Firms like KANNOA | SPACES are leveraging technology to transform its service offering.
All industries have been forced to adapt to a new world, a world driven by technology and innovation, a world that is constantly changing, seeking efficiencies and exponential financial results. The Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) service industry is no exception. Technology now makes price comparison and access to suppliers all across the world easier. With just a few clicks anyone can find any product available and get a reference price/quote. This flattens the field, exposes imperfections in the market and essentially eliminates the middleman margin cushion which procurement offices enjoyed for decades.
I often get the question: what is it that we do here at KANNOA | SPACES: are we a procurement office, a manufacturer, a design team, a logistics team or a project management firm? Reality is, that we are all of the above. Our job is to make sure our customers get the product they need on time, at the right price and with exceptional quality and service. To do so properly we leverage on technology. Here are some of the ways we are seeing Technology change the way we do FF&E:
- Single Communication platform: managing large FF&E projects can be very complex, thousands of items with different specifications need to be selected, approved, manufactured, delivered and installed. In the case of some of our projects, these items even need to be custom designed. To effectively manage all these tasks, our team, suppliers and customers all have access to a single specialized technology platform that we make available which tracks every step of the project, keeping all stakeholders informed of all aspects at all times (including budget).
- Visualization: we eliminate surprises by using software to create technical drawings and renders of each and every product the client specifies. Technology allows us to visualize what we will deliver even before we make our first production sample. This allows our clients to approve the product or make changes to it before production starts, speeding up the process.
- Conferencing instead of calls: the age of Zoom is here, and it adds another set of layers to the communication platform. We can share screens, look at each other and even do virtual real-time walkthroughs and site or factory inspections. It's easy to forget, but prior to COVID19, Zoom or any form of virtual conference calls were rare; now it's almost a standard in the industry and, yes, we find that it does increase productivity.
- Customized catalogs: building a library or online catalog of custom products tailored to each customer is now common practice for us. We have the ability of leveraging technology to quickly turn a finished project into a future offering. Customer’s love having a virtual catalog customized with their products and tailored to their needs that they can reference for future projects or come back to for repurchases/replenishments.
- Tracking budget: with real-time information comes real-time tracking of overall FF&E budget, helping our customers make decisions that directly impact their offering. These days Hotels carefully manage their ADR (average daily room rate) and RevPAR (revenue per available room). With FF&E investments being around 17% of the cost of building a Hotel, decisions made will have a direct impact on these numbers.
- Artificial Intelligence: computers and algorithms helping us find the products you need is now common practice. But what you may not know is that software models can also anticipate your needs and make suggestions that will in the long run save us and our customers time and money.
- Single point of contact: technology enables us to be there when our customers need us. Our business depends on making sure your contact at our firm is there to take your call when you need him or her. We simplify this by taking a single point of contract approach, the one person you trust can answer your inquiries at any time. To do so we make ourselves available at all times and we make sure we have the technology to help our customers reach us when they need to.
In today’s economy the middleman is gone from FF&E. It has been replaced by services like KANNOA | SPACES that combine custom manufacturing capabilities with direct to factory purchasing, product design & engineering, logistics, installation and project management services that truly leverage technology to improve turnaround time, project visualization, communication and budget. Now it's a full-service game in the FF&E world and those with the infrastructure and technology to make it happen will be responsible for moving the industry forward.