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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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.