“I was facing many concerns of a New Build that I assume most owners face; choosing CPNA made my life so much easier.”
The 60 room MICROTEL in Sault Ste. Marie was being built in 2014 by Coulters Motel Limited, owned by the Wurdemann family. Anyone will tell you that building a new hotel is not an easy task. Construction brings about a long list of unexpected challenges and furnishing them is another dilemma.
Where do you start, and what do you look at? What suppliers do you call? How do you identify the exact products you need, and what approvals do you need to get from a design group?
All these questions are put to rest when you decide to engage with the right company. When you identify a company that is a ”Total Solution Provider” with many years of experience in furnishing hotels, you heave a sigh of relief.
Instead of calling on many suppliers individually, asking for quotations, getting multiple quotes, you only deal with one source. You are presented the various choices all laid out with product specifications and pricing for a decision.
The Wurdemann family did just that. They found Contract Partners of North America referred to as CPNA.
The following interview will highlight how and why they chose this option.
How did you hear about CPNA?
In our years in the hospitality business, we found it challenging to source all of the myriad components that go to designing and building a hotel. We began our relationship with CPNA in 2003 when we planned our first new-build hotel under the Super 8 flag. CPNA was one of the many FF&E companies that we interviewed for our first project. We found that the personalized service provided by CPNA was exactly what we needed to get our project finished on time and on budget.
What made you decide to go the route of a Total Solution Provider?
It is much easier to design and source all of our needs through one provider. The scheduling of deliveries, the problem-solving and finally the bookkeeping is all the much easier when there is only one supplier to contact. It saved us a lot of time and headaches to deal directly with CPNA than if we had sourced all of our needs through several distributors.
Did you ever consider going at the FF&E project by yourself?
We briefly considered tackling the FF&E project ourselves, however, we realized that there is much more involved than just ordering supplies for our guestrooms. We leaned heavily on the expertise of CPNA because there is much more involved in a renovation and/or a new construction than anyone can ever anticipate. Just like we trusted our General Contractor with the physical build of the hotel(s), we trusted CPNA to deliver on the FF&E, and make sure that we are actually meeting or exceeding brand requirements.
Explain how the communication unfolded?
Communication on any project is the key to success. From the very first moment Luci Wurdemann spoke with Elaine Gordon at CPNA, a strong understanding and bond developed. Luci could call Elaine one hundred times a day, and still get professional and very knowledgeable answers to her questions. Bottom line, the lines of communication were always open, honest and professional.
What were the most important aspects of the relationship that you can remember?
The most important aspects of our relationship with CPNA is the professionalism with which their staff go above and beyond our needs. There are always plenty of choices, upgrades and so on to consider. The very knowledgeable staff has always steered us in the right direction by being open and honest about certain design elements, furnishings etc. and about what our budget will bear. Thus, helping us complete our project on time, on budget and on spec with the brand.
You worked almost exclusively with Elaine, what aspects helped you the most?
Elaine is a very knowledgeable and fun person to deal with. She is always ready to send quotes, discuss design options, and keep us on track with our projects. Luci and Elaine have formed a durable and mutually respectful relationship where one is always in sync with the other. This duo has been very successful in getting our hotels complete with great design and keeping on budget. This is quite important when planning and completing any project, and especially one as detailed as a hotel whether it is a refresh, renovation or new build.
What would you advise other owners to consider when facing a total refurnishing?
When facing a total refurnishing of your hotel, first and foremost consider your budget and make sure you have a healthy contingency. If your property is branded, make sure you speak to someone at your brand to get the latest specifications and brand requirements. If you deal with CPNA they can help you make sure your design and your purchases meet or exceed the brand requirements. Remember to always keep the lines of communication open and expect that not everything will go smoothly.
How much of the workload with the complete furnishings were taken off your shoulders?
Using CPNA was a life saver. We had so much going on with the construction, the inspections and so on that it was a relief having CPNA on our team. We saved a lot of time by having one Total Solution Provider, since we agreed on a budget, design and time line for deliveries ahead of time. We knew exactly what we were getting and when we could expect delivery.
Have you used CPNA on any other projects following the Microtel?
Yes, over the years we have used CPNA for a refresh of our guestrooms at our Super 8 and for our other properties. We have used other providers as well, but none were as professional and knowledgeable as the CPNA team.
How were the logistics of deliveries handled?
There are always hiccups when dealing with many deliveries. However, Elaine at CPNA was able to deal with delays, paperwork etc. so that we were able to focus our energy building and marketing our hotel.
What have you learned from this experience?
This experience has been one of many positive ones with CPNA. We have learned that there are many pieces to the hotel puzzle that are easier to deal with by having one provider. We don’t even mind paying a little more for our FF&E because we know either everything is perfect, or a quick phone call will solve all issues.
Can you summarize the reason and advice you would give for engaging CPNA?
To put is simply, CPNA is a one-stop shop. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and professional. They are up to date on the latest brand standards for branded properties, and their suppliers offer many options from the budget friendly to the high-end. Your wallet and your nerves will thank you once you engage the CPNA team for your next project.
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