Case Goods Supply – After Coronavirus

Nothing is the same.

Everything has changed.

The hospitality industry is suffering amidst this global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Bookings are being canceled.

Flights are being rebooked for later dates.

Hotel renovations are on hold or delayed.

What’s going to happen after this pandemic is over?

How will you be able to procure hotel room furnishings in order to meet the needs of your hotel renovations or newly designed hotel rooms? And you know that eventually demand will pick up…

It’s time to think forward, past COVID-19, while keeping these things in mind when choosing to purchase Case Goods for your next hotel design project.

Delays May Occur – Can They Be Managed?

With the number of those affected by COVID-19 on the rise, expect delays on your Case Goods shipments.

That’s the long and short of it.

Many people aren’t working; leaving others to fill in the gaps of the extra work that needs to be completed in order for shipments to be fulfilled. This means that shipments are either being canceled or delayed until the hotel room furniture can be shipped to the appropriate party safely.

You also have to be mindful of the fact that in order to create these bespoke hotel room furnishings, your vendor has to purchase the materials and supplies needed to complete your order.  The needed supplies and materials may be sourced from overseas suppliers, or subcontractors, in countries that may have implemented a restriction on goods or cargo entering and leaving the country as an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

But wait; there’s another way out.

As an option to awaiting the arrival of your delayed shipment, it may be in your best interest to source Case Goods from vendors who have facilities in countries that have either contained the threat of COVID-19 effectively or have the least numbers of those who are affected by this virus.

This isn’t to say that by going this route all of your hotel room furniture will be on-time with no delays. But the chances of the Case Goods you need to be in stock from your vendor are highly greater than the alternative.

As an example, in Vietnam, there have only been 268 confirmed COVID-19 cases with zero deaths. Vietnam is a major furniture manufacturing hub whose numbers prove that they’ve been effective and continue to be effective in combatting the Coronavirus.

Essentially, by choosing a Case Goods vendor, that has a facility in Vietnam, this would make for the perfect opportunity to already be set in place with them, as their operations are able to continue.

When there’s an overall increase in supply and demand, by working with such Case Goods vendors you’re already ahead of the game.

Why?

Since you’re already working with them, their production capacity will recover faster than other Case Goods vendors in more COVID-19 affected countries. Your name and orders are practically already on top of the list since there’s already an established relationship.

Plain and simple.

Hence, when developing your relationship with your Case Goods vendor, it’s important to know:

  • Where their hotel room furniture is designed and built.
  • Where their supplies and materials are sourced.
  • An average timeframe of how long it normally takes their supplies and materials to be shipped to them
  • How long it’ll take for the finished hotel room furniture to be shipped to you
  • What measures can they take to mitigate any delays due to unforeseen circumstances

All of this allows for a better relationship and an increased understanding in which trust is built between you and your Case Goods vendor.

Make Sanitation-Forward Purchases

COVID-19 has caused the world to turn upside down in a matter of days.

As such, the foremost thought in everyone’s mind is that of sanitation; hand-washing and sanitizing everything in your home, car, office, etc. in order to slow down the spread of the virus.

That’s why when you’re designing your next hotel room, picking and choosing which pieces of furniture needs to be updated or replaced, think about the following questions:

  • Is it easy to clean and disinfect the hotel room furnishings that I’m looking to replace or add to my hotel?
  • What’s the maintenance requirements of the hotel room furnishings that I’m looking to purchase? Will it withstand the future sanitizing practices?

It’s also important to note that the health and safety of your employees who would be cleaning and maintaining your hotel rooms are taken into account. You wouldn’t want to work with a Case Goods vendor who uses harmful chemicals, such as arsenic or lead in their products.

Your employees should be able to be inside of the hotel room, as well as be able to sanitize the hotel room furniture without fear or concern of getting sick or not being able to perform their duties.

Fewer In-Person Meetings Will Occur

You didn’t know?

Virtual meetings and conference calls are all the rage now that people are under “stay-at-home” orders or afraid to leave their homes, for fear of contracting COVID-19. You may be used to meeting in-person with your Case Goods vendor prior to signing a contract with them or viewing their inventory in-person.

Not anymore.

Email, Skype, ZOOM, FaceTime, and other virtual means of communication are now being used more frequently than ever before when it comes to collaboration and communication with others.

Post COVID-19, that’s not going to change.

If you’re avoiding using technology, because you’re more of an “in-house” person, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to be able to keep your business running; even when something like a virus (that’s totally out of your control by the way) swoops in and knocks down your well-laid plans.

You have to learn how to pivot your game plans.

Whether that’s communicating with your Case Goods vendor differently, using line drawings and renderings instead of actual hotel room furniture samples, or dealing with untimely delays in shipping. You can’t dig your heels in and refuse to adapt to new methods of communication.

In the panic-filled times we’re in, Case Goods vendors may already be working under capacity due to layoffs or delays in their materials. As such, it wouldn’t be beneficial for them to meet with you in person or send sample hotel room furnishings your way, as they may have other orders ahead of yours that need to be filled.

Once the effects of the virus slow down, you may choose to re-introduce in-person meetings from time to time, but don’t be surprised if you find more of your Case Goods vendors choosing to meet virtually in order to maximize the best use of their time in order to fulfill your orders.

Change Your Negotiation to be Focus-Forward

With the surge in pricing of supplies and materials due to COVID-19, it’s best to take stock of your current contract with your Case Goods vendor.

If you aren’t already under contract with a Case Goods vendor for hotel room furnishings, have your procurement or acquisitions team perform research on different vendors that’ll fit your needs during this pandemic-filled time. Take a special interest in those Case Goods vendors who are open to discussing how they can help  absorb certain costs into their pricing; which will make up for the increase in shipping and material costs.

Ensure that your team is also looking at the varying rates different Case Goods vendors charge for different pieces of hotel room furniture. There may be some who charge less for entire collections while others may charge more for per-piece hotel room furnishings.

It’s equally important and beneficial to find a Case Goods vendor that has end-to-end ownership of their supply chain and are able to balance their rates with their reliable quality and delivery of their Case Goods. This is vital, as by having a Case Goods vendor who owns their end-to-end delivery, they’re able to provide you with the best prices, consistently high-quality hotel room furnishings, and they aren’t reliant on others outside of their company to fulfill your orders.

They’re a “one-stop-shop” that’s able to provide you with not only the best quality work product, but personalized customer service as well.

What Now?

Although some of your hotel designs or renovations may currently be “up in the air,” it won’t always be this way.

Use this time to update the design layout of your hotel rooms, reach out to your Case Goods vendor (virtually, of course) if you have any questions, and make sure that whatever vendor you choose to work with, only uses the best and safest materials available.

This way, once things start to open up and we can get back to “business as usual,” you’ll already be ahead of the game.

Need a new Case Goods vendor whose quality and designs fit your hotel room visions? Visit Woodcraft Hospitality to view expert craftsmanship collections for your hotels!