The Difficult Contract Supply Criteria (Part 1).

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
    • 0

    Hotels are special places with special demands on designers, contractors and manufacturers serving the refurbishment and new build markets. Subject to much abuse by guests, hotels have to withstand a level of use rarely seen in domestic environments, and with potentially ruinous consequences for designers, suppliers and the hotel itself if mistakes are made.

    Hotels rely on letting their rooms. Seems obvious to state this but it must be ever present in designers minds, and in the thinking of contractors and contract suppliers too. For the designer it brings an understanding of the need to programme the work so that a completion date is met. This would involve not only the actual build time but knowing the delivery periods for all the FF&E items, and what order they need to be installed in the rooms, who installs them etc..
    In setting a date for handover to the hotel the designer has to be conscious that as soon as an hotel manager is given a date for handover they will be letting rooms. Rooms are often let months in advance so mangers will be looking for handover dates from the beginning of projects on refurbishment. This demands that the designer coordinates work from tender stage on, in close harmony with their contractor, to ensure that named dates are achieved, as if not the penalty may be that the hotel has to be compensated for its loss of profit.

    Nothing angers hotel management more than having guest booked in and the rooms not available. Not only does it create relationship problems with guests, but the hotel may have to find rooms for them with a competitor hotel with the attendant risk that the guest transfers their loyalty to the other hotel. As designer relationships with hotels have the potential for being long term ( my own practice had continuing working relationships with some hoteliers for over 30 years) then it is wise for the designer to anticipate and remove problems before the hotel becomes aware they exist. Make no mistake, investors may make decisions and choose a design practice, but if a designer offends the GM the working relationship with the hotel WILL break down.

    In creating a work programme the designer needs honest responses and a good straight forward relationship with the producers of the FF&E items and the contractor. No-one can live with exaggerated promises on delivery dates or site performance if they cannot be realised. Whilst the size of orders and potential for repeat orders may be attractive for a manufacturer, no designers will go back to a company that lets them down in this market – their professional reputations are too valuable, and the penalties for non-delivery too high.

    So Rule 1: Never promise what you can’t deliver, always deliver on what you promise.

    Daniel Fountain / 19.02.2014

    Editor, Hotel Designs


    • 0