Geoff van Wijk, principal of Areen Design’s procurement division

Posted in People on 12 February, 2018

Areen Design enjoys an unparalleled reputation for efficient and cost-effect project procurement in the hospitality industry sector. Can Faik talks to one of its key players, Geoff van Wijk, principal of Areen Design’s procurement division to find out the secret of the company’s success…

Procurement as a service can be as extensive or confined as the project it caters for, ranging from simple purchasing to bespoke sourcing, manufacture, installation and placement. At Areen Design the team is experienced in the full spectrum of procurement services and has worked on some of the largest procurement packages with some of the fastest delivery programmes. “Time and scale challenges are exactly what we are set up to tackle,” says Geoff van Wijk, principal of Areen Design’s procurement division. “After more than 30 years in hospitality, we know our market and we are increasingly involved with designers, providing them with the skills and experience we have in-house”.

Areen Design offers clients procurement and purchasing services ranging from acting for a client as their Purchasing Agent to the full service of FF&E and OS&E selection procurement, supply and installation. Geoff continues: “Our procurement agent model can help clients make savings, but also, when needed, we can tap into Areen Design’s interiors ’know-how’ giving us a distinct advantage in today’s competitive market.”

As a major global procurement company dedicated to providing clients with a professional service, Areen Design will always act in their best interests and procure items of the highest quality, at the best possible price and in the shortest possible time-frame. Geoff explains further “Our proprietary procurement and tracking technology, APC, centralises all project information and ensures transparency across all purchasing stages. This centralised, accurate and real-time information is important to our clients and ensures total coordination with the project requirements. By managing all project information using APC, our procurement team can be pro-active in identifying and resolving potential problems before they arise; avoiding unnecessary costs and delays.”

An essential part of the procurement process is freight management. “We have shipping specialists in-house,” says Geoff: “And they can handle all issues relating to the import and export of goods; including preparing legal documentation, working with letters of credit, managing shipments of items and obtaining all necessary certificates of conformity. We know how to minimise risk and maximise opportunity.”

The skill sets of Areen Design’s substantial procurement team can also be used in sectors other than hospitality, as shown by their recent appointment by Toronto based Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) to supply and install all loose furniture and custom-made case goods for ten new department stores in major cities across the Netherlands. As the retailer continues its expansion into Europe, Areen has now completed phase one of its programme, involving a complete turnkey service for the production, delivery and installation of furniture for the stores. In each of the ten stores, Areen Design supplied 150-300 items of loose furniture (tables, sofas, chairs, benching) with most of the large furniture items customised by Areen Design. The remainder were specified by the designers CallisonRTKL and supplied by Areen Design.

Geoff van Wijk expands further: “The delivery programme was challenging but our procurement team worked closely with HBC to ensure there was no interruption to their retail operations. Most satisfying of all is that our success has been reflected in an appointment to carry out phase two of their roll-out programme with installation planned for February 2018. The time is right to broaden our client base, refine our offer and apply the same purchasing scale benefits to clients in other sectors.”

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