HSM Insights

Protective Equipment: Can Healthy Supply Chains Help Keep People Safe?
October 2020

It’s not news that in early 2020 protective equipment (PE) was in short supply, with numerous industries trying to secure limited quantities of products. Manufacturers of items like face masks, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer simply can’t keep up with the demand. With priority being given to healthcare and government institutions, it has become even more difficult for hotels to get their hands on the important items that help safeguard employees and guests. HSM has responded to these challenges by doing what we do best – leveraging supplier relationships, negotiating premier pricing and sourcing the items our hotels need most.

The immediate and far-reaching disruption COVID-19 has caused to the PE market presents two big challenges for procurement, increased prices and decreased supply. At the onset of the pandemic, there was a frenzy to obtain protective equipment, and as a result, prices soared. Since then, disposable face mask pricing has fallen considerably as supply becomes more readily available. However, for disposable gloves and sanitizer product refills, demand continues to outpace production capabilities; therefore, prices are still high and products are scarce. The globally constrained glove supply is projected to continue through Q1 of 2021, and consumers will experience higher glove prices compared to the past six months. While PE supply constraint and price escalation are likely to be ongoing problems, HSM is using strength and strategy to help hotels get what they need to ensure the well-being of team members and travelers.

With industry-leading initiatives like Hilton CleanStay in place at hotels, HSM understands and is responding to the urgent need for protective equipment products. We have built a strong and resilient supply chain to procure various PE supplies, including face masks, gloves, disposable protective wear, eye protection and hand sanitizer.  To establish a robust, long-term sustainable supply chain, we carefully evaluated manufacturing and distribution capabilities, pricing and commercial terms, and additional criteria, such as financial stability, experience and clientele, adherence to specifications and overall quality. As a result, HSM has partnered with multiple established suppliers for each product category, yielding significant savings for our properties.

Within our PE supply chain, HSM customers are already enjoying positive outcomes, and we are continuing to monitor the market to provide sourcing solutions. While the worldwide demand for protective masks and respirators is at an all-time high, manufacturers have responded by increasing production, resulting in ample supply in the marketplace and significantly reduced pricing compared to the onset of the pandemic. HSM offers multiple options for cloth reusable masks, as well as disposable masks, at competitive price points. HSM has also identified sources of refillable sanitizer dispensers, along with accompanying bulk sanitizer gel product, and continues to monitor the disposable glove marketplace to capture the most competitive pricing available.

During this time, HSM is working hard on behalf of owners to lessen the impact on their hotels, to provide regular updates with details of all terms negotiated with our suppliers and to offer resources for other COVID-19-related supply chain information. We understand the importance of sourcing PE items because they play a key role in keeping people safe. HSM will continue to focus on the health of your supply chain, so our customers can focus on safeguarding the health of their teams and guests.

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