If you have ever looked at a piece of catering equipment and found it elegant, stylish, and highly innovative then you have probably seen the work of IHS Global Alliance first-hand. Though it had humble beginnings, IHS has grown into the most respected designer for hospitality equipment on a global basis.
A quick look at the company’s testimonials will tell you everything you need to know about its work. Some of the world’s most popular hotels trust IHS unequivocally as the quality of the company’s products has never wavered while the stylish designs have always been innovative. Where others see a problem, IHS Global Alliance and Nicholas Polidoros, the company’s Director and Head Designer, see a solution.
Clear minds and clear goals
The company’s story may be a classic example of rags to riches but Nicholas does not dwell on that at all. Instead, he’s simply proud of what his company has achieved ever since he first started it in 1986. To become such a trusted designer worldwide requires hard work, a lot of imagination, and a good infrastructure. Thankfully, IHS Global Alliance not only fit all the criteria but has managed to exceed them.
That sense of innovation through exploration is a major part of the company. New trends have to be discovered through interactions with vendors and clients. When designing a product, one has to account for multiple elements. For instance, a stylish and attractive piece of equipment that has no practical use is largely wasteful. To achieve the perfect balance between style and substance, someone with the expertise of Nick and his keen interest on acquiring an intimate knowledge of the market is absolutely necessary.
Innovation through intimate knowledge
In addition to all that, having an intimate knowledge of the industry is also one of the reasons why IHS is the most trusted company of its kind. The products designed and manufactured by IHS are there to either fill existing voids or to complement existing services. They are thoroughly tested in real hotels and any issues are ironed out before the final stage. Aside from being produced by high quality materials, every single item on the company’s list serves a certain function.
“I like to invest wisely in each area of the business. Not necessarily just one zone area, I prefer to do it gradually. It’s a bit like sports, in the sense that you don’t just focus on the front line, you focus on the back and mid lines too. It’s a balance that you should invest in. It’s also an old farmer’s rule; don’t make too much too quick and make sure that you keep some money for your reserve fund”, says Nick.
With that said, treading on safe ground will not get you far, especially not within the company itself. Working hard and becoming familiar with the industry are key elements to advancing in IHS. After all, the same elements are important for success in the design sector too. Those who merely follow tradition and do not look to the future stagnate as they are unable to compete. On the other hand, those who are willing to put in the hours and invest themselves into their work will most likely be rewarded.
An incentive-driven culture
Since IHS is a company that operates on a multinational level, there’s a big emphasis placed on the interaction between all the different cultures. “We have a wonderful culture here, that’s my number one importance in business. It’s really important that you look at every culture, they all have something to offer”, says Nick.
“The corporate culture here is very much driven by incentive. I am a believer in incentives, not in pay packages. I believe you are as good as you are. I’d rather that people become partners in my culture. In other words, if you perform then you get paid well. That’s working for us and it’s very motivating. It’s quite competitive in here, which is great. There’s nothing wrong with a little competition within”, suggests Nick.
Being pro-active is an essential part of the industry. The company’s “Bureau of Sales” plays an incredibly important role in interacting with new clients and finding out where the market is. The company’s analysts are constantly trying to find out where and how IHS can promote and sell its products, for instance. That way, they can always be on top. When a new hotel pops up, someone will be sent out to discuss the company’s practices and equipment.
As Nick puts it, IHS is the leader in the designing of hospitality equipment yet his company also needs to reach out to new client. Aside from traditional forms of marketing like private and public shows, there is also a need for more modern techniques such as social media. Regardless of the method, the goal is the same; to promote the IHS brand to a wider audience and hopefully gain some clients in the process.
Heading towards the future
IHS does have quite a lot on its plate. One of the areas where it is heavily investing in right now is manufacturing because the demand for its products is very high, for instance. Other areas are in constant need of attention too. For example, keeping up with the current trends is an ongoing process that will never end. A design firm needs to know exactly what’s happening in the market in order to potentially apply new practices and materials to its equipment before everyone else.
Though Nick wants to grow the business slowly, the company’s future success seems mostly unchallenged. With an established network of major contacts in the hospitality industry and decades’ worth of experience in the sector, it’s highly likely that the company’s designs will be prominently featured in the world’s top hotels for years to come.