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Benjamin West Opens Hong Kong Office, Expands International Operations

2008-10-14 00:59 1016

Asian Outsourcing, Bi-cultural Expert Bill Cheung to Manage New Office and Provide Expertise in Helping Brands, Designers and Master Franchisees Develop Hotels

BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 15 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Officials of Benjamin West, one of the hotel industry’s largest purchasing firms for furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) and operating services and equipment (OS&E), today announced that it has opened an office in Hong Kong. It is the third new office the company has opened outside the Continental United States in the past 24 months, bringing the total of Benjamin West offices to six.

The new office will be located at The Millennium City 1, 388 Kwun Tong Road, in Kwun Tong, Kowloon. Bill Cheung, a seasoned executive with broad procurement, supply chain management and Asian business experience, will head the new operation.

"This new office will give us true global reach and expertise," said Alan Benjamin, Benjamin West president. "We now have offices on mainland U.S., the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Each brings special expertise and benefits to our clients. For example, our London office has strong relationships with the finest craftsmen in Europe to source the highest quality FF&E. In Asia, China is now the primary manufacturer of large-scale FF&E production, due to an abundant supply of skilled labor and operational efficiencies that offer significant value propositions to our clients; hence, establishing a presence there was strategically crucial to Benjamin West aligning ourselves with the interests of our clients."

Bilingual and bicultural, Bill Cheung is a native of Hong Kong and has been involved in international business since the late 1980s. Prior to joining Benjamin West, he established and headed the Asian operations for Weber-Stephen Products Co., the largest premier barbeque brand in the world, and was responsible for all the outsourcing activities of Weber grills, accessories and parts to all of Weber’s markets on five continents. Previously, Cheung was a principal consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, collaborating with Fortune 100 companies to develop business strategies and improve their operational efficiency. Early in his career he was president and CEO of Textile Resources, which provides textiles to the hotel industry.

An expert on Asian business culture, he is a frequent speaker at conferences, as well as a lecturer at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) on helping multinational companies to establish, enhance or expand their business operations within China and Asia. Cheung earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

"Bill literally thinks in multiple cultures, which will make the design and production process much easier for our clients," Benjamin added. "Bill’s unique ability to understand the culture and needs of both Eastern and Western societies, coupled with his vast international business experience, will be of immense value to brands, designers and master franchisees as they develop hotels. He understands the ins and outs of international business and has a firm grasp of the cultural nuances that can hold up a project."

"As a child, I learned a lot about trade and business watching my father work as an export agent," said Cheung, managing director for Benjamin West Hong Kong. "Since then, I have wanted to work for a truly globally-diverse, industry-leading company with multiple offices throughout the world. I am confident that our Hong Kong team can strengthen the working relationships Benjamin West has with its clients and vendors by going beyond basic quality inspection and confirming with the clients, before shipment is made, that the finished products are exactly what they wanted and ordered."

Benjamin added that the new Hong Kong office will allow the purchasing firm better access to China’s factories, as well as the geographical proximity to capture the development taking place in the Pacific Rim. "China is the center of Asian hotel development, while India is just getting underway, and we see other development taking place in the region as global travel accelerates. With our Hong Kong office, we now are well positioned close to the heart of the action."

Benjamin noted that the new office also provides additional support for the company’s other offices. "The need for a purchasing firm rises and falls with the economies in each region of the world," he commented. "Some regions will be more active than others at any given time. With multiple offices, we will be able to provide back-up support and expertise should one office become backlogged due to a high volume of work. With close proximity to manufacturing plants, our staff will be able to make regular visits to ensure quality consistency and on-time delivery of FF&E products to our clients."

About Benjamin West

With U.S. offices in Boulder, Dallas and Chicago, as well as London, Dubai and Hong Kong, Benjamin West is one of the world’s largest hotel FF&E purchasing firms. The firm provides a full range of purchasing services, including specification, bidding, technical analysis, code compliance, financial management and installation for hotels in the mid-market, upscale and luxury segments. Additional information about the company may be found at its Web site: http://www.benjaminwest.com .

Source: Benjamin West
Keywords: Travel
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