Government is a market we know very well. For over 37 years our government client base has comprised local and federal government and agencies – including the Executive Office of the President, U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Coastguard. We […]
Best practices for furniture asset management within the government
The team here at The Refinishing Touch has provided refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing services to the government sector for a number of years. Our knowledge and experience has led us to review the U.S. government’s overall spending on furniture assets, and ways in which this spending could be drastically reduced.
In a recent whitepaper submitted to the General Services Administration (GSA) in response to a formal Request For Information (RFI) from the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) focusing on furniture, we made a series of best-practice recommendations for dealing with government-owned furniture and furniture asset management. Yesterday, we caught up with the GSA to discuss our ideas more in-depth and it was great to talk through the value of remanufacturing instead of replacing.
Before deciding to replace existing assets, we encourage departments to closely examine current furniture inventory to analyze what can be repurposed, rather than replaced. We’ve worked in furniture asset management for over thirty years, with a proven budget busting, cost-saving track record for Air Force bases, court houses, federal properties and barracks, the U.S. House of Representatives, and many local government building projects. Not only have we been able to deliver quality furniture products on time, we’ve delivered within budget, with minimal disruption and downtime and without detriment to the environment.
Perhaps most importantly, we suggested that if and when existing assets have been recommissioned, an ongoing management procedure is set in place. A universal set of standards and best practices to adhere to, alongside a robust inventory in order to maximize the visibility, track cost savings, time saved and environmental benefits, are essential to long-term furniture asset management success.
When it comes to furniture asset management, implementing a correct strategy is as necessary as identifying areas for budget savings. Ensuring the evaluation process is streamlined and all onsite processes are considered before a project begins is a must, as is compliance with HEPA standards, fire codes and environmental regulations.
If you’d like to learn more about our best practices for government furniture management, please see the full whitepaper here.
The double bottom line: economic and environmental sustainability
Ted Bardacke made a great point in his interview with UCLA Today when he stepped on as Deputy Director of the new LA Office of Sustainability. During the Q&A, he said that our economic future rests in developing and serving the markets of tomorrow, which can’t ignore the importance of the environment.
At The Refinishing Touch, we understand how the economic and environmental impacts of sustainability efforts – whether they are focused on recycling programs or large-scale renovations – should not be viewed in isolation, but are rather two measures of one overall goal towards success.
Last quarter, we asked our readers which level of government is most responsible for lowering costs through sustainable initiatives, and only 20% of you cited local government as a response.
So, what can be done to improve this? If the White House, and various local government institutions, can save nearly 60% on renovations by opting for our sustainable refinishing and re-upholstery alternatives, then more can certainly do the same – resulting in greener leadership nationwide.
We have continuously seen interest from government officials, hoteliers, and academic institutions in The Refinishing Touch’s sustainable asset management services as a way to save money and reduce carbon impacts. Sustainability and prosperity are two dimensions that all levels of municipalities must take into consideration when planning for the future – contact us today to find out how we can help you.
The White House’s on-off-on relationship with solar roof panels is back on
What do you think of the White House’s new solar panels that were unveiled last month?
“Better late than never,” was the comment from climate activist Bill McKibben in response to of the newly-installed solar panels on one of the country’s most iconic buildings. ABC News stated, “White House finally gets solar panels” and hundreds, if not thousands, of other media outlets reported on the on-off history of roof-top solar panels at the White House, which had been installed in the late 1970s by President Carter and removed in 1986 when building works were being undertaken for President Regan.
President Obama made the pledge to add the panels way back in October 2010. The pledge reflected the Government’s green commitment, including its support of renewable energy at that time, a stance which President Obama has reinforced as the globe faces climate changes, rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns. Today the Obama Administration is still committed to reducing America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2019 (from 2005 levels), and increasing renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency and generally securing America’s energy future.
Having once worked with the White House ourselves, The Refinishing Touch is pleased to see the same ethics behind the sustainable practices we performed inside being brought to the light – literally – with the reinstallation of solar and its photovoltaic technology.
Whether it’s a historic government edifice, a college dormitory in need of an update, or a hotel looking to increase décor, maintain brand guidelines and increase guest retention – every building has a sustainable option when it comes to updating look, facilities and furniture. Whether its solar technology, recycling programs, or furniture asset management, there are ways to create environmental benefits alongside budget gains and design payback.
By incorporating the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle – into our business plan from day one and encouraging our clients to do the same, we have been fortunate to assist decision makers and environmental activists in greening US buildings since 1977.
Interested to learn more about The White House’s new solar panels? Please read the full article here. If you’d like to learn more about The Refinishing Touch’s work within the government sector, please visit our project page here.
Mario Insenga, president of The Refinishing Touch, featured in Defense Communities
Our award-winning furniture asset management services can be applied in a variety of industries to achieve sustainable, cost-effective and high-quality renovations. The Refinishing Touch holds extensive experience within the governmental sector, with projects completed in various government-regulated housing institutions, the White House, courthouses and more.
With over 35 years’ worth of experience, it is important to us as a company to share our knowledge in the industry, in a greater effort to spread awareness around cost-efficient, yet sustainable renovation alternatives. In the latest edition of Defense Communities, a publication geared towards military housing and lodging professionals, Mario Insenga, president and founder of The Refinishing Touch, shares his tip on creating a greener, budget-friendly military establishment – re-upholstery.
In an article entitled, ‘The Sustainable Option – Reupholstery: The fabric of a greener military establishment’, Insenga elaborates on the many benefits of furniture re-upholstery, including:
- Cost-efficiency: Military establishment managers save on budget by avoiding movers’ fees, installation costs, and most importantly, avoiding having to buy brand new assets.
- Environmental awareness: Through re-upholstery, scrap fabric waste and wooden assets avoid making their way into the nation’s landfills. Re-upholstery also minimizes the rate of deforestation and carbon emissions.
- Minimal downtime: Our expert crews arrive on-site, and complete room renovations within a day’s time
- Meeting legislation requirements: GSA regulations (Executive Order 13242 and USC Title 40) require government agencies and establishments to implement sustainable environmental practices across renewable energy initiatives, waste management programs, construction projects and more. By investing in re-upholstery services, property managers meet such legislation.
With a wide selection of fabric in our Touch Textiles line, The Refinishing Touch prides itself in its professional furniture re-upholstery services, which can save up to 80 percent of a business’s budget. Our expert cutting and sewing processes allow for minimal scrap fabric waste, in a time-efficient manner.
Insenga summarizes the piece by stating, “The military is finding broad benefits, both green and fiscal, in re-upholstery…ultimately improving the look and function of furniture, both short- and long-term ROI, the planet, and the bottom line.”
To read the entire article, grab your copy of Defense Communities and flip to page 26 today. For more information pertaining to furniture asset management and what The Refinishing Touch can do for your establishment, please visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Refinishing Touch becomes ISO 9001:2008 compliant, demonstrating commitment to quality management
Here at The Refinishing Touch, we pride ourselves in delivering top-of-the-line, sustainable and fiscally responsible furniture asset management services, delivering to a customer base of over 20,000 clients throughout the hospitality, government and higher education industries.
For over 35 years, our innovative furniture refinishing processes – which are clean, non-toxic and feature no hazardous Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – have helped us receive national recognition, winning the General Service Administration’s Evergreen Award for environmental consciousness, the Most Innovative Small Business Award, and being named as part of the White House’s transition team.
And now, we are thrilled to announce The Refinishing Touch has been certified as ISO 9001:2008 compliant by the International Organization for Standardization, with certificate number 588518. This type of certification is given to organizations that continually demonstrate the ability to enhance customer satisfaction whilst producing a service and abiding by statutory and regulatory systems – a priority of ours since The Refinishing Touch’s inception in 1977.
Staying true to the bigger, greener picture and mainlining cost-effective services is what we’re all about. To date, The Refinishing Touch’s refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing services have saved an estimated three million tons of carbon dioxide and nine million trees, while simultaneously saving our clients an average of 80 percent in budget costs.
Learn more about our newly acquired ISO 9001:2008 certification by reading the full press release here. To inquire about our refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing services at your own establishment, please email us today for a free quote.
Sustainability showdown: Poll reveals the industry that has made the most progress
Earlier this week, we discussed recent proposed efforts by the US government to become paperless over the next four years. Here at The Refinishing Touch, we support similar sustainable initiatives and long-term goals throughout all of the industries we work with, including the government, higher education and hospitality.
With sustainable progress being made throughout all of these three industries and within countless organizations across the country, we thought we would ask our blog readers their own opinions on the matter. In one of our weekly blog polls, we asked, ‘What industry do you feel has made the most progress in sustainability over the last decade?’
Here’s what we found:
– Exactly 20 percent of voters agreed that the local, state and federal government have made the most changes when it comes to environmental preservation. Efforts such as paperless board meetings, implementation of solar panels in municipal buildings and furniture refinishing and reupholstering (as completed by The Refinishing Touch at the White House and various courthouses throughout the nation) have all contributed to the momentum gain in sustainability.
– Another 20 percent argued that colleges and universities have made the most substantial progress by introducing green initiatives on campuses. This can be attributed to the growing popularity of trayless dining programs, locally-sourced cafeteria food, readily-available recycling receptacles, and furniture asset management services, which The Refinishing Touch has previously implemented in schools such as Cornell University and Stanford University.
– The majority of those surveyed chose the option listed as ‘other’. We tip our hats to those in finance, retail, transportation and other sectors that have demonstrated persistence and notable success when implementing green practices. Kudos, and we hope the growing trend continues across every industry!
For more information on The Refinishing Touch’s award-winning furniture asset management solutions, or to get a free quote for refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing services at your own government, hospitality or higher education facility, email us at email@example.com.
To share your own thoughts in our poll, be sure to regularly visit our blog – a new question is posted each week!
Poll reveals the driving factor behind government’s goals
Earlier this week, Americans were glued to their television sets watching President Obama and his competitor, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, square off in the first series of this season’s presidential debate. Here at The Refinishing Touch, we kept our eyes peeled and ears open for any discussion of the environment and sustainability, two factors we keep at the forefront of our award-winning business.
The Refinishing Touch works closely with the government sector, implementing our furniture asset management services, such as refinishing, reupholstering and remanufacturing, at various local and state governments, as well as numerous federal agencies. Our team has completed on-site, environmentally-safe, sustainable projects at The White House, the General Services Administration, the US Superior Court and Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy barracks, among many others.
We also enjoy hearing the people’s opinions when it comes to government and environmental preservation, a topic we ask about frequently in our weekly blog polls. In August, we asked our readers what they thought the government sector is more driven by – environmental causes or cost reduction.
The results came pouring in, and the answers were synonymous. A surprising 100 percent of respondents agreed that the government administration and its efforts held a stronger focus on cost and budget management rather than sustainability. A sentiment The Refinishing Touch is working hard to shift to represent a more balanced outlook.
While this was only a reflection of our readers’ thoughts, it looks as if we will have to stay tuned to the remaining presidential debates and discussions to hear more about environmentally-conscious goals. To share your own thoughts with The Refinishing Touch team, be sure to participate in our blog polls every week.
For more results from some of our past survey questions, sign up for our free quarterly newsletter, InTouch – which is bound to be chalk full of the latest sustainability news in the government, hospitality and higher education sectors. To do so, please visit our homepage, and enter your contact details in the bottom right-hand corner.