Quality and innovation never go out of style
Forbes Industries was founded in 1919, the year World War I ended, prohibition became the law, and Conrad Hilton purchased his first hotel. Longevity in business is not a given. Each year can test a company’s value and relevance. A commitment to its customers’ success has helped Forbes Industries thrive as a world renowned provider of luggage carts and bellman’s equipment, housekeeping carts, mobile bars, buffet systems, lecterns, and a wide variety of solutions for food and beverage operations. Every product is designed with customers’ needs in mind.“We make what we sell. We don’t sell what we make,” says Tim Sweetland, senior vice president. “We try to create whatever the customer can envision.”
The company’s iconic birdcage luggage cart exemplifies the company’s focus on creating memorable experiences for hoteliers and their guests.
“For the guest, a gorgeous luggage cart signifies the beginning of a vacation of a lifetime, “says Amy Yore, vice president of sales and marketing. “For the bellman, the durable bell cart makes it possible for him to do his job efficiently.”
Innovative in its use of materials and design, Forbes´ cart was the first brass cart on the market, priced much higher than competitive models. “Shipping it knocked-down was a game-changer,” says Yore. Hoteliers quickly recognized the value of an all-metal cart that could stand up to weather and hold more weight. Readily available replacement parts ensure the carts continue to look good for 20 years or more.
Forbes is known for quality throughout the global hotel industry. “In an industry where customers move frequently for their career, reputation is the most important thing we have,” says Yore.
Inspiration for new products often comes from customers. Forbes spent three years working with a major theme park designing an in-room housekeeping cart that keeps bulky linens out of the hallways, creating a better environment for guests. The streamlined cart also improves ergonomics and worker safety.
Innovations also evolve from need. “Storage has become a big issue for hotels,” says Sweetland. The SlimFold Bar is mobile and folds to half of its size. Forbes Mystique Bar has removable and interchangeable front and side panels to change the look in minutes. Other products like mobile nesting tables can be stored in plain sight.
Forbes’ New Product Development Committee takes feedback from the field and brainstorms new offerings. In every category, Forbes offers good, better and best solutions.
Forbes welcomes the opportunity to create customized solutions for its customers. “We create items for our customers that they can’t get from anyone else,” says Sweetland. “They know it will project an image of quality and will be long lasting.”