At face value, once you place an order for custom hotel casegoods furniture, it’s natural to think that the manufacturer fires up their tools and equipment and starts building your new furnishings.
But, that isn’t the case. Bringing hotel FF&E (fixtures, furniture, and equipment) from a napkin sketch into reality is indeed a process, and it involves many different departments coordinating closely before the proverbial hammer goes to nail. And that’s not to mention your continued involvement throughout the duration of the project.
Understanding what happens right after your order is placed helps everyone involved plan effectively to keep your project – and expectations – on track from the beginning.
What’s Next After Your Hotel FF&E Order is Placed
Before your hotel FF&E order is received, plenty of work has already happened.
In the early stages of a project, a hotel casegoods manufacturer will work closely with you to understand your needs and hotel furniture design vision. Depending on your manufacturer, you may also host a site visit at your facility, something we can’t recommend enough. In addition, you’ll work with a designer to come up with a preliminary drawing for each piece.
But once you’ve committed to moving forward on a hospitality FF&E project with a casegoods furniture manufacturer, an entire process kicks into gear.
Let’s take a look at what happens at Artone immediately after your order is received:
The member of our Sales Team who’s your point of contact reviews your purchase order, comparing it against the initial estimate to make sure everything aligns. They’ll pay particular attention to key details such as:
With the purchase order squared away, the Sales Team member turns their efforts toward creating a “handoff packet” that’s given to the Project Manager (PM) who will take-over and oversee your order through delivery and/or installation. In addition to the purchase order, the handoff packet comprises supporting documents, including initial sketches and mockups of your order.
The packet is also given to an engineer, who will begin creating the technical drawings of your hotel casegoods.
As your order starts taking shape and moving closer toward manufacturing, the engineer and the production team begin meeting regularly – typically every day at 10:15 a.m. They’ll go over the order and dive deeper into its design and what it will take to make each piece.
With this additional collaboration, engineering is able to further refine the product drawings before sending them back to you for approval.
After your approval on drawings, it’s all systems go – your order is ready to move into the production phase.
The project’s engineer will produce a materials requisition, outlining everything needed to produce the final casegoods. Our purchasing department then places the order, and once it arrives, the project is turned over to manufacturing for fabrication to start.
One of the most exciting parts of the hotel FF&E procurement process is when it begins to take shape. Our manufacturing team gets to work on building your casegoods. Depending on the particulars of your pieces, our crew uses a wide variety of state-of-the-art equipment and tools as the casegoods go through the various areas of our shop floor for processes such as:
Resource: See our manufacturing process from start to finish:
As your hospitality furniture is made, others involved in fulfilling the order are hard at work, too.
Our accounting team goes over the financials and prepares the paperwork on the hotel FF&E’s costs. Your project manager continues checking in with the engineering and manufacturing teams. In addition, the PM works on the logistics to coordinate your orders’ storage (if need be) and delivery. When you receive your order is based on a variety of factors including:
Your project schedule
The number of pieces
The size & shape of your casegoods
Your Role: Staying Looped-in
While it’s easy for a customer and hotel casegoods manufacturer to have limited contact once an order is approved, we don’t believe in that approach. As we’ve found, one of the worst things in casegoods manufacturing is a lapse in communication. When both parties aren’t talking – or at least checking in – that opens the doors to a host of issues that cost time and money (two things that have major impacts on a project).
All throughout the entire process, your PM will remain in regular contact with you, providing status updates or working through issues as they arise.
Pro Tip: When looking for a hospitality contract furniture manufacturer, be sure to ask about how open the lines of communication are.
How Domestic Manufacturers Streamline Communication
It’s natural to look for ways to save money in a hotel casegoods project. When making a major investment, the last thing anyone wants is to go over budget.
Though offshore hotel furniture suppliers and manufacturers may offer lower prices, they do come at a cost. Partnering with an overseas furniture maker often requires more effort to stay in touch as time zone differences may eliminate efficient communication. Language barriers also present a challenge.
With an experienced hotel furniture manufacturer in the USA, accessibility isn’t an issue. Phone calls can happen in a reasonable amount of time and the potential for long delays in email responses are much lower. In addition, it’s also easier for both you and your manufacturer to conduct site visits at each other’s facilities.
Mastering the Hotel FF&E Procurement Process
Like any other manufactured goods, making hotel casegoods requires coordination between many different moving parts.
In addition to working with an experienced casegoods manufacturer, it’s just as important to have a full grasp of everything that’s involved in bringing your order to reality. Not only are you better equipped when coordinating your overall project, but you’ll have a greater sense of ownership for the final products.
Start on the Right Foot in Creating Your Hotel Casegoods
Learn what our value engineering process can do for your project: