Understanding Moving Services For The Hospitality Industry
Contributed by Rick Brown
Johnson Storage and Moving
Moving or renovating an office, medical facility or other business location can be a daunting task involving multiple departments, a long chain of approvals and logistics from storage to security and other considerations. But moving for a hospitality location such as a hotel has its own special challenges, all of which require experienced professionals who can ensure the attention to detail that your project requires.
Let’s explore some of the issues facing hotels, whether moving to a new location or moving due to renovations.
What’s Included In A Move?
With most major hotel locations undergoing renovations every five to seven years, including guest rooms, conference rooms, lobbies and other key spaces, it’s likely that you’ll require professional moving services a number of times throughout the lifetime of your position at a hotel. But there is also always a first time, so understanding what’s involved and what factors you may need to consider can pave the way to a smoother operation.
Furniture, fixtures and equipment (referred to in industry-speak as FF&E), drapery, carpeting, mattresses and box springs, artwork and even the paint on the walls can be part of a renovation project and necessitate a professional to manage.
And each of these requires one or more professional services that may include warehousing, delivery, installation, disposal and of course inventory management and reporting.
Renovating Vs. Moving Into A New Construction
While each of these has a number of commonalities and require the same attention to detail and quality control, there are different considerations when renovating vs. moving into a new construction.
The most important consideration for a renovation is ensuring a smooth process that doesn’t disturb guests or interfere with the hotel’s overall operations. Removing and replacing furniture, carpets, drapery, equipment and other items should be done with as little disruption as possible, which means renovating strategically floor by floor or one area at a time so noise levels and disruption to space and guest access are minimized.
When undertaking a renovation, scheduling and timing are of the essence. Delays can have a negative effect on the hotel’s ability to book guests or host events, ultimately impacting the hotel’s bottom line. Renovated areas need to be turned around more quickly which means deliveries and installations must be done on time.
A professional moving service experienced in the hospitality industry will understand and effectively manage these logistics.
Choosing A Professional Moving Service
Not all moving companies are created equal. Whether you receive a recommendation or have researched the vast pool of options available to you via the Internet, there are some steps you can take to qualify a company before entrusting your project to them. These are just a few suggestions for vetting a moving company before committing.
While many moving companies may be exceptionally qualified in their area of expertise, it’s always advisable to choose a professional with experience serving your industry. The requirements for moving a data center, for example, are quite different than the requirements for managing a hotel renovation.
An experienced company should have a solid track record of successful moves and renovations, completed on time, on budget and with minimal disruption to the hotel.
A first hand recommendation from a trusted source is a great place to start, and experience is a must, but you don’t need to take any one person’s word for it. Ask your prospective mover to provide a recent client list and check those references. Ask questions about the company’s communication, reliability and effectiveness.
It should also be possible to visit a company’s warehouse so that you can see first hand the organization and security that you can expect.
Does your prospective moving company have open and clear channels of communication not only between you and them, but between their management team and crew? This is where visiting a facility can also help, because you’ll be able to witness the communication and processes in play.
Whether you’re purchasing new furniture, equipment and other items or relocating them, you’ll want an accurate accounting of each item. Ask about reporting and inventory procedures to be sure that your purchase orders will be matched and that reports will be presented accurately in a timely fashion.
Processes & Procedures
From receiving freight to disposing of unwanted carpeting, any moving company should have clearly stated processes and procedures. These will impact the quality of warehousing, the timeliness of shipments, the accuracy of reporting and the effectiveness of communications, among other things.
Ask your potential moving company to explain key processes so that you understand what to expect.
Even the best planned and most expertly executed project can hit glitches. Moving and renovations are major projects that can require many crew members. Include the management teams of both parties, and you’ve got a lengthy chain of command that can hit an unanticipated snag at any time. And while experience and communication will mitigate and minimize those glitches, the more important factor is what happens when glitches occur.
Any company you’re considering hiring should be willing and able to demonstrate a process for managing issues and resolving problems, from delayed shipments to missing items and other concerns.
While effective processes and procedures are important, there may be times when your unique needs do not fit into an industry template. Whether you have your own internal inventory reporting method or you have specialty storage and warehousing requirements, you’ll want to know that your moving company can amend their policies to effectively satisfy your needs.
How Price Plays A Role
With budget playing so heavily into almost every business decision, you may have noticed that price was not included in the list of things to look for in your moving company. And yet as a deciding factor, it cannot be overlooked.
Competitive pricing is important in any industry, and your selected company will understand the impact of budget. However, there is a flip side to making decisions based on pricing, and that is the possibility of neglecting qualifications, references and other elements.
Keep in mind that while price is an unavoidable deciding factor, simply choosing the “lowest bidder” can backfire in lost time, lost or damaged inventory, disruptions and failure to meet your needs.
The value of experience cannot be overstated. So as you choose your vendor, be sure to weigh price and value so that you can be assured of a smooth, stress-free moving experience.
Would you like to learn more about our processes, procedures and qualifications? Contact us with your questions and to request references.