying informed and taking it day-by-day. Most brands are responsive, but in some cases, the contacts have changed, and relationship building starts from scratch.
The best procurement firms are thinking differently and adapting to the current environment. They should be actively working closely with brands, vendors, and designers to find answers and solutions to COVID-related questions and issues. To speak with an FF&E provider you can trust to help guide you through the process of a renovation or new construction, please contact Innvision Hospitality today.