The hospitality industry is one of the largest industries in the world. It’s also an intensive business, switched on 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. This intensity is emphasized as brands, hotel owners and managers continually work to meet, react to and exceed constantly-changing consumer expectations. One force […]
As a specialist in furniture asset management for the hospitality industry, we like to keep track of news of renovations, updates and plans from brands, hotel owners and franchisees. Since the downturn of 2008 the industry continues to gain momentum and we have seen a strong year-on-year demand for furniture asset management services.
There are many reasons for this increase. If you’re one of our regular readers, then you will know that an increase in awareness of environmental impact has certainly driven sustainable objectives. Furniture asset management has become increasingly important to hotels as consumers and travelers become more ‘enviro-conscious’. There is also an undeniable fiscal impact, with furniture asset management frequently cutting budgets by up to 80 percent. Add to this blend the minimal downtime incurred by onsite work, and you quickly realize why so many organizations are turning to furniture asset management.
One area that is less frequently talked about, but is also a driver of furniture asset management, is a genuine demand for good furniture. And we mean good furniture. High quality, well-crafted items with strong joints and solid construction. No squeaks, gives and certainly no particleboard, chipboard or other low-quality ‘filling’ composite material. Finding such good quality furniture can be a challenge in a time when many individuals seem to have developed a ‘throw away’ attitude to furniture. The ‘rip and replace’ mentality was never a good decision. It was always an environmental and financial black hole for businesses and organizations. Travelers expect high-quality furniture and it’s imperative that the furniture we all invest in is comfortable, well made, built to last and fit for purpose.
Many brands choose to go a step further, and insist on buying from domestic suppliers. The USDA regulates the import of wood-based products, largely to prevent any disease, pest or environmental impact on the flora and fauna of the United States. But to us shipping new furniture from other parts of the globe adds unnecessary carbon footprint, costs and delays. We are strong proponents of buying furniture domestically from well-regarded suppliers, or at the very least knowing the source and the status of the wood assets we buy. This is about making a well-informed conscientious buying decision. We make no secret that we support and encourage buying domestic goods.
It’s also about understanding the wood that your existing furniture is made of. We have refinished softwoods and hardwoods of all different types. It is our job to know what a piece of furniture is made of and how to enhance the natural beauty of wood. Do you know what wood furniture you have and how it can best be preserved? And before you buy from that untested source, are you clear on the wood? Do you know whether or not that the Peruvian Walnut is endangered? Or if that African Blackwood has a ‘near threatened’ status? And if you buy composite materials including particleboard and chipboard instead, then it may have a very short ‘room life’ before it ends up as landfill.
Chances are your organization has already invested in high-quality wood furniture. Now you need to apply furniture asset management best practices to ensure that you are maximizing it. Please contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your investment and how to protect it.
During our 37 years of demonstrating the benefits of furniture asset management to more than 22,000 organizations, we have had the honor of working with some of the world’s leading brands and institutions. In the hospitality industry that includes an enviable roster of globally-recognized names such as Hilton, IHG, Marriott, Starwood and Hyatt.
Each of these brands and hotel chains shares the same valuable perspective: they know that furniture is an asset that shouldn’t be overlooked, underused or mismanaged. They also know that the well-documented sustainable benefits of furniture asset management practices, including refinishing, remanufacturing and reupholstery, are accompanied by financial savings of up to 80 percent over replacement budgets.
We are proud of the strength and the longevity of all of our customer relationships. We understand the needs, opportunities and challenges faced by hospitality brands, hotel owners and franchisees. We work with each of these groups at locations across North America.
One of the brands that we have a long history with is Hyatt. It owns 549 hotels, resorts and vacation properties across the world. A recent project completed was for the Hyatt Alpharetta, a hotel operating in the same town in which we run our US headquarters. The project required on-site furniture asset management of a variety of pieces throughout the hotel. The objectives were to protect existing furniture asset investment while updating furniture in line with brand requirements and the needs of the hotel. Sustainability benefits and a sound financial return were essential.
Our team updated more than 275 furniture assets across the Hyatt Alpharetta, including sectional sofas, couches and ottomans. We understand ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ constituents of all furniture pieces thanks to our 37 years’ of experience working with wood-based assets and with our own textiles division, Touch Textiles. Furniture upholstery demands specialized fabric that is durable and meets the high aesthetic demands of global hospitality brands – Touch Textiles provides these functional and decorative, custom fabrics.
Our team worked on-site to re-upholster each furniture piece. By choosing to implement on-site furniture asset management, businesses eliminate the financial and environmental effects of large-scale furniture delivery and removal. The process also reduces downtime. A Refinishing Touch crew will refinish, re-upholster or remanufacture assets in any given guest room, and return it to working order in just one day. This allows hoteliers to close just a few rooms per day, and never an entire wing at once.
- 278 pieces of re-upholstered furniture that look great for Hyatt’s guests
- More than 70 percent of estimated budget saved
- Carbon dioxide footprint reduced a hundred-fold from an estimated 128 tons to 1.2 tons
These results are typical of what we achieve for hospitality, education and government clients every day. Want to hear more about how we could help your business? Then please get in touch today.
We’re pleased to welcome Ron Thompson, the director of housing and residence life at Furman University. Based in South Carolina, Furman University is one of the nation’s top undergraduate liberal arts universities with a strong community where all students are housed onsite for four years, and an internationally-acclaimed campus which is recognized for its beauty. Ron shares some of his insights into higher education facilities management at Furman University with our readers.
In my day-to-day role I work with partners across campus – internal operations, financial services, academic affairs and, of course, facilities services. I’m also a bridge between residents and behind-the-scenes employees, and understand first-hand the importance of furniture asset management to all involved.
Furniture asset management can be tricky business, particularly in the higher education industry. All of our students live onsite, so their environment is a major part of their decision-making process, as well as their quality of life once they’ve enrolled. Developing a comfortable, well-maintained and healthy student environment requires both foresight and planning.
Versatility is also key. College campuses such as ours are used to host tradeshows, conferences and summer camps during the longer vacations. Furniture assets must not only be relevant to each of these audiences, but able to sustain the additional wear and tear.
At Furman we recognize the importance of well-maintained and updated assets, including furniture. So we have a furniture asset management strategy and plan that is clearly articulated to staff across departments – housing services, facilities, financial. This is essential to reducing costs, reducing downtime and ensuring satisfaction to all those we serve. With a clear understanding of your establishment’s furniture inventory at all times, it is simple to map out what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and what it will cost.
It’s also important to realize that it’s not all about buying new. We have utilized refinishing services on more than one occasion. Quality pieces need not be disposed of due to an outdated look and feel – refinishing provides a cost-friendly face-lift.
Last but not least, always consider the green approach. Consider and adopt LEED standards wherever possible. Be sure that your sustainability office is present for housing decision-making. And offer your students environmentally-friendly options such as recycling, energy management and water management.
At Furman, we’re proud of our Engaged Living program – which offers first year students a variety of on-campus communities to live in including an environmental community, where students live in our most sustainable facilities and enroll in environmental courses.
Higher education professionals at all levels have a difficult job. But the proper management of furniture assets can bring peace of mind to housing directors, financial staff and facilities management across campus.
The higher education industry has evolved in many ways, but to us one of the most important is its embrace of sustainability. Lyn Meany of GreenBiz.com recently took a deep dive into all of the ways campuses across the United States are getting greener – and the numbers are impressive.
There are many reasons for the change, but perhaps not surprisingly, one of the most prominent is competition. As today’s youth becomes more informed on environmental issues, it becomes a larger factor in their decision making – and universities are competing for a smaller student pool than ever.
As providers of sustainable renovation options to colleges and universities, we’re particularly pleased to see the change in procurement policies. The National Association of Educational Procurement and SciQuest found that 65 percent of procurement officials are now required to explore green options before making a purchasing decision.
The Refinishing Touch team provides on-site, eco-friendly refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing services to eliminate harmful carbon emissions and unnecessary landfill waste – but it also cuts costs. This is the factor that turns many establishments away from sustainable objects – the misconception that it will raise costs. Through improved procurement policies, colleges and universities are discovering how untrue this is, and are finally making the right, environmentally responsible decisions.
GSA Interact is an open, collaborative community built to help increase government effectiveness through better communication and collaboration. As part of the GSA’s remit to create a more sustainable government, a cross-agency Furniture Commodity Team has come together to develop standard configurations for office furniture.
The team will release a subset of furniture products with standard configurations for tables, filing, storage and seating in a bid to solicit industry feedback. Standard configurations means each product will have a low base cost with a number of options and add-ons per customer requirement.
As a furniture asset management provider that has worked on many government refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing projects, we are all too familiar with the need to save on budgets, time and man power. Having a standard pricing structure for office furniture will help take the hassle out of the decision making process, freeing up time and resources that can be channeled elsewhere.
If you have questions about the work we do at The Refinishing Touch, or how we can help reduce costs and save time through our furniture asset management services, please email us at email@example.com.
Cranes, trucks and clouds of dust are a familiar site across the Oregon State University campus as construction to develop private student housing continues. Around 12 projects are set to begin this fall and winter which will give a much needed boost to the local economy and the construction industry.
Steve Clark, VP for university relations and marketing said, “This is probably the most intense period of construction that Oregon State University has seen in 146 years, both in terms of the number of projects and complexity.”
At The Refinishing Touch we’re always excited to learn about new construction projects, especially in the higher education sector where there is an ever-present need to improve on-campus housing. We hope that during the redevelopment eco-friendly initiatives are considered, as even small changes can make a big difference. As a company fully invested in sustainability and green alternatives we actively encourage any industry taking on large scale projects to carefully consider the environmental impact and make changes where possible.
As well as providing first class furniture asset management services to our clients, we always make sure to keep our customers, partners and supporters informed of all the latest news and happenings at The Refinishing Touch. There’s no sign of a summer lull here in Alpharetta, or in fact across the rest of the US and Canada, as we’ve been busy with various refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing projects, blog poll surveys and research case studies.
In the newest edition of InTouch we share details from one of our latest onsite reupholstery projects at the Monterey Marriott which resulted in a 43% reduction in budget costs and a drop in the environmental impact. We also delve deeper into our study of government furniture spend – and ways it could be drastically reduced – and highlight some interesting carbon output numbers stemming from the process of creating new furniture in Innovation Renovation.
As a sustainable furniture asset management company offering on-site refinishing, reupholstering and remanufacturing services, we are passionate about providing customers in each of our target sectors with cost-effective means to revamp facilities. As a certified contractor with the General Services Administration, we’ve completed projects within federal agencies that include the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Congress and the Executive Office of the President. Through a deep analysis of government spending on facilities management, we’ve identified some key areas that if improved, would reduce waste and cut costs for the US government, including:
- Ongoing maintenance of government owned facilities
- Reducing the furniture spend for government agencies
- Refurbishing rather than replacing existing furniture assets
- Embracing furniture asset management as a means to extend the life cycle of existing furniture assets
When it comes to implementing cost-effective furniture solutions in the government sector, there’s always room for improvement. Not only does furniture asset management have a positive effect on taxpayers’ pockets, it also helps reduce government budgets and lessen the effect on the environment. Our research has found that the estimated annual cost to replace furniture in government facilities currently stands at $714 million, whilst the estimated cost to refinish those items comes in at $214 million, a total saving of $500 million. Refinishing, reupholstering and remanufacturing offers a cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to replacing furniture.
City of Ballwin, Missouri, is negotiating a contract with local architecture firm Archimages to determine the feasibility of renovating Ballwin’s government center and the Donald “Red” Loehr Police and Court Center. Due to the estimated cost of the project, city officials decided to move forward with plans to renovate the government center before going ahead with the other building.
Over on the West Coast, Orange County legislators have recently recommended an increase in its original budget to renovate government buildings for “additional repairs that will boost the cost for work on ancillary buildings from $10 to $12.5 million.” If passed, this increase will cover repairs to most of the rooftops and additional office space, as well as a new chamber for the legislature adjacent to the historic chambers.
In both of these examples, cost remains a critical factor in delaying renovations that are often needed to maintain publicly-owned buildings like libraries, government centers and courthouses. Those of us at The Refinishing Touch know this story well – community members and city officials want to give a building a “fresh look” but the project is often held off or delayed due to cost concerns.
Our advice to public officials – as well as members of the community – is to think about the long-term costs associated with renovations and to implement systems that track areas of potential cost savings, such as furniture assets. In a government white paper we issued in January, we estimated that more than $500 million (84%) could be saved annually in government renovations by refinishing furniture assets, compared to buying new, which can cost upwards of $714 million each year. Cost savings such as these are beneficial not only for citizens, but for the economic health of the nation as well.
Learn how furniture asset management, including refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing, can reduce government spending by accessing The Refinishing Touch white paper here.