Procurement Personalities: The Architects of the First Seven Seconds

By Jason Bramhall VI Senior Director, Procurement, The Gettys Group | July 08, 2018

Did you know that it only takes seven seconds for your mind to determine a "first impression" of something? For that reason, hospitality property owners invest a significant amount of time, money and resources into crafting the perfect design for their hotels that will create engaging and authentic experiences for their guests. Guests walk through the door and those short seven seconds begin.

Just as when the curtains draw up at the beginning of a Broadway show, we first engage with what we see, the stage. Without the stage, there is no context, no place for the story to unfold. It sets the tone and allows us to emotionally engage with the environment and transports us into the vision of the playwright.

Behind the scenes, there is a team that infuses their passion, personality, and perspective into bringing that initial emotional experience to life. The same is true for the "first impression" that guests have when they walk through the doors of a hotel. Enter the procurement team.

Whether it's a new build, a restoration or a renovation, there are an array of decisions, big and small, that go into the creation of a well-designed hotel property. But even after every design decision is made, it is the procurement team that deciphers the creative intent and translates that ethereal vision into tangible and engaging outcomes.

The Perceptions

Although they are often considered a behind-the-scenes, commodity-driven piece of the interior design puzzle, procurement teams are passionately and equally invested in meeting the specific needs of clientele, regardless of whether they're working on a luxury project, select-service property or something in between. Effective procurement teams take the time to learn and fully understand the objectives of a project so that they can stay intimately involved throughout the entire process and, ultimately, deliver the best implementation of an original design concept.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.