ITEKNIA is a Mexican “contract” company, dedicated to the furnishing of hotels worldwide.

Written by: Eduardo Macias.
People often ask me;” Eduardo, why is Iteknia defined as a “contract” company? I know you make furniture for hotels and constantly furniture for different bars and restaurants over design, but what does it mean to be a “contract company “within the field of hospitality?”
Today I want to talk a little about these concepts, somewhat ambiguous for some, and for others, a confusing term.

Contract or Hospitality?
Well, very often people confuse the term Hospitality with the term Contract, but let me tell you, this concept has been used for more than 40 years and since then has evolved.
Those of us, who for years have specifically worked in the field of furnishing hotels, define our company as a “Contract Company”.
Therefore I want to explain a little the meaning or interpretation of this, because I think very few people know or guess about its meaning.

The business association habitat and contract in Spain (Unex) www.areacontract.com
defined it as follows:
“Contract is the channel where a chain of value of products and services are incorporated with specific engineering, in order to give a global and specialized contribution in architecture, interior and hotel equipment and other spaces for collective use.”

Now, the term “Contract” has grown, and changed from being a sales channel, to become a complete ecosystem or chain of materials, supplies, comprehensive services and high quality standards.
This ecosystem integrates from raw materials to assembly, documentation and service of the project after – sales. The end result is good management in the value chain that provides greater return on investment.
What are the characteristics of products and services Contract?
• Production for collective, public, and intense use.
• Use of resistant materials and construction techniques for collective use.
• Design products for global markets.
• Capacity for high volume of production
• Competitive prices
• Delivery JIT (just in time)
• Complies with Local Standards, National or International
• Integration in harmony to the chain for the benefit of the project.

Now I explain each characteristic step by step:

• Production for collective, public, and intense use.
If we rely on the above features, it is very important to understand that Contract means more than production volume for Hospitality.

Unlike the concept Hospitality, Contract covers all commercial sectors of massive, heavy use.
This means that the manufacture of the article must be designed to withstand rugged use and provide a guarantee of 5 years.

• Use of resistant materials and construction techniques for collective use.
Using material for collective use implies that within the chain there is a specialized supply and product specifications are commensurate with the intended use, neither more nor less.
Since it is fair to specify only the materials needed, to suggest more than enough qualities would involve an unnecessary cost to the project.

• Design products for global markets.
It is a characteristic that we must consider that the products are of high design, versatile and thought to occupy spaces such as international hotels in town or beach destinations, theme and ergonomics according to their destination and use.

• Capacity for high volume of production.
While we talked in widespread use, this concept does not imply high volume, ie, the production lines must be prepared for low, medium and high volume production, and we can have a mixture of this and simultaneously may be occurring lobby with 40 different pieces, a restaurant and 400 rooms. This requirement defines a unique operating system in production Contract factories, unlike the traditional ones.

Competitive prices and deliveries JIT (just in time).
It is indisputable that, if we refer to the Contract presence, it does occur in global markets, always competing with the best companies in the world.
Because everything in this value chain is aimed at commercial projects for mass use, the openings are scheduled dates unmovable, where delays do not occur. They will always happen in the set time.

• Meets Local, National and International Regulations
The ruble is very broad, as it relates to compliance from local labor standards to international safety standards, as examples:
BS 7176: 2007 + A1: 2011, BS 7177: 2008 + A1: 2011, BS 5867-2: 2008, Cal 117, NFPA 701. Contract chain not only respects the rules, but it is a promoter of good practice in protection environment.

• Integration in harmony chain for the benefit of the project.
Everyone involved in the development of a project, product or service Contract must know the scope of it, thus the capabilities are added up and specifications focus to the best result.

Wait! There are still more ….
Who are the participants of this chain Contract?
As in almost every chain, there is a client, a broker and a producer. I mention the terms and characteristics of these three agents in the Contract chain:

Customer Contract
Prescriber, specifier, Advisory Contract, Hospitality Consultant
Supplier Contract.

Customer Contract:
Company that requires equipment of their facilities Contract, owners or promoters of the project, that really would be the customers themselves.

The customer in most cases is a company or organization, public or private, but with a common denominator, to serve a large number of people, coinciding over time or not, for example, hotels, restaurants, thematic parks, cruise lines, airlines, trains, auditoriums, parks, gyms and spas, schools and museums.

The main contact with the customer Contract is usually the purchasing department or specialized companies (in the United States there are many companies of this kind that can be localized as “Hospitality, Contract” or “FF & E Procurement Companies”).

Specifier, Prescriber, Advisory Contract, Hospitality Advisor.
A Client usually relies primarily to a design or interior architecture signature for the preparation of a technical project of furnishing or integral equipment.

This is the one that delves into the market on the type of product and suitable manufacturers for the project and is responsible to relate the standards of quality, design and price.

Architects and decorators have a predominant place because their training and experience enables them to “highlight the function and quality of interior spaces, improve the quality of life, increase productivity and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public”.

Hence the importance of the prescribing agent to be part of this ecosystem. In many cases the Contract customers use the specifier or prescribers company as a partner for the development and implementation of its Contract project. It is rare that this is who makes the purchase, but sometimes it happens.

Supplier Contract.
There are Suppliers Contract at different levels, from the fuller figure, companies specializing in integral projects to the manufacturer of basic equipment.

They must meet systematically and not eventually meet the characteristics of a Contract project. They are involved in the project and contribute their experiences to offer optimal good or service.

Providers with experience in this channel are used to provide a high level of service and operational flexibility, as well as strict compliance with safety standards and environmental standards and technical approvals conditioned by the end use of the product Contract.

The Contract provider must know the project and maintain as normal practice an “intelligent” cooperation before this. It participates from the definition of technical specifications, design, manufacture, supply, packaging, logistics, installation, maintenance training, consulting and after-sales service that guarantees customer lasting results.

Contract areas of a provider are related to habitat markets or decoration, covering the fields of furniture, lighting, textiles or coatings such as stone, wood, etc.

The furniture sector worldwide has taken as target market this channel and has relied on its growth to offset the decline in the trade market. Fortunately the Mexican industry is realizing this opportunity and start to venture into this niche.

Iteknia is The Contract Company of Mexico, not only because it meets the characteristics we have discussed, but also is a promoter of this ecosystem.

In my next post I’ll share related topics, as they can be an example of a Contract-Iteknia or characteristics of a production plant Contract, among other topics project.

References:
Contract blog: http://mueblescontract.com https://d.docs.live.net/4d9767e0bd89c287/Documentos/Blog%201%20v1.docx
National Association of Furniture Manufacturers and Exporters of Spain ANIEME www.anieme.com

The Technological Institute of Furniture, Wood, Packaging and Allied AIDIMA
www.aidima.eu
Furniture Today magazine www.furnituretoday.com

www.revista-MM.com
Habitat Business Association and the Contract in Spain Unex (www.areacontract.com).

The British Contract Furnishing Association (BCFA) www.thebcfa.com
Study Contract Market in the United States. Market Research ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade) www.icex.es