I interviewed Chris Iseley who discussed Logistics in the Hotel Development and Renovation Market.
It’s nice to speak with you today, Chris. I’m looking forward to hearing your views on logistics in the hotel development and renovation market. Before we start, can you provide a brief background of yourself?
Thanks for having me here; I appreciate it. I’m currently the vice president of hospitality solutions for Suddath Global Logistics. I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in integrated strategic communications and business and quickly took a job out in California for a logistics company, doing warehousing and fulfillment. Over the course of a few years, I’ve been with them now eight years. I got promoted a few times and ended up with a division under Suddath Global Logistics in the hospitality division, which is something we’ve done for a while as a company but a relatively new vertical division within the company. Now, along with another individual named Jeff Caldwell, I head that division and am responsible for overseeing its success.
Great. Can you describe a little about what logistics in this space is as far as hotel development and renovation? What is it about?
Logistics in the hotel industry is a lot different than your typical logistics of just sending pallet loads of widgets from point A to point B. A lot of logistics around hotel developments and renovations is in regard to the FF and E material which we call in the industry furniture fixtures and equipment. It’s based around usually a construction schedule, whoever the owner and developer is. Renovating a hotel, they have certain guidelines they need to meet to develop a hotel. All the furniture, fixtures, things like nightshades and bedding and chairs and desks, all have to come at a certain time. There has to be a company there that manages all that inbound flow from the time it leaves the manufacturers’ door to the time it’s actually placed in the rooms and everything is installed.
How is it done effectively?
Typically, what happens is the owner-developer of a hotel or brand will hire a purchasing company that works in tandem with a logistics company. What they then do is coordinate all the various vendors from wherever the products are being manufactured usually—overseas or here stateside in the United States. They’ll coordinate the inbound shipping to a local warehouse close to the hotel that’s being renovated. They’ll then store the material in a warehouse close to the jobsite and then send over product as needed for the install crews to then unload the trucks, bring the material up, and place in the rooms and kind of work it from the time it leaves the manufacturers’ door to the time it’s fully placed in the room. There are certain companies that offer turnkey solutions; there are companies out there that just do certain aspects of the logistics process. Some companies will provide just warehousing, and some companies will do just installation, but there are other companies out there that provide a turnkey solution as well.
Can you talk about some successful projects or some success doing this type of logistics?
There’ve been a multitude of projects. Stateside, there’s a lot of competition. There are a lot of companies that can offer turnkey solutions. Personally, we’ve found a lot of success in the Caribbean market, and more of the challenging types of projects were, they might not just be a renovation in Omaha, Nebraska; it might be a new renovation that’s off an island off the coast of Seattle, for instance. The resources are a little bit more limited, and it’s a little bit harder to get product to the actual site. We’ve found a lot of success lately in the Caribbean market. Most recently, we’re working with the developer of a mega resort called Baha Mar, which is 2300 rooms, four hotels, and a casino. We’re in charge of managing the inbound freight; the warehousing we set up in Jacksonville, Florida; and handling the outbound freight to the island of Nassau; and then doing the install work as well. We’ve found that a lot of these harder-to-do project are really solved by a typical logistics company, and we’ve kind of placed ourselves in that niche with more of a hard-to-reach type of location, destination resorts.
Thank you, Chris, for sharing today.
I appreciate the opportunity.
About Chris Iseley
Vice President, Hospitality Solutions