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Best Practices: Identify Problems – Stand out with Innovations

To be an outstanding purchasing company, you want to be doing more than just purchasing goods – you want to be to be a sparring-partner with value-adding expertise. The one who makes designs and products compatible with the very specific needs of hospitality operations. The one who challenges the designers’ and architects’ specifications for shortfalls and missing items. And above all, you will want to be the one who not only identifies a problem but who also brings an innovative solution to the table. Below are some examples of how we managed to turn a challenge into an opportunity for innovation. 

The Bürgenstock Cinema Multiuse Chairs

One of Claudia’s tasks during her tenure at the Bürgenstock Resort, was to procure cinema chairs for the resort’s iconic cinema. The cinema should not only serve for film screening, but also for conferences during the day. Thus, the chair must cater to two very distinguished types of use: one, watching movies with great comfort, and two, listening actively to a speaker while taking notes efficiently.

With no suitable seat on the market, Claudia took the opportunity to have a bespoke solution developed. Several options were drafted and tested: The result is a luxurious chair with a swivel table, that slides forward and then turns 90 degrees, providing a surface for a laptop or notepad when needed and being decoratively stowed away when not. The highly customized development was made in collaboration with the company Cineak in Belgium.

The Carbon Fibre Waiter Tray in different Outlets

Traditionally, waiters carry plates or beverages on large metal trays which are beautiful but very heavy. Most female and male waiters would suffer to keep up the weight, especially over the accumulated long distances in hospitality operations.

Inspired by the car industry, the idea was formed to use carbon fibre for trays to relieve the waiter of unnecessary weight. Together with William-Alexandre Francois, former F&B Manager at the Royal Savoy Lausanne, and AB Composites, Yann has successfully developed a light & stylish carbon fibre tray that is used on a daily basis in various establishments – and in the same price range as high-quality metal trays. Please contact us in case you would like any more information on the product.

Freestanding Table Lamps

Over the last couple of years various freestanding, battery-operated table lamps have come onto the market, most notably the Luxciole by Hisle. It is a good example to illustrate how solutions for your private home do not cater to the requirements of large restaurants and hotels: At home, a lamp with built-in battery is usually recharged with a charger that is plugged into an electrical plug. But how do you recharge your lamps if you have 50 of them? In the hotels’ back of the house, where space is typically scarce?

As a partial solution, some producers have developed charging stations for several lamps, which require only one electrical plug. Still, the problem of space remains unresolved. Another flaw of battery-powered lamps is even more problematic: If your lamp runs out of battery before your guests leave, you might have to pull it from the guest’s table to recharge.

Claudia has therefore developed a table lamp with easy-to-switch batteries with the company 2F Hotellicht. During operations, spare battery sets are simultaneously being charged in back of the house in a space-efficient charging station. A waiter can simply replace the battery with a full one, instead of taking away the whole lamp.

Our conclusion: Innovation is a popular buzzword, also in hospitality. Nevertheless, our industry is oftentimes marked by tradition. Which means you can find many opportunities to bring about big or small innovations that make you stand out as a procurement partner. The key to identify them is to always take a holistic look at the hotel and to see it through two eyes: the eye for experience and the eye for operations.

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