With stints at Kalisher and Delta Faucet, Chris Robinson became well-versed in hospitality before bringing his talents to Bryan Ashley in 2020. Robinson was recently promoted to vice president of sales, a role through which he builds the business pipeline as he develops and nurtures relationships with clients and partners. Here, he shares what’s next for Bryan Ashley.
How has Bryan Ashley adapted the last two years through COVID-19?
We created several new key processes to help projects move more smoothly. We’ve also been working with our partners because we know budgets are being more closely looked at moving forward. Not that they weren’t in the past, but even more so with the rise in freight costs as well as the challenges with inflation. We became more communicative and transparent, especially as we’re finding challenges that are out of our hands like delays with shipments and freight. We’re communicating those delays as soon as we find out. We want to help [our partners] bring their design to life at the pricepoint they need.
What are some of the other challenges the industry is facing?
Every day is so different. You’re not sure what the challenge is going to be this week or what we’re going to face next week, whether it’s a supply chain shortage or a jump in freight cost or availability of vessels or containers. We came into 2022 with great momentum, but it’s a challenge to find the right personnel to help work on our projects. I see that as both an opportunity and a challenge.
How has Bryan Ashley adapted to a changing hospitality and travel market?
The hospitality market is rebounding very well. People want to travel. We [have the opportunity] to reinvent ourselves and find ways to be a better partner. That’s the biggest piece for us. We have had time to train our teams internally, and that makes us more adaptable to maneuver during these ever-changing times.
How important is sustainability to Bryan Ashley?
Climate change is real, and our parent company, OFS, takes that very seriously. Sustainability is always a top priority for us. We want to make sure we’re doing our part to leave a smaller footprint.
What’s next for the company?
We’ve continued to expand our production footprint. In addition to being in Vietnam and China, we’ve expanded our presence in North America because there’s demand for that. We’re ready for business and continue to watch the market come back.
What is your best business advice?
Focus on the things you can control. Time is a commodity. We worry so much about the future that we don’t focus on the now and what is happening right in front of us.
What is Bryan Ashley’s secret to success?
Our foundation is based on producing quality products and having the people to be able to support those projects. We will not produce anything that does not meet the quality standards we have established. We don’t contract out any work outside of Bryan Ashley. Everybody works directly for us. That says a lot about the oversight [we have], and the dedication to producing the best quality products we can. Our foundation is based on our products and our people. They have led us to where we are today, and it’s the reason why we’ve been able to stay around as long as we have.
This interview is the first in a series highlighting some of the hospitality industry’s most successful manufacturers.