Hotel Furniture: Why Buy from Domestic Manufacturers?
When it comes to furnishing a renovated hotel or new build, you often have to choose between domestic furniture manufacturers and overseas options, or some combination of the two. This is not a decision to make lightly. Where you decide to purchase your furniture will affect not just your budget but the quality your guests will experience.
Only Cheap on the Surface
Overseas materials and labor may be less expensive upfront. However, considering COVID-19 outbreaks and disruptions at key distribution hubs, including port congestion, high global freight rates, and a clogged supply chain — there are a lot more hidden costs just to have furniture delivered. This is not the case with all international furniture, but longevity and durability are also aspects to consider. Lower price tags can translate to less material volume and lower quality materials used meaning quicker breaks and replacements.
Shorter Lead Times
Industry leaders and economists expect the current supply chain issue will continue to create shipping delays for the next few years. Lead times can be expected to double, or even triple, depending on the commodity, region, and importing stations. In addition to the limited availability of raw materials, if you order furniture from overseas manufacturers, you could be waiting quite a long time. Domestic manufacturers have the advantage of shorter lead times with no oceans to cross, fewer inspections, and no tariffs.
Protect Intellectual Property
There are a number of risks associated with offshoring your hotel furniture. First, there is no guarantee international governments will honor or enforce international patents on your products — meaning your industry-leading plans could be at risk. There is also no protection against counterfeit products or manufacturers. Due to location, it may be very difficult to resolve the situation. Domestic manufacturers have to follow patent laws and safety regulations or risk legal action. It is also much easier to prevent the spread of counterfeit products when the supply chain is much closer to home.
Quicker Access to Replacements
Accidents can and do happen, whether during, shipping, delivery, installation, or regular wear and tear. Whenever damage occurs, replacement parts need to be available. You’ll want your items in a few days, not a few weeks. There is also the possibility of defective products in shipments. Which, if you’ve ordered furniture from international manufacturers, you won’t know if there’s a defective product until it arrives. That could delay the opening of a new build or the completion of a renovation. After waiting several weeks or months for the products to arrive from overseas, it’s not likely that you or your client will want to wait even longer to receive a replacement. With domestic manufacturers, shipping times are greatly reduced, which means you’ll have quicker access to replacement parts and items, in case of defective or broken products.
Made in the USA
Keeping your products and manufacturing “at home” can help you win PR points. The U.S. has a longstanding reputation for making respectable, quality products that are expected to stand the test of time. There are deep-rooted feelings associated with American integrity and ingenuity. These feelings can be leveraged when marketing yourself and the products featured in your hotel. Also, buying products made in America helps support the national economy, including generating tax revenue, and creating more jobs. Plus, buying domestic is easier on the planet. Less fuel is used in transportation and using locally sourced materials from responsible, renewable partners is highly sustainable.
The Main Takeaway
There’s is always an element of uncertainty with any supply chain. Having your hotel casegoods manufacturer located on the same soil as you simplifies and streamlines the procurement process. This makes the hotel supply chain management is less of a headache. The pandemic has shown that working with domestic manufacturers can help you avoid some of the risks associated with offshoring.
Purchasing furniture from a domestic manufacturer is cost-effective in the long run, providing continued benefits. U.S.-based manufacturers can often make concessions on areas most impacted by price: materials, durability and construction, and lead times. Areas that can be difficult for international manufacturers to adjust reasonably and still get products to customers in a timely manner while still keeping costs low. Above all, an upfront investment in American-made furniture is an investment in your hotel’s future, and a nod toward guest satisfaction.
Here at WoodgeniX, we create furniture made in the U.S. We build all of our hospitality and commercial furniture at our facility in Random Lake, Wisconsin. We guarantee quality furniture pieces within a short lead time and with as little waste as possible.