When purchasing products for your hotel interior design new build, remodel or refresh, you must decide whether to purchase items domestically or from overseas. There are compelling arguments for both sides and it can seem a little confusing or even contradictory. IGroup Design’s procurement team has several years of experience so we’ve chimed in to help sort out fact from fiction.
Hospitality Interior Design Procurement – Here are our Thoughts
THE CASE FOR DOMESTIC
SAVE ON SHIPPING
This is a positive hit to your project budget. Shipping can be astronomical on large items. Purchasing items stateside can lead to quite a bit of savings on shipping costs alone. Buying from your local community can save you even more on shipping.
SHORTER LEAD TIME
If you are on a tight deadline, it just makes sense to purchase domestically. Shipping, customs, weather delays, all are potential hiccups for timely delivery of your items. Overseas assembly lines are often backlogged and can leave you waiting for weeks or even months.
EASIER REPLACEMENT FOR DAMAGE
If something is damaged upon delivery, it is much simpler to obtain replacement items domestically rather than overseas and it is much quicker. Tip: if you have items that are broken when received, be sure to document the damage well to assist in the return process.
DRIVE CUSTOMER LOYALTY WITH A RICHER, MORE AUTHENTIC “LOCAL” EXPERIENCE
Working with local businesses has several advantages. Working with businesses within your community or local area allow for:
- Authentic Local Vibe – This will draw in the crowd that is looking for a hyper-local experience.
- Increased Customer Loyalty – Local support tends to generate customer loyalty.
- Greener Footprint – Sustainability is much sought after among travelers. Knowing that you feature locally sourced items makes them feel good about their stay.
Products purchased in the United States are strictly regulated. This regulation can give you peace of mind regarding the quality of your purchase. Reviews, samples, and references can also give you a much greater reassurance of the quality of the products you are purchasing.
Ease of communication is another advantage of purchasing American products. Time zones are much closer lending to quicker response times. When conducting business, language barriers can be frustrating as well.
HIGHER LABOR STANDARDS
The labor standards in the United States are incredibly high. Because of this, you can rest assured that the products you are purchasing were made by employees who were treated fairly and legally. Although some countries are cracking down on “sweatshops”, it is not easy to determine the labor practices of overseas companies short of visiting them personally.
MIRRORS AND LIGHTING
Due to EPA regulations, it is difficult to obtain mirrors and lighting in great quantity domestically. Because of this, most lighting and mirrors are purchased overseas and shipped. Most of these are mass-produced so they can have a relatively quick turnaround which is great for your project timeline. If you are special ordering anything, be sure to plan enough time for the order to be made and give yourself a cushion for shipping delays along the way.
The mass production that is status quo overseas has driven the cost of foreign goods way down. Cost is a clear driver for purchasing overseas for good reason.
More countries to choose from means greater selection. Greater selection gives you more design options. Sometimes greater selection can be overwhelming. Also, not all manufacturers sell high-quality goods. Be sure to check references and get samples before making a large order. Tip: go through a procurement firm that has the experience and has built relationships with vendors and manufacturers.
Although there are many more reasons to purchase domestically, the shortlist of advantages of overseas procurement is compelling. Typically a mix of domestic and overseas procurement makes for a well-balanced and affordable project.
For more information on procurement for your next hotel remodel, contact us at IGroup Design. Our procurement team is a great resource for information.