The Power of Proper Purchasing: Decisions That Make Sure You Won't Miss Deals, Trends, or Deadlines

By Amy Locke Director, Interior Design, Hatchett Hospitality | June 04, 2010

Banks are on the verge of lending again. And franchisers are poised to issue property improvement plans (PIP's) for properties that have been neglected over the past two years, especially those owned and being operated under foreclosure by banks.

These trends mean we're about to see a wave of investing in both new and existing hotel properties – and owners will be making significant decisions about furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E). Let's review some purchasing suggestions which can help you properly capture deals, design directions, and deadlines.

In-house Staff or Outside Professional?

The typical limited service hotel will need to purchase more than 2,500 line items, 250 of which may be specified. These items may come from 70 or more companies. Obviously this generates hundreds of purchase orders over many months – a process that must be carefully managed:

  • so all product options and specifications are thoroughly evaluated for desired function, quality, durability, and brand standards
  • so the right items are purchased at the right price and in the right quantity
  • so every order is delivered to the proper location on the scheduled date
  • so all installation is done in a way that enhances product performance and maintains the integrity of manufacturer warranties
  • so all appropriate follow-up service is received from vendors in a timely manner

If you consider having an in-house staff person handle your FF&E purchasing, you should also consider (1) whether that person has the appropriate experience and expertise, and (2) to what degree the person's other responsibilities will be impacted or neglected.

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