Hotel industry celebrities, influencers and the financial elite were in Los Angeles this past week for the for the first major hotel conference of the year, the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS). For those unfamiliar with the event, it’s one of the major tent-pole financial industry conferences for the hotel industry. And this years was […]
A three-year snapshot: The Refinishing Touch’s business growth, industry analysis and 2014 predictions
Today we released our 2013 momentum report. As we embark on a new year, The Refinishing Touch values the chance to look back on our growth, successes and industry trends in our three target markets – higher education, hospitality and government.
From 2011 through to 2013, The Refinishing Touch has seen significant increases in refinishing projects as well as a higher demand for our color-changing services – an increase showcasing the want for more modern aesthetics.
One of our proudest accomplishments is the estimated 9,200 trees saved by our sustainable furniture asset management services. By eradicating the need to buy new and dispose of old assets, completed refinishing, re-manufacturing and reupholstery projects save trees and eliminate landfill waste. This work, coupled with our low-VOC lacquers and eco-friendly materials, has achieved an outstanding carbon footprint reduction of 99%.
As technology continued to advance in 2011 hoteliers recognized the need for armoire conversion services. The televisions desired by guests no longer fit into standard in-room furnishings. In the years since, The Refinishing Touch has completed numerous armoire modifications in hotels across North America, allowing for a 67% decrease in requests for the service. Hotels are now up-to-date and fit to adapt to any and all new technologies.
Here at The Refinishing Touch we are grateful for both the year behind us and the year ahead of us. Thank you to each of you for sharing in our successes.
Click here to read the full results of our analysis, as well as our predictions for 2014. To weigh in, get in touch on Twitter at @RefinishTouch or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today.
2012 College Housing Report: 70% say they will upgrade campus furniture in the next five years
Based on data from 50 current campus housing construction projects, the 2012 annual College Housing Report published by College Planning & Management magazine highlights residence halls across America. With a sharp focus on statistics, reasoning and projections for the future, the report provides industry professionals, such as The Refinishing Touch, with a well-rounded knowledge of the market.
This year, the value of furniture asset management services to the higher education sector was proven again and again. When asked what types of renovations or upgrades universities are considering in the next three to five years, 70% said furniture and furnishings replacement. Furthermore, with nearly 96% of budgets going to construction costs, fees and other expenses, furniture and furnishings are costing institutions between 2 – 6%. This margin represents tens of thousands of dollars universities could be saving by opting for sustainable furniture asset management services, such as refinishing and re-upholstery.
In fact, College Planning & Management magazine predicts one of the top five issues that chief housing officers will face in the next three to five years is the need to modernize facilities. Retaining current students and attracting prospective students depends largely on the quality and appeal of housing.
Refinishing, remanufacturing and re-upholstery provide a variety of options to housing staff looking to revamp dorms and public spaces on campus. Over the course of the past 35 years, we’ve see the positive effects of upcycling existing assets on budgets, green ratings and student satisfaction.
As the report adequately states, the housing ‘experience’ is key. We hope to work with these 70% whom are looking ahead to furniture and furnishing replacement in the coming years to restore assets – and attitudes – to like-new condition.
To access the full 2012 College Housing Report, please follow think link. To learn more about furniture asset management and The Refinishing Touch, please visit our website.
American and Canadian companies most represented on Global 100 list
Each year, Corporate Knights, a global media and research company, publishes a list of the world’s most sustainable businesses. Known as the Global 100 list, the research highlights 100 of the greenest corporate leaders, with rankings based on multiple factors including energy and water consumption, carbon emissions and waste production.
With clients based in the US, Canada and around the world, and as providers of environmentally-safe furniture asset management solutions, The Refinishing Touch team was eager to scan the list and gain insight into the companies that were mentioned. While it was great to see organizations all around the world committing to sustainability, we were especially pleased that the US and Canada were tied with the most representation on the Global 100 – with 10 companies from each country making their mark on the list.
Canada noticed a significant increase in the number of businesses on the list, with four more companies appearing this year than in 2012. This, along with other factors frequently discussed in the news and on our blog, proves a recent surge in sustainability stemming from the country.
Any organization looking to mirror the efforts of companies featured on the Global 100 can start by investing in smart and sustainable initiatives like cost-efficient furniture asset management. By deciding to refinish, re-upholster and remanufacture existing furniture during renovations, companies avoid the financial and environmental burden of sending assets to landfills and having to buy brand new.
This tactic has been implemented by The Refinishing Touch in countless hospitality, higher education and government agencies throughout the US and Canada. Through our work, our studies indicate that we’ve prevented approximately 2,250,000 pounds of wood from making its way into landfills since our inception in 1977 – a great way to save on waste, carbon emissions and one’s bottom line.
To read the complete list of the most sustainable companies on the Global 100, please go here. For more information on our furniture asset management solutions or to implement them in your US-based or Canadian business, request a free quote today.
A leader in higher education leads the pack in sustainability
As a company that has worked with universities and colleges across the nation on furniture asset management solutions such as refinishing, remanufacturing and re-upholstering to improve cost-efficiency and sustainability, it’s great to see a leader in the higher education industry also take a lead when it comes to the green movement.
Harvard University, one of the most recognized institutions for higher education, has released its first campus-wide Sustainability Impact Report. The Report includes an interactive website that contains data on a slew of different efforts that can make the entire university more environmentally-friendly.
As Harvard Magazine reports, the data includes information on energy and emissions, transportation, health and wellness, water use, recycling, and more. Heather Henriksen, director of the Office of Sustainability, is quoted as saying, “[Harvard is] trying to be very transparent and use an online platform to encourage our community to have an honest and open conversation about the challenges we face in implementing Harvard’s sustainability goals, so we can develop solutions that will help us move forward.”
Here at The Refinishing Touch, we couldn’t agree more. While sustainability is an important aspect to maintaining the overall health of any college or university campus, it must be at the efforts of the entire community – from faculty to students, from parents to shareholders. While solutions such as solar panels and water-efficient appliances serve an important role in decreasing environmental impact, they are not always so easy on a university’s wallet – campus decision makers must also incorporate more cost-effective solutions, like energy-efficient lighting, campus biking systems, and furniture refinishing projects.
By implementing a wide-range of sustainable solutions, not only do we secure the future of our environment, but we also combat the budget problems that plague most of our nations universities.
To learn more about Harvard’s Sustainability Impact Report, go here. And for more information on The Refinishing Touch and our services, visit our homepage or request a free quote today.
Government spending and cutting costs: The need for efficiency and common-sense
Debt ceiling, default, budgets – any way you slice it, how the US government plans to spend money is major news. And while the US news cycles may have Obama’s administration dominating the headlines in the upcoming weeks, how any government spends money is always a matter of debate and discussion.
In that vein, one story – and image – that caught our eye was recently published by the Government Executive’s research division, known as the Government Business Council (GBC).
The GBC created an eye-opening infographic, depicting the results of a recent survey asking respondents to evaluate the best (and worst) cost efficiency measures implemented by the government. The research team surveyed over 500 government employees, and covered areas such as contract resource management, workforce, external third-party payments, compliance and – the topic that grabbed our attention – property management.
The study shined some light onto the sustainable initiatives implemented by the US Department of the Interior, a federal agency with over 3,000 locations throughout the country. This division is not only responsible for the management of assets like real estate, buildings and cars, but is also in charge of managing national landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument. Over the past few years, some of its sustainable, more creative management strategies include:
– The completed construction of several net-zero buildings, in an effort to conserve energy
– The implementation of over 1,600 on-site, renewable energy installations during the fiscal year 2011
– An increase in alternative fuel vehicles by 500 percent since 2005
– The purchasing of renewable energy through utility providers – in turn, providing up to six percent of today’s overall electricity in federally-owned facilities
In an effort to reduce energy consumption and municipal buildings’ overall carbon footprint, administrative agencies are under more and more pressure to invest in creative, environmentally-conscious and fiscally-responsible alternatives.
In the past few years alone, we’ve witnessed an immense amount of progress. Along with the examples provided by the Department of the Interior, we’ve also seen many other government agencies turning towards furniture asset management during renovations – a strategy that can save the US government 40-80 percent of its current expenditure on furniture. The White House, US Superior Court, naval barracks and military houses are just some of the clients making the move towards refinishing and re-purposing existing furniture. This in turn can generate additional funding to help the government, without needing to increase taxation or make spending cuts elsewhere.
For more information on the better management of the government’s furniture assets, please read our whitepaper here. To view the full infographic on government expenditure and efficient practices, please visit the Government Executive site.
Battling budget constraints: GSA’s Herbert Hoover Building restorations cancelled
We see this problem time and time again – government administrations struggling to complete renovations while meeting tighter and tighter budget constraints.
The latest example of the battle between building and furniture asset upkeep and cost management comes out of Washington, DC, where the eight-phase, $750 million renovation of the 80-year-old Herbert Hoover Building has been indefinitely delayed.
According to the Federal Times, the restoration project originally scheduled to be completed in 2021 has been postponed until an additional $454 million is collected to cover costs. The project, which began in 2008, was intended to fix up crumbling interior and exterior fixtures, while updating the building’s IT structure.
The recent and all-to-common dilemma emphasizes the need for government bodies to begin searching for and investing in cost-efficient, yet effective, refinishing and renovation alternatives. Fortunately, in the past few years, we’ve certainly seen a rising trend in such methods – with government administrators at buildings like The White House, Federal courthouses and military bases calling on The Refinishing Touch to refinish, remanufacture and re-upholster existing furniture assets, eliminating the costly need to buy new.
With the New Year underway, we hope to see more government agencies wisely investing in cost-effective restoration strategies throughout 2013 – a solution that delivers like-new, modern results. For more information on better management of government furniture assets as a means to improve quality of life, reduce pollution and cut expenditure by up to 80 percent, please read our whitepaper here.
Also, keep an eye on this space for updates on the renovations at the historical Herbert Hoover Building, as the General Services Administration (GSA) will continue its fundraising efforts to restart the project.
Blog poll: Can the government become more sustainable?
Recently, we’ve seen local, state and federal government bodies across the nation taking small steps to gradually become more sustainable, cost-effective facilities. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy goals that we’ve blogged about before is the Obama Administration’s push for federal government agencies to become completely paperless by the end of 2019.
As providers of environmentally-safe, cost-effective, sustainable furniture asset management services, which have been implemented during renovations at various US courthouses, The White House, military bases, naval barracks and many other government edifices, we’ve seen the trend first-hand.
With this issue in mind, we took to our blog page to ask our readers, ‘What high-cost operation do you think the government could realistically and sustainably replace?’ Here’s what we found:
- The majority (40 percent) of readers agreed with the government’s long-term goal to go paperless, stating that printed paper documents can easily be replaced due to the rise in tablets, smartphones and other technology.
- Other options, such as eliminating the need to buy new furniture by up-cycling existing assets, replacing mercury bulbs with more efficient lighting, and reducing the use of personal transportation, were also popular choices among voters, with all three coming in at a close second place.
Here at The Refinishing Touch, we support any initiative that simultaneously preserves a business owner’s budget and the environment. Many local, state and federal governments are showing progress in both its short- and long-term environmental goals, and we are proud to be a part of its shift towards increased sustainability.
For more information on our renovation work completed in The White House and other government facilities, please click here. To contribute to our weekly polls, be sure to visit our blog page where a new question is posted every week.
Follow the leader: Government environmentally influences private sector
Good green policies resonate in both the public and private sectors as making sense from both fiscal and ecological standpoints. As they should — we all have to share the planet and will ultimately benefit from sound environmental practices.
Green government purchasing programs have been found to positively impact not only taxpayers’ wallets, but also employee safety and environmental concerns.
With this is mind, a September study from Harvard Business School shows government purchasing policies are going another step ahead: leading by example for the private sector, which is seeing accelerated green policies as a result. What works for municipal buildings certainly can work for companies and corporations. And many government-owned facilities double as not only a place where the people’s business gets done, but also as beacons of sound planning with conservation in mind.
There’s data to back this up. One of the study’s findings, detailed in the working paper by Timothy Simcoe and Michael W. Toffel, states, “Cities with green building policies targeting only municipal buildings had nearly twice as many private-sector green buildings by 2008 as did other cities of similar size, demographics, and environmental preferences.”
Here at The Refinishing Touch, we refinish and reupholster existing furniture assets at facilities like the White House and U.S Supreme Court in Washington, D.C; the U.S. Army’s Fort Benning in Benning, Ga; and Naval Air Station in San Diego. Repurposing or refinishing of desks, cabinets and tables are done quickly, on-site, using sturdy, durable fabrics, with little disruption to clients in government or our other two sectors – hospitality and higher education.
We believe this trend of private sector following public sector when it comes to environmentally sound solutions – especially in building and renovating – is a value add for all concerned. If a public entity shows how green procurement is done, it sets a financial and environmental example for private companies to follow, strengthening efforts that ultimately benefit us all and put government in a true green leadership role.
BITAC Owners Poll reveals top hospitality concerns for 2013
Where the purpose of BITAC is to help hoteliers, suppliers and other resources in hospitality network, share insights and increase profits year-round, the pending New Year seems like an even more appropriate time to predict and discuss trends for 2013. When hoteliers and their suppliers put their heads together, guest experiences and bottom lines benefit, as proven by the BITAC Owners Poll findings published in Hotel Interactive.
For example, the poll showed concerns regarding the fiscal cliff — when a hike in the capital gains tax could to go into effect if government can’t reach a deal. Of respondents, 48.8 percent said it was their top concern heading into 2013. It’s likely influencing major corporate decisions, such as staffing, as it could be more expensive to do business. Twenty-five percent said the New Year will be great, “no worries.” An inability to push rates got a 20.2-percent tally, and the expansion of ADA requirements garnered six percent of the vote.
Fifty-four percent of hotel owners say there is a little bit of wiggle room to cut expenses at their hotel; 27.9 percent say they can still reduce costs in many areas. Eighteen percent say “no way,” they’ve cut back everywhere they can.
Nineteen percent of hotel owners say a lobby renovation brings them the best ROI, topped only by energy management, at 50.8 percent. Upgrading bathroom equipment got 17.5 percent of the vote, with Internet connectivity gathering 12.7 percent of respondents.
The Refinishing Touch has been addressing both of these hotel concerns – cutting overhead costs and reaping renovation rewards – since 1977. Our quick revamping solutions allow our production team to refinish and renovate up to 10 to 20 guest rooms each day, with little to no downtime involved for your business.
Our award-winning, on-site furniture refinishing and re-upholstery services make the most of existing furniture assets, avoiding the hazardous pile up in landfill wastes around the globe. Our environmentally-safe processes save hotels, universities and government facilities up to 80 percent in budget costs when compared to buying new furniture, preparing business owners to meet the marketplace challenges of 2013 while leaving more money in their pocket.