HX Exhibitors – A Closer Look At Operations Experts – Part 1 | The Hotel Experience

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Attendees who did not make the trip to New York last month missed a lot. Exhibitors at HX: The Hotel Experience Powered By AAHOA shared innovative products, offering solutions to a variety of challenges faced by hotel operators and guests. The following is part one of a sampling of exhibitors from the 2021 show at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

The Humble Co

HX: The News: What are the origins of the company?
Richard D. Hewton, vice president of Sales for North America, The Humble Co, U.S. based in LaJolla, Calif., with global headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden: Our founder Noel Abdayem was a Swedish dentist who traveled to an underdeveloped country (Jamaica) to serve the less fortunate. He was shocked at two things: 1) extreme tooth decay at a very young age in children due to easy access to sugary snacks and drinks and not so easy access to clean water; and 2) after serving the community, he did not feel good about leaving single-use plastic toothbrushes behind that he knew would eventually end up as trash and not biodegradable.

When Noel returned to Sweden, he left his practice and created The Humble Co in 2015 and was one of the first to sell and market a biodegradable toothbrush made from sustainable bamboo. Since the launch of four SKUs of bamboo toothbrushes, The Humble Co has launched over 60 different eco-friendly dental care products here in the U.S. and around the World. Every purchase of The Humble Co products goes towards fully funding The Humble Smile Foundation that continuously provides dental care products and education around the world focusing on children in need.

HX: The News: What are the primary benefits of your product?
Hewton: The hotel industry has made tremendous progress in reducing their carbon footprint whether that is with reducing housekeeping, laundry, not selling chewing gum, etc. Hotel guests are increasingly making purchase decisions based on a hotel/companies commitment to improving the environment. The next great advance in further reducing the hotel industries carbon footprint would be to provide biodegradable toothbrushes and amenities to their guests vs single use plastic products which end up in our landfills, water ways, and oceans.

HX: The News: What misconceptions exist (if any) about your product?
Hewton: Just because our products are eco-friendly does not mean they compromise on efficacy.  All our products are FDA approved and created in-conjunction with our board of Dental Advisors.  The Humble Co product range is backed by the latest science.

Logistics Plus Inc.

HX: The News: What are the company’s products and services?
Laurie Benjamin, hospitality director, FF&E, Logistics Plus Inc. (LP), Erie, Pa.: Logistics Plus Inc. is a 21st Century Logistics Company™ and a leading worldwide provider of transportation, warehousing, fulfillment, global logistics, business intelligence, technology, and supply chain solutions. Logistics Plus serves clients seeking a one-stop global solution for their FF&E or OS&E projects in the hospitality, retail, co-working, co-living, healthcare, education, trade show, and real estate development industries.

We provide outstanding value-added FF&E logistics and supply chain services through cost-effective operational planning, efficient execution, unparalleled visibility, and exceptional project management. Our customizable FF&Eplus™ technology platform provides a turnkey warehousing, inventory, and installation solution for project managers, buyers, designers, and installers.

HX: The News: What are the origins of the company?
Benjamin: After a 20-year career as a driver/manager in the less-than-truckload (LTL) industry, Jim Berlin founded Logistics Plus in 1996 with only three employees, one customer, and a $120,000 purchase order. Today LP has annual global sales of over $330M and nearly 1,000 employees located in 30+ countries worldwide. LP is consistently recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately-owned transportation and logistics companies, a top 3PL, a top freight brokerage and warehousing provider, a leading project cargo manager, and a great place to work.

HX: The News: What are the primary benefits of your product/services?
Benjamin: With our trademark Passion for Excellence™, our global employees put the ‘plus‘ in logistics by doing the big things properly, plus the countless little things that ensure complete customer satisfaction and success. Working as your 3PL, 3½PL, or 4PL partner, we’re the company that handles supply chain challenges from start to finish by doing what other logistics companies can’t or won’t do. We say ‘yes’ when other providers say ‘no.’ We’re small enough to be agile and responsive to your needs, yet large enough to have a network of solutions that span your entire supply chain.

HX: The News: What types of conversations and/or interactions were you having with HX attendees, and what was their reaction to the product/services?
Benjamin: All of the people I have met at HX have been delightful. We discussed our services, and many have been very receptive to our programs.

MIWA Lock Co.

HX: The News: Please describe the product and the origins of the company.
Thomas Hurd, vice president of Sales, MIWA Lock Co., Irvine Calif.: Our ALV2 locks that come in a Wide or Slim profile, and our new ALV3 lock (all of which are RFID Locks) are Mobile Key Compatible if outfitted properly. We are true lock makers who manufacture and control quality for every aspect of every lock, from start to finish. Our emphasis on research and development ensures the most advanced technology and materials. Headquarter in Tokyo, Japan, MIWA is a family-owned company comprised of 1,562 employees who are dedicated to security needs. Today, our reputation for quality and reliability has made MIWA the choice of leading hotel chains around the world. From the first offline electronic hotel locking system, which MIWA developed in 1981, to today’s flagship products. MIWA sets the global standard for programmable lock technology. We hold the ISO 9001 certification for Quality as well as the ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.

HX: The News: What are the primary benefits of your product?
Hurd: We have the best in class 3 warranty and our quality control is second to none. Our Mortise does not have a clutch mechanism; it is direct drive giving us a longer lasting product and our software is user friendly.

HX: The News: What types of conversations were you having with HX attendees?
Hurd: Our existing customers stopped to let us know how much they love our products. Our potential customers were asking if we could upgrade their existing locks and how the process works.

Navien Inc.

HX: The News: What is the primary product and origins of the company?
Manny Jimenez, senior tankless application specialist, Navien Inc, Irvine, Calif.: We manufacture NPE-2 Series condensing tankless water heaters, ReadyLink Racks, and ReadyLink Manifold System for domestic hot water. Since 2006, Navien, Inc. has become one of the fastest growing companies in the home comfort sector in North America and is now a leader in condensing technology, providing condensing tankless water heaters, combi-boilers, and boilers.* Navien’s products possess state-of-the-art technology, high efficiency and reliable quality. Navien has achieved international recognition for its sophisticated engineering and robust designs. Backed by parent company, KD Navien with more than 35 years of experience with advanced boiler and water heating technology, Navien will continue its mission to provide high quality products.

HX: The News: What are the primary benefits of your product/services?
Jimenez: Navien NPE-2 series units replace inefficient tank heaters, saving water, natural gas and electricity with added benefits of endless supply of hot water, lower maintenance costs, and longer product life. Cascade up to 32 units in side by side or back to back configurations with the NPE-2 series. The Ready-Link Manifold System provides everything an installer needs for a side-by-side wall-mounted application, side-by-side floor-mounted rack application or floor-mounted back-to-back applications.

HX: The News: What types of conversations and/or interactions were you having with HX attendees, and what was their reaction to the product/services?
Jimenez: During the two days of the show, we spoke with hotel owners and designers answering questions about how to make the switch from current DHW systems to tankless systems, explaining the differences in technologies and how we calculate the number of tankless units needed to meet their demands. We also answered questions on standard maintenance required, warranty, and where to purchase them and/or find a qualified installation specialist using the Navien website to guide them. Visitors left our booth with clear understanding of our products and an action plan for retrofitting existing properties or designing new ones.

Pellerin Minor Group

HX: The News: Please describe your products and the origins of the company.
Brock Pellerin, regional sales manager, Pellerin Milnor Corp, Kenner, La.: We manufacture industrial grade laundry equipment and sell through our dealer network around the world. We have been in business since 1947. We provide laundry solutions for on-premise laundries for hotels and off site laundries that process hospitality linens. We make true industrial grade machines that specialize in high throughput and low use of utilities without compromising superior wash quality.

HX: The News: How does your laundry equipment differ from others?
Pellerin: A typical washer-extractor can use 2.5 to 3.0 gallons per pound processed, ours can be as low as 1.6 to 2.0 gallons per pound processed by utilizing the RinSave feature on our machines. We provide fully automated solutions which feature our PulseFlow batch washer which can process lines at .4 gallons per pound processed and at 16 minute wash cycles which is an industry leader.

HX: The News: What type of conversations did you have at HX?
Pellerin: We talked to operators at HX who were interested in upgrading their laundry equipment with the idea of reducing labor costs, lowering utility costs, and getting more output from newer machines. Most attendees I talked to wanted to discuss ways to reduce their labor costs. A fully automated laundry can help reduce labor cost by increasing pounds per operator hour. With the help of Milnor on the wash side and our partner company Chicago on the finishing side, we can provide fully automated solutions for any laundry.

Priority Bicycles

HX: The News: What are the origins of the company?
Lauren Jones (pictured below [right]), director of Partnerships, Priority Bicycles, New York, N.Y.: Priority Bicycles is an NYC-based independent brand founded in 2014. Our mission is to make cycling simple for everyday riders. Priority launched as a socially-funded company on Kickstarter with the goal of raising $30,000 to fund its first model. The 30-day campaign ended up selling over 1,500 bicycles and raising $565,000.

Our founder, former industry veteran and software CEO Dave Weiner believed that you shouldn’t have to be a mechanic or get tune ups every few months to have a great riding experience. He wanted everyday shoppers to be able to easily find bicycles that work for them and their families, and wanted people to feel the support of great customer service.

We now have over 15 models for recreational riders, commuters, adventurers, and kids—plus a collection of cycling lifestyle accessories. Because of our low maintenance promise, we have become the leader in custom bicycle fleets with over 400 fleets at hotels and resorts, educational institutions, and corporate campuses from California, to Florida, to the Maldives.

HX: The News: What are the primary benefits of your product/services?
Jones: Our dedication to making cycling simple helps us work with our fleet partners to best determine which bicycles, accessories, and branding works for them, while feeling confident about the delivery, setup, and ongoing upkeep. From a product perspective, all of our models feature Gates Carbon Drive belts that are rust/grease-free, more reliable, and last longer than traditional chains.

Our bicycles feature a comfortable upright riding position and lightweight, rust-resistant aluminum frame that can withstand sustained use even in the toughest of climates. This makes them perfect for riders of all ages and abilities, as well as for resorts who want their bicycles to extend a brand experience in looking and feeling great.

We love to work with our partners to make our bicycles their own with the unique ability to customize them with their brand colors, logos, and graphics.  Plus, as an industry-leader in logistics and customer support, our fleet partners can rest assured that the delivery, setup, and ongoing oversight of their custom bicycle program will be a success.

HX: The News: What types of conversations and/or interactions were you having with HX attendees?
Jones: Since Priority Bicycles has expertise in working with a wide range of fleet partners, we are able to quickly understand a HX attendees needs ranging from a two bicycle fleet for a boutique property up to 1,000 bicycles for an expansive resort. We are able to showcase our products in a real world setting to review the customization process, discuss the marketing and experiential benefits of adding a bicycle fleet to their property, and the logistics of launching and leveraging a bicycle amenity to existing and prospective guests. It is beneficial for brand representatives who are launching a bicycle program to be able to speak directly with us about their property setup or needs. In addition to making many new relationships, the HX show allows us to personally connect with existing partners to discuss their current bicycle program and strategize ways to grow together.

Pure Wellness

HX: The News: What type of reaction did you get at HX?
Brian Shedd, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Pure Wellness: Given the sparse nature of our exhibit booth, I was a bit surprised that we had as many people stop by as we did, and those who did were a mix of folks familiar with the Pure Room program already but had some additional questions (mostly regarding cost). Others who were interested in what we were doing with air purification primarily. The overall reaction to our products and services was positive—pretty much universal agreement that our solution is both timely and necessary in hotels/resorts/offices/schools/etc. We have a lot of preliminary discussions to follow up on from the show. –

The Quiet Lock Corporation

HX: The News: What are the origins of the company?
Scott Thomas, president and founder, The Quiet Lock Corporation, Carlstadt, N.J., makers of The Quiet Guardian: I’m on the road and in hotels roughly 250 nights per year for the last 20 years. I’m very familiar with the b-bang of heavy hotel room doors slamming on traditional swing bar door locks as neighbors run out and leave their doors ajar. It’s one of those annoyances that are commonplace, but annoying just the same.

One night in Bowling Green Ohio, a slamming door jolted me awake at about 2 a.m. and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I started examining the door lock thinking to myself, ‘there has to be a better way.’ That’s where the idea for the Quiet Guardian was born. I went on to a website that showcases freelance talent and found a NASCAR engineer who understood what I was trying to accomplish, and we started working on the project. That was about three years ago. Now we’re patent pending in 20+ countries and are busy introducing The Quiet Guardian to the hotel industry. HX was only our second trade show.

HX: The News: What are the primary benefits of your product/services?
Thomas: The Quiet Guardian: eliminates the metal-on-metal noise of banging doors and the resulting guest complaints; eliminates the damage done to the door and the door jamb; reduces electronic lock failure; and improves guest satisfaction.

HX: The News: What types of conversations and/or interactions were you having with HX attendees?
Thomas: The response to The Quiet Guardian has been incredibly positive. Everyone immediately recognizes the benefit and lots of them say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ We actually sold several hundred during the show itself. We had interest from several people asking if they could sell or distribute for us. One even said that finding us made coming to the show from Arizona worthwhile because he had found something all of his client hotels were going to want. A few folks told us it was the most innovative product they saw all day.