In Europe and other areas of the globe where widespread closures are still in effect, many hotels are hesitant to commit to procurement services, even if that commitment could mean big savings in the long run. With the economic threats of a tumultuous year still looming and large numbers of leaders still on furlough, properties aren’t sure that right now is a good time to make big decisions. One expert, however, sees this moment as exactly the right time for hotels to review costs and consider the benefits of aligning with a global procurement partner.

When we asked Nicola Jong, Senior Director of Customer Engagement for Hilton Supply Management in EMEA and APAC, just how far HSM’s reach can go, her answer was simple: “Anywhere there’s a Hilton presence, we’ve got a supply chain.” With current procurement offerings in 20 countries, Jong’s goal is to continue broadening HSM’s geographical coverage in existing locations, as well as in new regions.

Not only are Jong and her international team successfully outsourcing premier procurement services across the globe, they are also helping to educate hotels on what Jong considers to be somewhat of a lost art. “Procurement is generally a function that’s becoming absent from the hospitality sector. When I started in hotel procurement, most four- and five-star hotels had a purchasing manager, a role which is rare these days. It’s a skill that’s being lost,” says Jong.

To rectify this, hotels that sign on with Jong and her team get much more than supply chain savings, although they get that, too. Jong explains, “What HSM does is it takes small properties without a procurement presence in their market and educates them on benchmarking, analysis, service vs. price, good procurement knowledge and philosophy – basically, procurement discipline. And along with all of this, we offer eProcurement, account management and best-quality service and price from suppliers.” This type of knowledge, according to Jong, is not just a necessity for being successful in the hospitality industry, it’s also quite timely.

While hotels are still experiencing closures and feeling the financial effects of an economic downturn, the time is ripe to put even more emphasis on cost and bottom lines. Jong says, “Now is the right time to be reviewing your cost. Don’t hesitate because you’re concerned about your market. Take this opportunity to partner with an organization like HSM because we’re here to offer assistance and reductions in cost, and there couldn’t be a better time to do it.” For HSM, this is an opportune time as well.

A couple of years ago, HSM was just dipping a toe in many markets where they now find themselves getting bigger, better deals and operating on a level playing field with their competitors. In some cases, they are actively winning business from their procurement peers. While many supply chain management companies are struggling to stay afloat, Jong and her team are looking to expand.

HSM's international division is pursuing two streams for future growth. In the non-hospitality market, they are looking to expand into the elderly luxury care sector for the UK. “There’s a lot of synergy there for what we do in hospitality, along with a lack of national and international GPO or procurement offering. This segment could benefit greatly from cost savings opportunities.” The second growth stream is to further strengthen HSM’s international presence, continuing to develop and expand in emerging markets.

According to Jong, HSM has much to offer both small hotel operations and largescale management companies that have multiple hotels across multiple regions. “People are always surprised to learn that we partner with non-Hilton properties – all different hotels, with all different flags, across all different regions. And we offer different propositions for each market. Of course we do F&B and beds, but we can also help with just about any products and services that can be used in a hotel, from pest control to coffee and tea.”

Thanks to Jong and her team, HSM’s international presence, strength and reach is growing exponentially around the world. Despite challenges that the hospitality industry has faced globally over the past year, she is urging properties to take this moment to review costs, consider aligning with a strong procurement partner and position themselves confidently for a robust recovery.

If you are ready to harness the power of an industry-leading procurement partner, contact HSM for a risk-free, no-fee conversation about how the strength and breadth of our scale can help your bottom line.

Published: April 01, 2021

Category: News