HSM Insights

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Luxury Brand Guests Rest Easier with Frette

October 2021

When looking for the perfect linens to further elevate stays at Hilton Luxury Brand hotels, HSM went in search of a product that would make our guests feel like royalty. And thanks to our newly announced partnership with Frette, guests at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts will rest their crowns each night on the same comfort and craftsmanship that has served more than 500 European royal families throughout the ages.

As the world’s largest and only hospitality-focused procurement provider, HSM set out to secure a supplier who could offer the finest caliber of linen products at a highly competitive price. We were also looking to forge a relationship with a time-honored retailer whose name would carry brand recognition with our consumers, and after connecting with Frette, we knew we need look no further. For 160 years, Frette has brought comfort to homes of the world with masterfully crafted linens and decorative accessories of unparalleled quality. From its bases in Monza and Milan, Frette uses the finest fibers and collaborates with the most skilled Italian artisans to craft products that embody luxury, comfort and creativity—the trifecta to keep luxury brand guests feeling treated and inspired.

“With any memorable hotel experience, a restful and comfortable night’s sleep is essential,” said Frette CEO Filippo Arnaboldi. “Through our partnership with Hilton, we set out to design two linen collections that meet the needs of today’s modern traveler while honoring the high quality and artisanal craftsmanship for which Frette has been known for decades.”

Due to thoughtful negotiations and planning alongside Frette representatives, HSM achieved a 15% cost savings for luxury hotels in the U.S., as well as lower pricing for international hotels and leveraged Frette’s global distribution network to make the connection directly between our properties and their products. As an added benefit, the partnership aims to reduce inventory liability by as much as 1-2 months for hotels around the globe by ensuring an on-hand minimum of fabric and finished products.

Historically, Frette linens have been featured everywhere from the altar of St. Peter's Basilica to the dining car of the Orient Express, and these luxury linens will now serve as an extension Hilton’s shared commitment to offer guests exclusive and exceptional experiences and amenities. Rooms at iconic Waldorf Astoria hotels worldwide will feature Frette’s top-of-bed 100% cotton sateen 400 thread count linens in crisp white, adorned with a sleek line of piping and accented by decorative white pillowcases meticulously embroidered with the brand’s logo. Guests at the more contemporary Conrad hotels will relax into top-of-bed 100% cotton sateen 300 thread count linens in crisp white, accentuated by a single line of sleek white piping.

HSM loves putting our size, services, support and solutions to work for our customers, and we could not be more excited about the introduction of Frette linens to keep our luxury guests sleeping in the finest style. From reduced pricing to increased supply chain security, we are glad this partnership will enable our luxury hotel partners to rest as easy as their guests! Read more about how Frette is showing up at Hilton’s finest hotels here: https://hil.tn/m9waep



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HSM’s Focus on Coffee Futures Prevents Pricing Problems from Brewing

October 2021

Globally, more than two billion cups of coffee are consumed every single day, and that first sip of java is a morning ritual for many of our guests. In honor of International Coffee Day, we’re all abuzz about the steps HSM takes to source sustainably grown, ethically farmed and price-protected coffee products for our partnering properties around the world. From Rainforest Alliance-vetted suppliers to participation in the coffee futures market, HSM is raising a mug to our F&B team for their extensive efforts to keep guests caffeinated and hotel budgets protected.

To help us make good on our mission to negotiate the lowest possible prices for the best-in-class products we source, HSM’s F&B team closely monitors certain high-volume products on the commodities market, including butter, eggs, corn, and of course, coffee. And because even a slight price increase on staple foods can mean a dramatic hit for F&B budgets, HSM participates in the futures market to establish stable pricing our customers can count on. By advising our suppliers on when and how many coffee futures to buy, HSM obtains fixed-price contracts that position us to protect customers from potential price hikes resulting from unforeseen circumstances, such as drought, disease or disproportionate demand. While futures markets exist for products ranging from oil to precious metals and produce, HSM primarily participates in the agricultural futures market, as it helps us secure prices for items like food and fabrics.

Agricultural futures markets are primarily driven by supply and demand, and HSM secures pricing through green coffee contracts bought by our suppliers based on our F&B team’s carefully calculated direction. A per-property coffee price is then determined using the coffee futures contract rate, rather than market pricing. The end result is consistent delivery of a high-quality product that meets or exceeds HSM’s roasting, blending and grinding specifications. In an average year, HSM’s suppliers purchase coffee contracts for approximately 6 million pounds of coffee, securing both the inventory and pricing our customers need and expect to meet their property’s ongoing coffee requirements.

As for our rich, exhilarating coffee itself, HSM’s partner in coffee procurement, Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, has been a reputed quality roaster since 1896. All Royal Cup coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified ensuring its sustainably grown to benefit farm families, wildlife and the environment. Royal Cup roasts two coffees specifically for Hilton hotels. The Volcan Bold blend is full-bodied and balanced and Royal Cup roasts this blend in six different regional roasteries, including Hawaii, to ensure the freshest coffee is delivered directly to our hotels. Meanwhile, Royal Cup’s Taraza roast is farmed in South America, Central America and Asia, offering guests a more mellow, sweet and chocolatey finish to treat their tastebuds any hour of the day.

Properties interested in enhancing their coffee offerings can brew up a customized coffee program through HSM’s trusted coffee suppliers. When developing a tailored program for any property, HSM factors in coffee blend, roast profile, ethical sourcing, sustainability, equipment needs and target price point to curate a package with the perfect flavor and fiscal profile. To take advantage of HSM’s influential market knowledge, sustainable sourcing practices and delivery of stable, dependable supply chain solutions for our customers, connect with us at HSMx@hilton.com or contact your Strategic Accounts advisor.



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Re-Energizing the Japanese Electricity Market

September 2021

In 2016, full deregulation of the Japanese electricity exchange sparked the rapid influx of more than 400 power producers and suppliers to the marketplace. While regional suppliers still dominate market share, Japanese consumers are confronted with countless options for energy sourcing. Choosing the right partner in power is further complicated by a fluctuating array of tax rates and discount initiatives based on variables such as consumption, volume and term lengths. Fees like fuel adjustment and renewable energy charges also play a part in pricing considerations, and to top it off, supplier contract terms are typically short-lived, leading to ongoing challenges for consumers.

Needless to say, securing reliable, cost-effective electricity has become a time-consuming challenge for property owners throughout Japan. Thankfully, HSM and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) engineering team set to work researching each target Japanese market to determine efficient, affordable strategies for our partnering APAC properties, reducing sourcing uncertainty for owners and generating savings around the full scope of energy resources. In partnership with chief engineers at each property, HSM leveraged our collective volume and spend to navigate a smooth sourcing process which included market metrics, supplier engagement, contracting and management of regulatory hurdles.

“Creating a competitive environment among new electricity suppliers during the infant stage of the deregulated market played a key role in generating favorable savings for our properties,” said Taka Kimura, senior manager for HSM’s Japan, Korea and Micronesia (JKM) region.

In fact, initial electricity sourcing efforts for Hilton Odawara resulted in a nearly 12.5% savings reduction, while subsequent energy sourcing efforts for six hotels in Kyushu and Okinawa yielded an average per property cost savings of 8.4%. HSM’s regional director of engineering now has an established sourcing and planning mechanism in place for future RFPs, and a predetermined portfolio of suppliers is available to prompt more competitive sourcing in key markets throughout Japan. Thanks to the dedication and diligence of the regional engineering team, our partners in Japan are spending less energy worrying about energy—and saving more toward their bottom line.

"We could not have been successful without the true cross-functional collaboration and partnership of the regional engineering team," acknowledged Tomo Ohi, HSM regional director for JKM.

Moving forward, our team continues to research each target market to evaluate potential new suppliers and perform ongoing cost comparisons. Plans are currently underway to conduct new negotiations for all partnering properties in an effort to secure additional customer savings. Hotels in Japan—or anywhere around the world—that would like to put HSM’s size, services, support and solutions to work for you are encouraged to contact us at HSMx@hilton.com or connect with your Strategic Accounts advisor for more information.



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Welcoming Back One of the Best Burger Buys in the Business

September 2021

In honor of National Cheeseburger Day, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this annual melt-in-your-mouth occasion than the reintroduction of Hilton’s Certified Angus Beef (CAB) burger to Hilton properties throughout the country.

Procured through HSM’s partnership with supplier Schweid & Sons, our proprietary patty is made using only the finest and freshest Certified Angus Beef cuts, and the burger has been upgraded to a full half pound for its return to Hilton hotel menus. The newly curated 8 oz. burger was developed through an extensive sampling process, custom formula development and regional market tests as a collaborative effort among reps from HSM, Hilton F&B, Schweid & Sons, Sysco and the Certified Angus Beef industry.

After thorough taste testing (can you blame us?), we landed on our final ground beef patty specification comprised of a proprietary blend of three premium CAB cuts of chuck, round and sirloin, combined through a unique grinding process that creates a soft, airy texture while yielding a complex and savory flavor profile reminiscent of a juicy steak. We admit it: it’s delicious, and HSM is ecstatic to welcome back this Hilton exclusive.

We also want to shine a spotlight on Schweid & Sons, the longstanding supplier of our Certified Angus Beef butcher’s blend patty. While Schweid & Sons has focused their expertise on ground beef since 1978, the company’s legacy actually dates back to the late 1800s, when Harry Schweid sold top-quality meats to butchers and restaurants in New York City’s Lower East Side. Today, Schweid & Sons carries forth this passion with a single-minded dedication to produce the best tasting, highest-quality burger. Only one-in-four Angus cattle meets the industry’s stringent standards for Certified Angus Beef, and after sampling our fresh, customized 8 oz. CAB burger, the proof is in the patty.

Hilton’s Certified Angus Beef burger is available to all Hilton properties within the contiguous United States, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, so connect with us to sink your teeth into burger business sure to beef up your bottom line. Whether returning this crowd-pleasing patty to your menu or adding the CAB burger as a new offering, contact HSM or work directly with your Sysco representative to estimate inventory needs and place orders for this popular proprietary product. And whatever your cheese of choice, make sure to have plenty of slices on hand for Sept. 18’s National Cheeseburger Day celebration, when guests will most certainly be calling for CABs!



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How HSM is Optimizing Technology to Create Scalable Solutions

August 2021

Now more than ever, hotel owners and investors are recognizing the value a powerful, experienced procurement partner can bring, and HSM’s corporate procurement team is the driving force behind our company’s ability to move massive economies of scale for corporate services. Leveraging HSM’s size, scope and combined annual spend of $11B, the corporate procurement team sources contracts and negotiates industry-leading prices with best-in-class suppliers in a wide range of categories, including financial services, marketing, human resources, leased labor and information technology.

The HSM Technology Sourcing team, housed within the Corporate Procurement division, supports all technology contracts across Hilton and is focused on establishing enterprise-wide contracts through aggregated spend. As a centralized unit, they leverage Hilton’s scale to negotiate market competitive contracts and assess pricing and supplier performance through benchmarking and coordinated negotiations. The team has developed strategies to drive cost-competitive rates and strategic partner terms for category groupings such as hardware, software, telecom, professional services and cloud computing. By leading the competitive bid processes and streamlining supplier selection criteria, they maintain a level playing field for all suppliers while driving KPIs and metrics to ensure suppliers deliver on all contracted terms.

Beyond rate negotiation, HSM’s Technology Sourcing team shines as a strategic advisor both internally and for partnering properties, continually examining the technology landscape and identifying new opportunities to create value throughout the HSM network. They, along with all HSM Category Managers, utilize the newly implemented SmartSpend tool, which is an integrated spend management tool powered by Coupa. SmartSpend is a cloud-based platform that takes a comprehensive approach to spend management activities. With SmartSpend, corporate suppliers can receive electronic purchase orders (POs), submit invoices digitally, access invoice and payment status online 24/7 and enjoy increased visibility to all transactions.

A recent example of the work done by the HSM Technology Sourcing team is their support of Hilton’s SmartRoom initiative where they leant the necessary expertise to finalize the contracts for the hardware, implementation, and support components. In a coordinated effort with Hilton’s digital and product teams, HSM Technology Sourcing helped negotiate SmartRoom contracts for inventory management, network agreements, integration services and more. This connected SmartRoom empowers guests to control room temperature, lights, TV and more from their mobile device, as well as seamlessly access their personal streaming services through the room remote or Hilton Honors app. Guests benefit from the comfort, convenience and personalized experience afforded by SmartRoom, and owners benefit from HSM’s behind-the-scenes efforts to make SmartRooms more affordable.

Both Hilton and our partnering properties enjoy more efficient, streamlined technological solutions (such as the OnQ refresh program) at highly competitive prices thanks to the HSM’s strategic expertise and negotiating prowess. Team members employ a holistic enterprise view, seeking out ongoing avenues to drive technology savings both internally and for owners. Hotels interested in tapping into the strategic value of HSM’s Technology Sourcing team are encouraged to contact us at HSMx@hilton.com or connect with your Strategic Accounts advisor for more information.



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Up Your F&B Equipment Game While Keeping Costs Down

August 2021

Nearly one in three Americans think hotels with great restaurants are more memorable than those without, according to a study conducted by global public opinion firm YouGov. Hotel F&B is widely recognized as an important contributor to a hotel’s market positioning, rooms revenue and overall asset value, and great hotel restaurants run on high-quality kitchen equipment and service accessories. HSM’s F&B category management team provides customers with superior pricing on the supplies and equipment needed for any kitchen construction, renovation or replenishment, but we also understand that F&B is a crucial part of the guest experience. At HSM, our experts continually monitor and relay industry trends to help our properties up their game while keeping costs down.

HSM’s procurement programs span a wide range of foodservice equipment companies and types, ensuring that each hotel’s specific kitchen production needs and budget are met. Our suppliers are skilled in not only prototypical back-of-house and dining room installations, but also customized equipment solutions to reflect individual property needs. HSM’s supplier network includes F&B industry leaders such as Vulcan, Frymaster, Delfield, True, Hobart, Champion, and Manitowoc Ice with some of the most frequently sourced large equipment items being refrigerators, freezers, ice machines, dishwashers and cooking appliances.

For customers looking to take on their next tableware project, HSM can offer insights and expertise to help select and negotiate top-quality tableware and buffetware accessories at rock-bottom prices. Leverage HSM’s global procurement reach to ensure cost-competitive pricing on pieces from everyday use to luxury dining, and keep your property up-to-date with F&B safety regulations through the use of touchless dispensers, automatic opening devices, buffet guards and covers sourced through our portfolio of vetted suppliers. Our category management experts evaluate individual products for the best price point and then bundle items for shipping to negotiate the most competitive freight solution, so our customers can elevate their guest dining experience while reducing overall cost.

Like fashion and design trends, F&B trends are continually evolving, and HSM’s suppliers have their finger on the industry pulse to ensure our customers always have access to the most current products and equipment. Energy efficient appliances have been trending for several years now, and as the manufacture of these items becomes more refined, our customers are seeing greater long-term cost savings while securing a more sustainable infrastructure. In a more recent F&B trend, some hotels are gravitating toward an open-kitchen concept. For designs that invite all eyes on the kitchen, our category management team and suppliers can help source attractive equipment and chef cooking suites to create the desired aesthetic vibe for your space.

HSM knows F&B. And we know how to deliver a unique, high-quality experience for your guests while curating a tailored, value-based solution for you. Connect with HSM today to begin leveraging our F&B value to enhance yours.



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A Conversation with Partners at Mission Produce and PRO*ACT

July 2021

On July 31, America observes the flavorful occasion of National Avocado Day. In celebration of this fruit that is the “toast” of the brunch business, HSM caught up with some amazing partners in avocado procurement – Denise Junqueiro, senior director of marketing and communications with global supplier Mission Produce Inc., and Anthony Tomasic, director of national sales at North American produce distributor PRO*ACT. By tuning in with colleagues from both the Mission and PRO*ACT teams, we were able to visualize the journey of a hand-picked Mission avocado traveling from a farm in Mexico to an HSM property in Chicago. Read on to review highlights from our conversation.

HSM: Mission’s tagline reads, “World’s Finest Avocados.” Why should customers choose Mission Produce avocados? What makes them the best?

Junqueiro: At Mission, it starts in the groves. Our owner founded Mission almost 40 years ago, and is an avocado grower himself. His experience and expertise have positioned Mission as first, best and only in the avocado industry on numerous occasions. For example, we were the first company in the business to nationally ripen avocados before distribution, import avocados from Mexico, Chile and Peru, we were the first and are currently the only supplier to employ a hydro-cooling process with our avocados in high heat areas to extend shelf life and quality. Our growing and sourcing strategy provides year-round availability of fruit that typically reaches the end consumer within one day of optimal consumption due to our distribution and transportation network.

HSM: Anthony, tell us more about the avocado’s journey from a distribution perspective. Mission makes reference to having “the world’s most advanced avocado network.” What role does PRO*ACT play in Mission’s field-to-fork model?

Tomasic: In keeping with PRO*ACT’s commitment to distribute produce with the longest possible shelf life, our teams pick up produce as close as possible to where it is grown. Mission operates state-of-the-art avocado packing facilities near farms and a dozen global ripening facilities, where fruit is washed, sorted and packaged after it is handpicked. After packaging, PRO*ACT’s network of first in class distributors picks up the fruit for transport by truck to their facilities. From those locations around the US, avocados are delivered to HSM properties at the peak of freshness so that they may be enjoyed by guests.

For chefs who wish to tailor the degree of ripening to their specific culinary or catering needs, we can also provide fruit at different stages of the ripening journey. We don’t have a magic wand that can stop an avocado from ripening forever, but thanks to the logistics PRO*ACT has in place, we are definitely able to pinpoint the process at a few specific stages.

HSM: Sustainability is a key focus area for each of our organizations. What steps is Mission taking to promote an ethical supply chain while minimizing its global footprint?

Junqueiro: As a growing global brand, promoting a sustainable and ethical supply chain is a top priority for Mission. We operate with conservation and environmental health initiatives in mind, like the Rainforest Alliance, and we’ve actually just completed our company’s inaugural ESG report. Currently, Mission is utilizing precision farming and drip irrigation techniques on our farms to reduce water consumption, and we are proud to report that we have decreased water usage per avocado by a rate of 40% in California and 40.5% in Peru.

We also employ several methods to boost shelf-life, including application of a food-safe coating on the avocado’s skin and inclusion of a product-friendly preservation packet – similar to what you might find in a shoe box – to extend shelf-life during transport. Mission knows there is a direct correlation between shelf-life extension and prevention of food waste, as longer shelf-life reduces the amount of product consumers simply can’t “get to” while the fruit is still fresh.

HSM: In your words, how would you describe Mission’s relationship with HSM and why it’s important to your company and to consumers?

Junqueiro: Mission strongly values our relationship with HSM, because between your chefs, your Strategic Accounts team, and your end consumers – your guests! – we want to make sure that consumers have the best and most enjoyable avocado experience possible. As the world’s largest and most volume-oriented avocado supplier, working with organizations like PRO*ACT and HSM is essential for Mission because you know how to manage your supply chain effectively. The stronger the links in the supply chain, the more enjoyable the ultimate consumer experience.

Junqueiro’s sentiments on supply chain symbiosis are echoed by Rob Johnson, HSM’s F&B Senior Director, “We are strong because our suppliers are strong. Partnerships with industry-leading, globally minded companies like Mission Produce give HSM the competitive edge as a procurement powerhouse by delivering top-quality, responsibly sourced produce to properties around the globe.”

Hotels looking to freshen up their produce offerings are encouraged to take advantage of HSM’s growing network of suppliers to offer both your guests, and your F&B services, a healthy bottom line. To learn more about signing up for HSM’s programs, contact hsmx@hilton.com.



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5 Hot Tips to Keep Your Pool Clean and Cool

July 2021

The summer season is in full swing, which means guests are cooling down and diving into property pools around the country. Don’t sweat the challenges of pool maintenance this year. Instead, take advantage of HSM’s comprehensive supplier network to help manage all of your pool maintenance, chemical and monitoring needs, and look for hot tips below from our supplier, VIvoAquatics to keep your pool operations cool.

Like many sectors, the pool industry is currently facing significant supply chain issues. Thankfully, HSM has a vetted list of hand-selected suppliers to help you stay ahead of shortages, chosen for their competitive pricing, close proximity to our partnering properties and commitment to offering innovative, cost-effective solutions to any pool and spa challenges our properties might face.

Need the skinny on equipment sourcing and installation? HSM has you covered. We also offer a wide array of contracts for pool maintenance and monitoring services, ranging from manual monitoring – checking for leaks, testing pool chemistry and monitoring chemical and water levels – to installation of software systems engineered to monitor your entire pool and spa ecosystem. Properties that prefer to have a certified pool and spa operator on staff can tap into trainings through HSM’s network of pool certification contracts, saving money on long-term maintenance costs while remaining secure in the knowledge that our certifying suppliers are sanctioned by regulatory agencies.

HSM’s roster of vetted pool maintenance vendors can assist with any of the services above, including routine cleanings, filter inspections, chlorine tests and temperature, pressure, safety and chemical checks. Our suppliers can also offer insights about upcoming changes to equipment and safety regulations.

This summer, let HSM pool our resources for you. Pool maintenance contracts are currently available to any property type throughout the United States and Caribbean. Contact your service provider and ask to be connected to the HSM representative, or work directly with your HSM Strategic Accounts representative. And, click here for a comprehensive guide of these and other maintenance tips to keep your pool operations running swimmingly.



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HSM’s International Team Brings High Wycombe Property to Life

July 2021

Located about 30 miles from London in the heart of the River Wye valley, the bustling market town of High Wycombe, England, is now home to a new Hampton by Hilton. Built in partnership with Legacy Hotels & Resorts, the hotel opened its doors to guests on June 14. Owner Andy Townsend engaged Hilton Supply Management’s (HSM) international team to develop the entire property from the ground up, in keeping with the uplifting, intuitive and thoughtful design that’s become a signature of the Hampton brand.

Townsend was first introduced to HSM at an owners’ conference four years ago, and used their complimentary guidance on a refurbishment project at his property, the Hampton Corby. When faced with a from-scratch build, Townsend was quick to call upon the experience and expertise of HSM. Offering a full breadth of services, HSM managed development from the initial budgeting, sourcing and negotiation processes all the way through order placement, logistics management, cash flow forecasting and goods receiving. HSM even provided onsite support to the Legacy team during the first look at their operating, supplies & equipment (OS&E) shipments. Donning hard hats and steel-toed shoes for the site visit, the HSM team brought new meaning to the phrase, “boots on the ground.”

Working closely with Legacy and the local community, HSM managed negotiations with a total of 50 suppliers – 36 dedicated to OS&E and 14 focused on furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) – to complete the build on time and under budget. HSM’s innate knowledge of brand standard, procurement power and ability to circumvent material shortages resulted in significant savings for the owner, to the tune of a 37% cost savings against initial FF&E projections. The added benefits of building upon the brand’s prototypical design allowed the team to incorporate innovative and cost-effective elements, saving the owner both time and money on procurement of items ranging from curtains, case goods and lighting to cutlery, crockery, minibars and uniforms.

Said Townsend, “Engaging the team at HSM was a no brainer to ensure we drove cost and compliance in equal balance for both FF&E and OS&E specification and installation. The end result is impressive and one we are tremendously proud to bring to the Hilton family.” Like Townsend, our owners know they can count on HSM to deliver savings, solutions and support, no matter the project or scope.

In addition to sourcing products and securing savings, HSM infused value throughout the process by providing the owner with ongoing tracking and support, including weekly expediting reports, pre- and post-delivery check-ins and attendance at project meetings. Our international team loved helping to bring the High Wycombe Hampton by Hilton to life, and we look forward to extending our expertise and network of savings to other property builds in the United Kingdom and around the globe.



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How HSM is Working to Bypass Shipping Bottlenecks

June 2021

An average of 30 container ships have sat anchored daily just off the coast of Los Angeles this year. Under normal circumstances, the number of container ships at anchor would be zero, or possibly one – but the abnormal and uncharted circumstances brought on by COVID-19 have caused a significant ripple effect in supply chain and logistics workings across the globe. As consumer demands continue to soar and current global shipping rates continue to climb at an average of four times higher than January 2020, U.S. ports and domestic facilities are grappling with less efficient goods-movement, navigating an influx in inbound cargo while attempting to bolster a workforce impacted by employee outages due to COVID-19. One national carrier, for example, recently reported a 14% increase in average shipment counts, while illness and exposures continue to cause a significant reduction in staffing. Meanwhile, overseas manufacturing is beginning to ramp up once more, container shortages abound, border restrictions are loosening and airline labor furloughs continue, meaning that the most difficult time in transportation may now be upon us.

Thankfully, the logistics team at HSM is hard at work helping to enable product availability, mitigate risks, offset higher shipping rates and ensure a smooth supply chain even during these trying times. Jon Thomas, HSM Director of Logistics, underscores HSM’s obligation to provide our customers with best-in-class service and support. “HSM holds ourselves accountable to the highest standard in logistics,” said Jon. “We do this by partnering with qualified freight suppliers, warehouses and installers that share our vision for quality of service and success.”

Specifically, HSM is collaborating with suppliers to enhance forecasting and stock levels based on evolving demand, while working with internal manufacturers to anticipate longer lead times, offsetting manufacturing and transportation delays. We are also closely monitoring potential product shortages in categories ranging from appliances and in-room accessories to textiles and chemicals, recommending alternative products or stand-in suppliers as need be to mitigate the risk of stock outages. To help bypass backlogs in overseas shipping and ground transportation, HSM’s logistics team is also partnering with suppliers to ensure that containers arrive at the closest port to a shipment’s final destination. Though this may slightly increase shipping time in some cases, strategic rerouting reduces the risk of product damage by decreasing travel time on the road, and the associated cost savings are significant. Choosing HSM as a procurement partner will connect you directly to our expansive strategic sourcing initiatives firmly in place, which allow our customers to choose from a host of approved domestic or international suppliers best suiting the individual needs of each property.

To increase your product shortage safeguards and protect your property from skyrocketing shipping costs, join forces with HSM and leverage our reach as a global procurement powerhouse. Let us focus on solving the logistical challenges so you can focus on providing a worry-free experience for your guests.



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Something Bugging You? HSM Has the Answer

June 2021

When these early days of summer bring vacationers and creepy crawlies to your property, never fear – HSM is here to prevent bugs from wreaking havoc at hotels during warmer weather. Keep your guests protected from pests by leveraging HSM’s extensive range of comprehensive and competitively-priced pest control service contracts. HSM offers fully-customizable contracts with a variety of service providers, including Terminix, Rentokil and Ecolab. We are also excited to announce that we recently welcomed Orkin back to HSM’s network of suppliers. With the exception of Ecolab, all of our pest control providers are available to contract with any partnering HSM property.

To make sure your service agreement is tailored to address exactly what is bugging you, HSM employs a three-tiered “good, better, best” structure with our pest control contracts. Hotels seeking a routine monthly maintenance package, including spraying and trapping for common insects, will find a wide range of offerings available through HSM’s network of suppliers. Properties looking to extend coverage for services such as fumigation, termites or bed bugs, as well as pest control for specific local insects, can take advantage of extensive add-on offerings to customize your contract.

But why contract through HSM instead of working directly with a supplier? Simply put, HSM is a global hospitality procurement powerhouse, and the scope of our scale and annual spend affords us a much broader reach across the supply chain’s competitive landscape. For example, HSM not only negotiates a significantly lower pricing structure with pest control providers, granting our customers access to the best values possible, but we also negotiate contracts with better and more comprehensive coverage terms. Hotels procuring pest control services through an HSM-generated contract will enjoy added benefits ranging from satisfaction guarantees, which are often absent from standard agreements, to insurance caps negotiated well above the industry average. Other contract perks include a 24/7 hotline for emergency service needs; a 24-hour callback guarantee; and an escalation clause guaranteeing on-site service within 24 hours of contact. HSM also ensures that our service suppliers have field offices in close proximity to our partnering properties so that top-quality pest control is always within reach.

Properties looking to establish a pest control contract through one of HSM’s suppliers are encouraged to contact their supplier of choice and ask to speak with the HSM direct representative. Representatives are available to help provide an estimate for new contracts, as well as assisting with new service requests. HSM has established basic coverage pricing with each supplier, and hotels may then customize their quotes based on property size, total number of rooms, requested frequency of service visits and other specialized needs.

If pests are not the only bugs in your operation, HSM can help keep all other operating areas of your property running smoothly. For needs that cannot be handled exclusively in-house, take advantage of our other established supplier relationships to access service agreements for TV content, elevator maintenance, public space cleaning, gateway and security, credit card acquiring, scenting and clean air, public space music, on-hold messaging, temporary labor and third shift, roofing, water treatment and waste management. Whatever your operational needs might be, let HSM take the sting out of sourcing and be your one-stop shop for top-notch services and suppliers.



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Our Process to Procure High-Quality Fresh Produce

June 2021

In recognition of National Eat Your Vegetables Day, HSM is spotlighting our quality assurance efforts to make sure our hotels receive produce that is fresh, delicious and affordably priced. Ranging from our highest-volume veggies, such as leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes and onions, to fusion-flavor favorites, like jicama, kohlrabi and sunchokes, our suppliers are committed to safe, quality-controlled processes from harvest to hand off.

Suppliers seeking to join forces with Hilton and HSM undergo a thorough initial facility inspection, followed by semiannual verifications of all necessary FDA, local health department and OSHA safeguards. On the ground level, HSM works with our farmers to ensure that upon harvest, fresh produce is properly washed, rinsed and packaged. We also stipulate that our produce “best by” dates are determined based on time of harvest, not transport. Once produce is ready for distribution, HSM conducts checks with our distributors to maintain optimal temperatures throughout transport, ensuring that vegetables arrive at our hotels neither frozen nor wilted, but fresh, fragrant and visually appealing. From time to time, HSM also conducts unscheduled assurance checks at partnering facilities to make sure our produce meets the highest quality and safety standards. If one of our hotels experiences an issue with the quality of produce they receive, one phone call to the supplier or sales representative sets a simple service recovery switch in motion.

In addition to our national suppliers, HSM currently contracts with over 40 regional produce suppliers in markets throughout the United States, granting our hotels access to more than 125 categories of locally sourced produce. Our strong portfolio of regional contracts ensures high-quality produce at a lower price, supporting local communications while minimizing our carbon footprint. As part of our proactive sourcing efforts, we partner with our suppliers to source all local products in season to support those communities. For example, the blueberries distributed to our Central Florida properties are sourced from one farm outside of Orlando, while the majority of our hotels in the D.C. market serve up squash and zucchini grown on the eastern Maryland seaboard. HSM’s commitment guarantees the best quality at the best price, whether it’s fresh sweet corn in the Midwest or amazing stone summer fruits in California.

Our robust network of suppliers and partners also keep HSM informed about potential shifts or shortages in the commodities market, monitoring supply levels and evaluating factors that might impact growing seasons. To keep our hotels in the know about supply shortages and potential weather-related produce alerts, our Senior F&B Director, Rob Johnson, shares a weekly food and beverage snapshot as well as highlights in our monthly newsletter distributed to our accountholders. In the event of a food safety issue, HSM hotels benefit from our quick customer notification process, as we work directly with the supplier and affected hotels to identify recalled product. HSM’s growing network of supplier contracts offer both your guests quality produce and your F&B services a healthier bottom line.



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Following through on our Commitment to Cage-Free

June 2021

For many of our guests, breakfast begins with an egg or two. At HSM, responsible and sustainable sourcing of those eggs is a key part of our global commitment to environmental change. In 2019, Hilton formalized its commitment to procure 100% of its eggs from cage-free sources for all owned, managed and franchised hotels worldwide by 2025. HSM, in turn, immediately went to work with our suppliers and farmers to place a renewed emphasis on sourcing eggs from chickens living outside of cages.

But what difference does cage-free make, anyway? Eggs sourced through conventional harvesting are often laid by hens living in wire cages so small that they may not even have room to spread their wings. For cage-free hens, the difference means access to fresh food, clean water, secure shelter, protection from predators and disease and room to roam. Cage-free means a higher quality of life for the hen and a more responsibly sourced consumer product.

As we all know, better quality traditionally comes at a higher price, and HSM’s devoted U.S. cage-free egg suppliers – Deb El, Michael Foods and Grand Prairie – navigate numerous factors that can influence cost, ranging from smaller-scale production to higher egg loss. Fortunately, HSM and our dedicated F&B sourcing team have worked to mitigate the cost increase associated with the switch to a better, more sustainable product, negotiating a 20% price reduction on cage-free eggs for our customers. Our F&B team also remains focused on ongoing product evaluations and associated savings to ensure we keep costs low while keeping pace with demand.

Hotels looking to add cage-free eggs to their menu can leverage HSM’s existing partnerships and supplier contracts, gaining easy access to cage-free sources for fresh, liquid, frozen and other egg products. And as more companies across various industries are making cage-free egg commitments, our suppliers stand ready to meet the rising need. Michael Foods, for example, is expanding its cage-free capabilities by converting an existing farm in Nebraska to increase production capacity by four million hens in anticipation of future demand and protection against product shortages.

For our part, Hilton and HSM are well on track to fulfill our commitment to go cage-free by already sourcing more than 70% of our U.S. and U.K. eggs from cage-free sources. Nationwide, all Hilton-managed full service hotels exclusively serve cage-free eggs, and all Hilton-managed California hotels, both full and focused service, have completely transitioned to cage-free eggs. With the demand for cage-free eggs expected to increase tenfold over the next five years, we remain committed to partnering with suppliers, the hotel industry and the global community to hatch new and ongoing innovations around responsible sourcing.



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Hilton Supply Management (HSM) Helps Cut Carbon in Vienna

May 2021

As part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 goals to cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact, Hilton Supply Management (HSM) and Engineering Operations EMEA are working with hotels to source renewable electricity and drive carbon reduction. In Vienna, Austria, this initiative has again achieved notable success, with HSM assisting all three Hilton properties in reinvigorating their 100% renewable electricity contracts while realizing significant cost savings and obtaining official guarantees of origin certificates. The supply of renewable electricity sources will now 100% originate from hydropower and together, all three properties in Vienna will produce zero CO 2 emissions when generating electricity.

As referenced in our recent Environmental, Social and Governance report, Hilton recognizes that increasing access to affordable, renewable energy will require governments to take swift action to implement ambitious emissions reduction plans. That’s why, in 2020, we joined more than 200 businesses and investors in calling on EU leaders to raise EU 2030 GHG emissions targets and endorse the ambitious goals set out in the European Green Deal. In addition, Hilton has pledged to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 carbon intensity by 61% by 2030 and is the first major hotel company to set carbon targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

As part of this commitment, Hilton leverages the sourcing power of HSM. In a previous HSM Insights article, you may have read about Hilton’s efforts to help increase hotels’ awareness of alternative energy options, specifically with the recently launched Renewable Supply Program in the U.S. This program requires suppliers to include a renewable energy plan in their RFPs and encourages our managed hotels to procure at least a portion of their electricity from greener sources.

Previously in 2018, HSM teamed up with our electricity supplier to convert Hilton Vienna Park, Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront, and Hilton Vienna Plaza from standard electricity supply to 100% renewable electricity sources—70% hydropower, 11% windpower, 15% biomass, 2% solar, and 2% bio gas power. Under the newly renegotiated contract, all energy sources will come from 100% hydropower by 2022.

Each year, HSM works in coordination with Engineering Operations EMEA to manage energy contracts and secure electricity for the cluster in up to four tranches. While a switch to renewable energy would normally come with a price increase, the teams were able to offset these costs for the participating hotels through smart energy procurement and well-timed purchases on the electricity stock market. To do this, we watch the market diligently each day to monitor the commodity price and run a “Capital at Risk” strategy to purchase the electricity supply at optimal times that minimizes costs for our partners. On top of that, we negotiate volume tolerance limits that give our hotels the flexibility to use what they need above or below our contracted amount within the given range.

HSM recognizes the critical responsibility of the hospitality industry to help protect our planet and preserve the beautiful destinations in which we operate for generations to come. We have established relationships with large energy suppliers in region and strong onnections with expert teams that monitor the energy markets daily to determine the best time to buy.. We source the energy strategically to minimize costs for hotels and mitigate price increases. Working with a powerful and experienced procurement partner can help you reduce carbon emissions and boost your hotel’s bottom line, all at the same time.

As far as what’s next? Our team continues to explore new innovations that will help us reduce our environmental footprint while conducting due diligence on implementing additional renewable energy options, such as solar panels, at our hotels in regions around the world. For more than a decade, Hilton has been focusing on initiatives to measure, report and improve its environmental impact across its global portfolio of managed and franchised hotels through bespoke corporate responsibility management platform LightStay. We’d love to help bring these iniatives to life at your properties.



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Responding to a Renewed Focus on Fitness

May 2021

During the past year, fitness trends have shifted, and Hilton Supply Management is leveraging innovation and partnership to keep pace with guest preferences. Similar to what we’re seeing in F&B and housekeeping, the hospitality market’s standard offerings in fitness will need to be re-imagined for a post-pandemic world. Guests have amped up their at home wellness routines and want to keep them going while the travel, but in a cleaner, safer and more private setting. Fortunately, HSM finds itself ahead of the curve by highlighting our existing Five Feet to Fitness program that offers in-room workout options, by researching the implementation of on-demand streaming fitness content and by empowering owners to make the most of their on-property spaces.

Hilton’s exclusive in-room fitness offering, Five Feet to Fitness, allows guests to pursue fitness and well-being on their own terms by working out in the privacy of their room. In these revolutionary guest rooms, guests can have access to countless accessories, functional equipment, fitness content and air purified with AtmosAir. Currently, Five Feet to Fitness is available at Hilton, DoubleTree and select Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Curio and Embassy Suites hotels. Supporting this revolutionary program is a wide range of suppliers, including Aktiv, Life Fitness, Precor, Ecore and Uniguest.

In addition to offering continued support for existing fitness programs, HSM is exploring innovative options by thinking outside of the hotel gym box. At select hotels, we’ve launched a Technogym pilot that includes the Technogym fitness app, bike and accessories for in-room use. HSM is also looking into procuring a variety of in-room offerings per request, like rowing machines and massage guns for recovery. In the meantime, Hilton is offering resource guides regarding existing fitness equipment at Hilton-branded hotels. These guides are available in the Lobby, where each brand can find a list of safety protocol suggestions for our core fitness supplier products – think cleaning considerations, keeping equipment six feet apart, safety concerns and guidelines surrounding equipment in-room. Regardless of the type of workout content or equipment being used, safety is still the top target hotels need to hit for guests.

As perhaps the safest option in regard to germ-spreading and air quality, HSM is helping hotels to utilize their available outdoor space for fitness by promoting their walking/running trails. By contracting with approved outdoor fitness supplier Sterling West, with others potentially to follow, HSM is enabling procurement of equipment for activity and exercise stations. We also recently completed a sourcing event in order to assess new innovations in the marketplace, capture savings, secure cost avoidance and enhance our fitness offerings. Many of the innovations under review involve digital fitness coaching with limited or no equipment.

The value of maintaining good health is peaking right now, and hotels need to respond accordingly. With the added challenge of hygiene and cleanliness concerns, it is crucial to source the right products, equipment and offerings. If you need a proven procurement partner to help you strategize, innovate and source when it comes to offering the latest in personal fitness trends, HSM can help you get into good shape.



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New Homewood Suites Prototype 10.0 features its 1st FF&E Package

May 2021

Not only is one of Hilton’s best-known brands getting a brand new look, it features a turnkey décor package by Hilton Supply Management. The new Homewood Suites Prototype 10.0 incorporates smart, intuitive design to modernize the iconic brand, delivering exceptional new experiences to guests. The décor package for furniture, decorative fixtures, and interior finishes (FF&E) is a first for the Homewood Suites brand that delivers uncompromising value to owners.

The FF&E package features a sophisticated color palette and design that focuses on the transition of light from sunrise to sunset with the Daybreak and Dusk décor schemes. Each décor scheme features a purposefully curated mixture of materials with tactical use of pattern and subtle use of color. Hyper-functional elements, like the Productivity Table for work or dining, under-bed luggage storage, home-like lounge seating, and ample lighting make the guest suites feel like a home away from home. Varied seating in the Central Hub provides an adaptable experience that enables activation from the first cup of coffee to late nights with friends.

Thoughtful features to enhance the guest experience and optimize operations are only some of the benefits. The Homewood Suites FF&E package delivers exceptional value with elevated designs at savings of up to 19% compared to the typical custom designs used with the prior prototype.

To create the FF&E package, Hilton Supply Management worked with Hilton Design and premier supplier partners to develop products carefully tailored for the new Homewood Suites. We conducted extensive product development with each supplier to ensure every item delivers the desired experience and meets Hilton’s rigorous standards. On top of that, we locked in reduced lead times, extended warranties, owner-centric payment terms and highly competitive pricing. That means that the greatest value for Homewood Suites FF&E is right at your fingertips.

While the cost savings are significant, one of the greatest advantages of the Homewood Suites FF&E package is that it’s pre-approved. With the review of specifications, shop drawings and finishes already completed with the specified suppliers, you can realize months of schedule savings for design, approvals and procurement.

When embarking on a new build, conversion or renovation project, download the new specifications from the Hilton Design Information site. While custom designs and non-specified suppliers are subject to the full design review process, the Homewood Suites FF&E package lets you breeze through this step. By committing to a prototype package, you’ll automatically be put on an expedited design approval process aimed at making your life easier. It’s one of the only decisions you’ll have to make for your FF&E, and it’s a smart one.

Connect with the Hilton Supply Management team of experts at HSMx@Hilton.com to learn how we can save you money and tailor the benefits of the Homewood Suites FF&E package to your project.

In addition to Homewood Suites, Hilton offers FF&E décor packages for the Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Tru and Home2 Suites brands.



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Spring Cleaning: A Spotlight on Cleaning Products and Services for Your Property

April 2021

Spring is in full swing, and the hospitality industry has arrived to a new age of cleanliness, where guest expectations have led to a supplier market being flooded with new companies and products. Guests will be looking for more focused attention on cleanliness, including reduced touch points, innovative technology, accessible products and increased maintenance. And even though products and services appear to be more plentiful and attainable, hotels should be cautious and discerning as to the quality and pricing of these goods and services moving forward.

To learn more about what is currently happening in this space and what to expect down the road, HSM Insights caught up with Melody Holmberg, Director of Category Management, Hotel Operations & Services at Hilton. Holmberg, who describes her role as overseeing “anything services and facilities related,” has had quite a year, to say the least. Her department negotiates HSM’s contracts with suppliers and then extends those contracts out to properties.

In regard to the past year, Holmberg said, “Raw materials and manufactured goods were in high demand, and with a reduced workforce, these products were a challenge to acquire. Fortunately, we’ve been able to negotiate rates, while keeping costs down or avoiding huge increases. We also have a good relationship with suppliers and have been able to make sure that all of our properties have access to cleaning chemicals.”

A large part of the HSM Operations and Service team’s focus during the onset of COVID was executing the Hilton CleanStay initiative. Of getting the project off the ground, she said, “Other departments put projects on hold, and everyone rallied to work on CleanStay. It became a top leadership priority with powerful resources being thrown towards cleanliness. My department worked with suppliers on RFPs and contracts; the marketing team transitioned over to researching protocols and products to make guests feel more comfortable; and F&B was talking with beverage partners who converted distilleries to making hand sanitizer.” It was all hands on deck.

The end result was an extremely successful program launch that helped inspire guests to return safely to hotels, but some hotels and guests are now asking, “What next?” Holmberg has some ideas. While cleanliness initiatives, like CleanStay, will remain in place at properties, guests will be looking for additional signs of an ongoing attention to cleanliness.

New technology, reduced touch points, guest-accessible products and increased maintenance protocols will likely be standard expectations. Technology that was introduced in hotels over the past year, like advanced air filtration and disinfecting tools, will continue to be incorporated, as long as the ROI is there for properties. Guests will also expect to see new options from technologies that existed pre-pandemic, such as keyless room entry, to include touchless options for TV and temperature control.

Holmberg’s biggest tip for hotels, for spring cleaning, is to be cautious and diligent when it comes to quality and pricing of products and services and to consider joining a GPO that can help. HSM has played a key role in vetting products and suppliers for its partners over the past year and will continue to do so moving forward. Holmberg shared, “A lot of hotels were so desperate to get supplies, they were going with any supplier and overpaying. For our customers, we were vetting suppliers and doing due diligence to protect hotels during the panic.” Although the panic is past us, these practices continue to prove valuable. Holmberg also urged that hotels put proper measures into preventative and ongoing maintenance, including HVACs, chillers, PTACs, kitchen hoods, proper pest management and overall deep cleaning.

When it comes to products and services to meet the new standards of clean, partnering with a GPO, like HSM, can make a huge difference in both guest satisfaction and the bottom line. According to Holmberg, this kind of relationship can be crucial, even if your hotel is just needing a contract for reliable deep cleaning. In this sense, the past year has actually been beneficial. She explains, “The result is that now, any of our partners can come to us for the best possible pricing because we have already spent the time procuring, negotiating and vetting the products and services hotels need most to meet hospitality’s new cleanliness demands.” For hotels who are ready, the future of cleanliness is looking bright and shiny.

Contact us to learn more about partnering with Hilton Supply Management.



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Hilton Offers Renewable Supply Program for Energy

April 2021

Going green takes energy – renewable energy to be exact. As part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose program and its commitment to corporate responsibility, the company launched a Renewable Energy Supply Program in November of last year. This program requires energy supply companies to include a renewable energy plan in their bids to do business with Hilton properties, helping hotels to increase their awareness of alternative energy options.

According to Corey Brown, Sr. Manager of Energy Procurement and Strategy for Hilton Supply Management, energy choices are crucial to environmental sustainability. “Hotels are huge energy consumers, and energy is almost always one of the top four line items for properties. This program has the potential to help Hilton make a big impact by encouraging the use of renewable energy,” said Corey. And he is just the man to help owners and management companies become aware of more sustainable energy options.

Corey’s primary responsibilities within his role include negotiating energy contracts for all managed estates within Hilton’s energy program and to work with cross-functional teams, like engineering, sustainability and anyone launching energy-efficient projects. He makes sure that both internal teams and the properties Hilton serves have the right automation and understanding of energy usage, consumption and efficiency within day-to-day operations. For now, the energy program is only available to properties under the Hilton flag, but Corey is focusing on building a strong foundation that will hopefully be replicated at other properties and be made available within the HSM GPO.

The recently launched Renewable Energy Supply Program is setting up a framework for increasing awareness and encouraging properties to consider greener energy options. By requiring suppliers to include a renewable energy plan in their RFPs, Hilton is letting them know that the company takes renewable energy seriously and is offering properties an opportunity to consider the overall impact that the energy they use can have on the environment. Since the program launched, three Hilton hotels have opted to incorporate renewable energy at their properties, resulting in a carbon dioxide reduction of 6,907 metric tons over the next two years. At one hotel alone, the reduction equals 18 fewer railcars of coal. In some cases, the renewable energy options even come at a lower cost than traditional power options. The hope is that these success stories will spread and inspire other hotels to consider renewable energy options.

Corey admits that making changes in the way we power our hotels can be a heavy lift, but he also believes that if we’re going to make big environmental changes, we’ve got to do it with energy. He added, “Hilton wants to help make the world a better place, and the energy department is helping to do that through education. My role is to be an advocate, to help hotels handle their energy supply and to find solutions to meet their needs. If we can present them with a solution that makes sense, is efficient and the price is right – then why not?” In addition to the Renewable Energy Supply Program, Corey and his team are continuously innovating simple solutions for properties to increase efficiencies and lower their energy footprint.



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HSM Is Supplying Big Savings to EMEA, APAC and Beyond

April 2021

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.



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A Conversation with General Manager Steve Jung

March 2021

With almost 40 years in the hospitality industry, Steve Jung, GM of DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, has seen and experienced a lot, including his share of wildfires. HSM recently caught up with Jung to gain insights on being proactive, prepared and ready for anything when disaster strikes. Below you’ll find the highlights of our conversation.


HSM: What is your history in your industry, and when did you experience your first wildfire?

Jung: I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and with that comes a lot of experience, a lot of history and a lot of challenges throughout the years. I’ve been at my current hotel for eight years and have learned that as far as supply management goes, it’s really about preparation. In 2017, the Tubbs Fire happened in the middle of the night and really hit us by surprise. I was awakened by high winds and a phone call from a friend who ended up losing his house. When I got to the hotel around 4:30 am, the lobby was full of people who had evacuated – dogs, cats, kids, a bird, and I think we had an iguana, too. It was just mayhem.


HSM: What did you learn from that fire, and how did HSM help?

Jung: After that fire, preparation is what has really set us apart. We’ve been impacted by a fire every year since then, including this year, on top of the pandemic. The first thing is knowing that your type of guest is going to change. It’s not your corporate or group traveler, and where we are located, we’ve become kind of the hub for evacuees. So, we generally get the same people back every year, and our team knows how to handle it – what we’re serving for dinner, for breakfast, what to expect with pets – knowing what’s going to happen helps us to prepare for the hotel’s needs and the guests’ needs.

Knowing how many emergency kits, masks, batteries and water supply is huge. Sometimes we go through hundreds of cases of water, and we need enough food on hand to feed people for three or four days. The minute I have any concerns, I call HSM, and they get us what we need; so I’ve never had a supply issue. And then they’re there to help us in the aftermath with whatever items or engineering needs we have.


HSM: What has surprised you along the way?

Jung: During the clean-up after evacuees left, we had an issue with pest control because people brought all sorts of things into the hotel. Where HSM stepped in is they actually negotiated the deal with our national vendor Ecolab to get the whole property, or at least all of the meeting space, exterminated at a huge discount, which was a huge benefit for us. That’s where HSM stepped in – they will help you out with whatever you need.

HSM was also on a call with us every day, not only to make sure that supply chains were open, but also to secure price and product for air filters. That was another learning – we had to replace almost every air filter in the building because a lot of problems with fires are caused by smoke, which can travel hundreds of miles from the actual fire due to high winds.


HSM: Overall, how has your partnership with HSM helped you to get through these fires?

Jung: HSM was instrumental in making sure we had the supplies that we needed because everyone in Sonoma County was trying to secure the same things, like air filters and N-95 masks, and HSM stepped up to the plate and made sure we got them. They played a critical role in ensuring that our supply chains were still open with our national vendors.

We work hand-in-hand with the Red Cross who uses our hotel as a volunteer site. We’ve also became a donation center for the community and have raised over $1M in kind giving. And we are in a position to reach out to them and say, “What do you need from us?” because HSM takes the pressure off. I know they will take care of it, so I don’t worry.


HSM: Recently with the pandemic, how has HSM been helpful with relief and recovery?

Jung: They play a critical role in our success, because whenever we are looking for items, it’s a quick email or call. I have friends at independent hotels who can’t find product; we’re all under pressure financially. During the pandemic, people have been so impressed that I had Lysol. With HSM, I have access to their buying power, and, whatever I need, I just call and they can always find it. That’s why this relationship is extremely important.



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HSM Offers Your Supply Chain a Port in the Storm

March 2021

In the past few decades, the number of recorded annual hurricanes has been steadily rising, so it’s no surprise that HSM offers its most frequent crisis support in response to these natural disasters. In 2017 alone, there were 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes. And, just like in most crises, supply chain preparedness with a reliable partner like HSM plays a major role in an efficient response and effective recovery.

While hurricanes are somewhat unexpected, there are procedures HSM puts in place and steps hotels can take to be prepared to help mitigate the resulting supply chain risks. HSM has created a Crisis Committee that focuses on receiving and sharing critical information from our suppliers. This helps to determine the best path of action moving forward and to get ahead of potential issues, from logistics and IT to food supply and waste management. HSM has also made it a priority to develop relationships with our key suppliers, who will look to support customers as quickly as possible, and to establish a vast supply line to facilitate the coordination of alternative solutions.

HSM also helps our properties to be prepared for a crisis by sending out relevant and timely communication. In September of 2020, Shawn Kane, HSM Americas Director of Strategic Accounts, sent an email to partners in a hurricane’s impact zone which began, “I wanted to touch base and share some info regarding ‘Sally’ as you have hotels in the path and to see if you had any needs related or in general that I could assist with?” The communication included information on the path of the hurricane, where to expect delays and which suppliers had already been contacted to help mitigate impact of those delays. HSM also sends out communications reminding customers to review and prepare their checklists for key survival items and supplies before any potential disaster season.

The next step is to coordinate with hotels and suppliers in impact zones after they’ve been affected to evaluate needs and then to start addressing them. First, we do a wellness check-in with suppliers and hotels to assess damage, identify issues and make early estimates of when service can be resumed. Hospitals, emergency centers, the Red Cross, health care operations are the first to receive deliveries, then hotels and other customers. Next, we effectively communicate with our customers to report on deliveries, trace and track critical needs and work with suppliers to meet those needs. Once the initial threat is neutralized, we manage any one-off unique needs and coordinate with suppliers to provide post-storm relief.

When Hurricane Odile hit the tip of the Baja peninsula, Hilton Los Cabos was left with nearly 650 guests and employees stranded at the property with no access to internet service, landline phones, electricity or water supply. Within days, HSM coordinated an on-site crisis crew with ferries to deliver necessary supplies and equipment. We also helped organize and manage property recovery efforts to repair the damaged hotel. In the end, HSM’s buying power helped Hilton Los Cabos realize $150,000 of savings on a $650,000 spend.

A partnership with HSM not only comes with best-in-class savings and service, but also potentially life-saving support when disaster strikes. Through preparedness, communication, immediate relief and property recovery, HSM offers dedicated assistance, innovative thinking and agile supply chain solutions to get your property or business through the eye of the storm and safely to the other side.



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Pandemic Makes Supply Chain Interruptions Personal

March 2021

While most people would not be aware of typical supply chain interruptions, 2020 brought a pandemic that impacted the global supply chain network and led to people feeling the ramifications of it on a very personal level. There was no better example of this than the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when consumer panic-buying and factory closures led to a widespread supply chain collapse and empty shelves in stores across the world. During this time, HSM went into overdrive, activating supply chain solutions and pivoting procurement streams to help people where they needed it most.

Hilton Supply Management’s initial Covid response was largely based on strategic communication, established relationships and ever-evolving agility. When the crisis began in China, the first steps were to leverage regional partnerships to gain a full-picture understanding of what was happening, how it was affecting inventory availability and mapping out potential demand. As the virus spread out globally, HSM adjusted its focus to collaborate with suppliers and evaluated production capabilities in each region to ensure that open hotels were getting what they needed. Throughout the process, HSM Team Members kept constant communication with customers, providing updates on market conditions, as well as our commitment and effort to fulfilling their requests.

After mitigating the initial shock of supply route disruptions, HSM quickly shifted its focus to sourcing protective equipment for hotels who were staying open and offering guidance and support for those who were forced to temporarily close. To effectively procure protective equipment, HSM worked closely with Property Operations, developing sources and supplies for equipment needed to operate. HSM also played an integral part in developing and launching Hilton’s CleanStay program. For properties forced to suspend operations, HSM provided checklists, supplier communications and supplier support to help facilitate the process when closing and with eventual re-opening.

In addition to supporting hotels during the onset of the pandemic, HSM also worked closely with its vast network of suppliers to offer relief and to re-negotiate workable contracts. Having multiple suppliers in each category helped to keep supply lines open so that vendors could push products and customers could get what they needed most. As an intermediary between suppliers and customers, HSM helped mobilize resources by identifying factories with production capabilities, pre-paying for and physically securing deliveries of high-demand PE, securing financial relief for owners from key supply partners and establishing a global risk management team.

Of course, at the end of these supply chains are real people, many of whom suffered without basic supplies due to distribution disruptions. That’s why, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, HSM and our program produce supply partner Freshpoint collaborated to provide fresh produce to employees and community members impacted by the virus in cities like Atlanta, Dallas, South Florida and Southern California. Overall, we partnered with our top suppliers to donate 500,000 pounds of food to 6,000 Team Members at 14 of our largest properties.

Most people don’t realize the crucial importance of keeping procurement streams moving, especially during a global crisis. Whether it was securing PE, negotiating relief agreements, offering risk mitigation resources or responding to immediate needs like hunger, HSM’s COVID-19 response was about leveraging supply chains to make a difference in the lives of those affected in the early days of the pandemic.



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Stabilizing Your Supply Chain Against Volatility

March 2021

We all learned a few lessons in 2020, the most notable of which may be that there’s no way to predict the future. You may also have learned that when a crisis hits, it’s important to have a procurement partner with a powerful supply chain that can still deliver when disruptions occur. That’s why HSM makes it a priority to build a robust and stable supply chain that can endure market volatility and weather any storm … or wildfire, or earthquake or global pandemic.

The best defense, of course, is to have a strong offense – or in this case, a strong supply chain before disaster strikes. To achieve this, HSM relies on strategic supplier partnerships that are developed through a deep-routed process. First, we comprehensively vet all of our suppliers, which includes taking into consideration manufacturing capabilities, locations, material sourcing, distribution, sales volume, corporate structure and financial wealth. We also take a category approach, selecting dedicated supplier partners for each category, and identifying supplier strengths based on region to minimize cost and maximize efficiency. This level of strategy and due diligence creates a sturdy end-to-end supply chain solution.

That being said, it’s inevitable that disruptions can and will occur. For this reason, risk mitigation is a big part of our overall sourcing strategy, with both short-term and long-term solutions. When disruptions are brief, we can shift orders over to an alternate established supplier and keep the supply chain moving. For a collapse or larger disruption of a supply line, we leverage our extensive network of supplier partners for a replacement solution. This may be an interim solution at first to maintain consistent supply while we develop an ideal permanent solution. In either case, having established relationships with a wide network of vetted suppliers allows us to be agile and to ensure seamless transitions.

At HSM, we understand that our customers are conducting business in a world that is in a state of constant flux, and that can and will affect the flow of your supply chain. We are also keeping an eye on that world to be proactive when economic, political or natural upheaval occurs. HSM is a trusted partner who can help you anticipate disruptions when possible; mitigate risks before, during and after they arise; align your business with a wide network of reliable, high-quality suppliers; and offer you viable supply chain solutions to keep your business moving in the right direction. Like we’ve all learned, you can’t predict the future, but you can be well-positioned to meet it.



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Supplying Expertise: Excellence in Every Category

February 2021

When it comes to hospitality – or any business, really – success comes from being your best in several categories, not just one. That’s why it’s so important to find the highest quality products and services at the best prices across all categories. Or better yet, have someone else do it for you. HSM leverages the volume of our entire portfolio to secure best-in-class pricing on products and services in a variety of categories, creating extraordinary value for you. We also offer leading-edge eProcurement software and dedicated customer support to promote optimization and efficiency within your supply chain.

Through our in-depth global supply chain knowledge, rigorous sourcing events, strategic partnerships and negotiated commercial terms, we’ve developed and negotiated global and regional pricing agreements with hundreds of industry-leading suppliers of hospitality products and services. This allows us to offer our properties unrivaled, value-based pricing, superior products and the highest quality service standards. HSM offers sourcing in numerous categories, including FF&E, F&B, equipment and operating supplies, like mattresses, TVs, linens and amenities. We’ve also negotiated 60+ service contracts, including elevator maintenance, waste management, pest control and chemical programs.

To assist in the ordering and purchasing of these products and services, our HSM eProcurement system helps you to save time and money by simplifying the process with a one-stop-shop ordering platform. When you log on, you can see suppliers and products to choose from and then order everything you need at once. You can even see your past purchases and re-order them to maximize efficiency and ensure consistency. Our proprietary eProcurement cloud-based platform simplifies the buying process, allowing you to track progress, control costs, shop supplier catalogs online, get electronic PO approval, gain descending checkbook functionality and leverage above-property reporting. HSM can also customize the eProcurement system to meet the unique service, support and adoption needs of your property, including offering the latest purchasing metrics for your properties at any time, anywhere.

Despite the extensive capabilities of this leading technology, we also realize that sometimes you just need a real person to help. That’s why HSM Strategic Accounts provides customers with a trusted, strategic team of advisors to ensure that they are taking full advantage of HSM’s programs, technologies and customer support. From onboarding new hotels to providing insight and opportunity reporting, we deliver account management for your business that is tailored to our customers’ needs and priorities. As hospitality people, HSM understands that supreme customer service and support is critical to help our customers deliver service excellence. So we also offer HSMx, our dedicated help desk, to assist with replenishment orders, eProcurement questions and whatever else you might need.

To ensure success across all of the product and service categories your business needs, consider partnering with HSM. Our category experts bring decades of experience and up-to-the-minute industry insights to supplying products, reviewing contracts, controlling costs and identifying trends. And if you need someone to walk you through all of it, we’ve got a category for that, too.



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Supplying Expertise: Focusing on Suppliers

February 2021

It stands to reason that your supply chain’s success is largely based on the strength of your supplier network. That’s why it is important to cast a wide net, but also to focus on the quality and diversity of the relationships you develop. Fortunately for those who choose HSM as their procurement partner, we have created an extensive network of more than 1,100 industry-leading suppliers who strengthen our supply chains through variety, diversity and responsible sourcing.

One reason HSM is able to offer consistent and reliable supply chain solutions is because we have made it a priority to diversify our distribution channels. Other purchasing programs often choose one avenue to market, while we like to expand our options to offer stability and flexibility to our customers. For example, HSM draws from a variety of established industry suppliers, including these and other options: Sysco, Guest Supply and Edward Don. This gives us a deeper bench of strength and more resilient supply chains so we can remain confident and agile.

HSM’s supplier network can also bring value to your business through our commitment to supplier diversity. At HSM, we believe that our supplier community should reflect the communities in which we all live, work and travel. To help push this ideal forward, we forge strategic partnerships, host informative events and offer empowering resources to businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and LGBTQ individuals. Our award-winning Supplier Diversity program is a large part of this priority.

HSM has also made it a priority to promote social responsibility by partnering with our suppliers to eradicate any form of forced labor or trafficking. We perform supplier due diligence and train our procurement teams on risks of modern slavery in labor sourcing. To track our progress towards aligning with our environmental and social impact goals, HSM has developed a Responsible Sourcing Advisory Board and utilizes the latest technology to evaluate and address our suppliers’ sustainability risk.

The value in HSM’s extensive supplier network comes not just from the quality and diversity within, but also from the important relationships we’ve established. During major disruptions – like the hurricanes, wildfires and global pandemic of the past year – it’s these relationships that keep the supply chain moving. During difficult times for our customers, suppliers are encouraged to be more flexible with policies and payments because of the partnerships HSM has already developed with them. Our supplier network is really a community, one that we’ve worked hard to curate and that comes through in a crisis.

If you are interested in aligning yourself with a strong, far-reaching, diverse and ethical group of suppliers, HSM has already created this network for you. Contact us to learn more about our suppliers and how our relationships with them can benefit your business.



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Knocking Winter Supply Chain Disruptions Out Cold

January 2021

As we approach the coldest months of the year, serious weather can mean serious disruptions to your supply chain. Delays due to plummeting temperatures and winter storms are inevitable. Couple these delays with the existing driver and equipment shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and October through March could be a particularly cruel set of months for supply chain logistics. Fortunately, HSM has a few insights to share on how to be prepared for weather-related disruptions and how to power through potential logistical hiccups.

#1. Plan in advance. First and foremost, advance planning is the strongest mitigator to any supply chain disruption – whether it’s a winter whiteout, tropical hurricane, raging brushfire or global pandemic. While all of these events are unexpected and completely outside of your control, you can expect that at some point major natural events will interrupt your procurement plans. Knowing ahead of time where your goods are shipping from and arriving will allow you to determine the best route. As soon as you see trouble brewing, work with carriers and destination contacts to make them aware of potential delays. Be cautious; be early; be prepared.

#2. Safety is key. Supply chain management includes a responsibility for ensuring the safety of your drivers and goods. Achieving this goal comes down to one thing, good communication. If a winter storm is sweeping through the Northern Corridor or Upper Midwest, keep everyone involved continuously updated on what’s happening and how they should safely proceed. Protect your people first, and then be sure that the goods they are transporting are being taken care of as well.

#3. Lean on strategic relationships. Having the right networks and partners in place will provide a successful outcome almost every time. Being able to tap into a vast carrier network at your fingertips allows you to make adjustments behind the scenes, and unbeknownst to the customer, when a potential disruption presents itself. Having close relationships with suppliers also helps to foster timely communication and makes them more likely to be flexible when things don’t go according to schedule.

#4. Always have a backup plan. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Dig your well before you are thirsty.” Developing contingency plans when you don’t need them is the secret to coming out on top when you do. This helps to reduce risk at every point along the supply chain.

To sum it up, planning in advance, keeping people and goods safe, creating a powerful network and coming up with contingency plans before you need them are the secrets to a solid strategy for mitigating cold weather supply chain disruptions. Need help insulating your supply chain against the upcoming winter weather? Give HSM a call. We’ve got you covered.



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Supplying Expertise: Joining a GPO

January 2021

Want to know how your business can benefit from leveraging the combined buying power of a group purchasing organization (GPO)? When you make HSM your procurement partner, you are backed by the unrivaled, value-based pricing that comes with a global network of 11,000 properties and billions in spending leverage. Partnering with a group purchasing organization can give your business big buying power, and if your supply chain is not already leveraging the power of a GPO, now is the time to consider it.

When purchasing as an individual entity, businesses are faced with higher prices, more responsibility and increased effort and inconvenience. Partnering with a GPO allows you to leverage the buying power of the entire enterprise, resulting in cost containment and the convenience of previously-negotiated prices. These relationships often also offer advice from industry specialists, up-to-date resources and market insights and solutions for improving efficiency and your bottom line.

So, now that we’ve covered why it’s so beneficial to join a GPO, we’ll take things a step further and share with you how you can maximize savings and optimize efficiency by choosing HSM as your dedicated supply chain partner. Leveraging the volume of our entire customer base, we create economies of scale that result in best-in-class pricing on all products and services, and our customers historically save 15% across multiple categories. We also offer service on standby with HSMx, your central resource for questions, supplier support, solutions and direct help with procurement.

In addition to savings and support, HSM stands apart from its competition by offering leading-edge technology, FF&E sourcing and a wide range of categories and suppliers. In a technology-driven landscape, HSM enables customers to keep pace with real-time project analytics and cloud-based eProcurement software. HSM’s FF&E team handles strategic sourcing and project procurement from start to finish by creating, developing and sourcing distinct products, as well as managing new builds, conversions and complete renovations from concept to completion. HSM has also makes it a priority to diversify our distribution channels, drawing from a variety of established industry suppliers. Whereas other purchasing programs often choose one avenue to market, expanding our options offers stability and flexibility to our customers.

Finally, HSM is a partner with a conscience. We recognize that the power and breadth of our program comes with a responsibility to drive positive environmental and social impact across our operations and supply chain. Therefore, we practice responsible sourcing in a way that benefits our customers, our suppliers, the global labor force and the planet. We are also committed to our award-winning Supplier Diversity program that strives to engage, support and create business opportunities in the communities in which we all live, work and travel. And we also believe in being upfront with our customers. Many GPOs require high spend thresholds or rebate programs. HSM would rather offer you the benefits of partnership outright with pricing that is negotiated to offset operational costs, margins that are minimal and an approach that is fully transparent.

To sum it up, the powerful and cost-saving benefits of joining a GPO are likely to transform your business. And 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.



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Supplying Expertise: Who is HSM?

January 2021

Hilton Supply Management is a global procurement powerhouse, leveraging our size and reach to drive economies of scale to forge partnerships with best-in-class suppliers and negotiate industry-leading prices on the products and services your business needs most. When it comes to supply chain partnership, we are the experts. Wondering how HSM became the industry authority in supplying expertise? Well, you are in the right place.

The scale of HSM is in a category of its own when it comes to size, savings, service, solutions and experience. While HSM is the world’s only truly global hospitality procurement organization, we are well-equipped to service both hotel and non-hotel businesses. Backed by more than 11,000 properties around the globe using our programs, HSM leverages billions in spend power and supplies 120+ brands in 121 countries. We also have a vast network of more than 1,100 suppliers that go through a rigorous qualification process and must meet our sustainability and due diligence standards. With an award-winning Supplier Diversity program, HSM has partnered with more than 4,500 businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and LGBTQ individuals. We believe in the power of relationships.

Partnering with HSM can benefit your business through extensive savings, unparalleled support, anywhere analytics and sourcing in every major category. Historically, HSM customers have experienced up to 15% savings across categories. We also offer a dedicated help desk, strategic account management and field resources to ensure our customers are well-cared for and taking full advantage of our services, like supply chain-savvy software. Leading-edge technology and our cloud-based eProcurement platform allow our customers to monitor trends, access real-time project reports and simplify the purchasing process at any time from anywhere. And when it comes to sourcing, we negotiate the best possible deals in every major category and offer 60+ service contracts, from elevator maintenance to waste management and pest control.

So, who is HSM? We are your friendly experts in the procurement industry who are here to offer unparalleled value, solutions, support and service to those in the hospitality business and beyond. Supplying Expertise – it’s what we do.



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HSM Supplier Diversity Summit: Connections and Community

December 2020

On December 10, Hilton Supply Management hosted the second annual Supplier Diversity Summit to bring together Hilton leadership, industry experts and our diverse supplier community. To kick off the event, HSM President and Global Head, Anu Saxena, highlighted the fact that underneath all of the major disruptions of 2020 – the global pandemic, natural disasters, social and political unrest – there have been opportunities for growth concerning diversity. This is also most certainly true within the supply chain.

In today’s business, a corporate commitment to diversity is essential if we want our supply chains to reflect those who live and work in the communities we serve, especially within the hospitality industry. The purpose of the Supplier Diversity Summit is to bring together those who are already a part of our diverse supplier community and those who are committed to furthering the important work of moving supplier diversity forward. This included engaging sessions, panels and breakouts with CEOs, senior vice presidents, founders and general managers from across the industry. HSM was also fortunate to partner with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) to bring the summit to life, as well as the WBE Pacific Northwest Cookie Company who provided sweet treats that accommodated multiple dietary restrictions.

Hosting events like the Supplier Diversity Summit underscores HSM’s commitment to engaging, supporting and creating business opportunities in the local and global communities where we work and travel. HSM’s Supplier Diversity program is a large part of this priority. In the past 10 years, we have cultivated relationships with more than 3,000 women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses, and our supplier spend with these types of businesses has reached more than $593 million. Our Supplier Diversity program has evolved into its own unique brand under HSM, not only buying from diverse suppliers, but also guiding, mentoring and empowering them. In 2020, these initiatives led to Hilton being ranked #1 for Supplier Diversity by DiversityInc.

It is not only important to us that we’ve been successful so far, but we want to continue, to evolve and to strengthen the work we are doing towards increasing supplier diversity. To do this, we will continue to innovate and work closely with our suppliers to identify how we can best serve and empower them. The CleanStay initiative was Hilton’s response to cleanliness and safety concerns that had to be addressed for guests to feel comfortable returning to hotels. The program, from inception to launch, relied heavily on the innovation, flexibility and partnership of suppliers.

While numerous big events from the past year have caused severe disruptions within the supply chain, they have also forced us to innovate and rely on important relationships within our networks of suppliers. These events have also presented us with opportunities for strengthening these networks to be more representative of the local and global communities we serve. HSM is committed to furthering supplier diversity through building strategic partnerships, empowering diverse suppliers and hosting meaningful events, like the Supplier Diversity Summit. It is our fundamental belief that by working in partnership, making connections and building community, together we can make a difference.



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HSM Helps Activate History of Hotel

December 2020

Built in 1882, the Tudor-style Hotel Roanoke has long been a gem of the city’s quaint and bustling downtown. Part of the Hilton Curio Collection, this property has historical ties to the Virginia Tech Foundation and the City of Roanoke and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So when talk of renovation began, there was an understanding that changes were needed to provide guests with contemporary comforts while celebrating the historical significance of the property. The hotel soon brought HSM on board to help achieve this exciting and momentous task.

Working with hotel ownership, designers and suppliers, HSM procured furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) for the “1882 Lobby Bar” renovation. This piece of the project included multiple commodities, including custom upholstered softgoods, custom casegoods, custom mirrors, light fixtures, patio furniture and custom drapery. Leveraging its purchasing power, HSM was able to secure incredibly aggressive pricing while ensuring the integrity of the design which in the end provided significant cost savings.

In addition to sourcing products and securing savings, HSM offered value in managing the process to the property team by providing tracking and support. With daily monitoring, HSM managed all orders to ensure that they were placed on-time, approved by the customer and delivered without any surprises. HSM also provided pre- and post-delivery support, presented the owner with weekly summaries and was available for all questions that arose throughout the project.

Translating the design of the “1882 Lobby Bar” for an incredible re-opening, HSM successfully delivered cost savings that exceeded expectations by leveraging their hospitality supplier relationships. The project was completed on time and under budget and successfully achieved the desired balance of history and modernity. With beautiful millwork and a metal canopy, the space reminds guests of a 19th century railway ticket station. The ceiling is painted to resemble a night sky from that era, and the locally sourced cocktails and dishes bear names from days gone by.

Hilton Supply Management’s FF&E Project Procurement team was honored to be a part of this project, which helped to restore a legendary property that makes a significant impact on the city of Roanoke and is special to both local residents and visiting guests.

Curious to see how the project looks today? Take a video tour here.



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Driving Responsible Sourcing: Sustaining Our Commitment to the Planet

November 2020

As our founder Conrad Hilton once said, “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.” And 101 years later, Hilton and HSM realize that a big part of keeping that promise involves helping to protect our shared planet. That’s why through the Hilton Travel with Purpose program and HSM’s newly-formed Global Responsible Sourcing Advisory Group, we are committed to helping the world remain healthy and vibrant for future generations.

As responsible partners to the communities in which we live and work, Hilton is redefining responsible travel by driving social and environmental change across its operations, supply chain and community through its Travel with Purpose program. This initiative represents Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy to drive responsible travel and tourism globally. With it, we have set 2030 goals to halve our environmental impact throughout our value chain by conserving resources in our hotels, reduce the environmental footprint of our supply chain and collaborate with our local communities to invest in projects that contribute to environmental stewardship and resiliency.

HSM recognizes that sustainable practices at hotels often begin with responsible sourcing within the supply chain. That's why we are constantly looking at ways to become more environmentally friendly, whether that means investing in sustainably sourced seafood and cage free eggs or developing alternatives to plastic straws and delivering them to thousands of hotels around the globe. As the innovation and logistics center of Hilton, HSM plays an integral part in delivering on Hilton’s promise to Travel with Purpose. Under this program, we are focused on both our environmental and social impact—not only helping our hotels drive improvements in how they manage energy, water, and waste, but also catalyzing economic opportunities, promoting human rights and investing in people and local communities.

To further this work, HSM recently launched the Global Responsible Sourcing Advisory Group to identify gaps in existing efforts and to execute new opportunities to advance our broader sustainability goals. The cross-functional responsibilities of this group include establishing foundational policies, external reporting, technology integration, communication alignment and corporate responsibility. Through Travel with Purpose and the creation of this new advisory group, HSM seeks to create positive environmental and social impact across our operations, supply chain and communities. We will continue to pursue best-in-class operational excellence, engage our guests and Team Members and use our innovation and influence to make meaningful differences in the destinations and communities in which we operate.



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How can HSM Strategic Accounts Benefit You?

November 2020

HSM’s Strategic Accounts team is like having your own personal supply chain entourage. We provide customers with a trusted, strategic team of advisors to help make sure that your business is taking full advantage of all of the programs, technologies and customer support that HSM has to offer. If the entourage metaphor isn’t working for you, think of Strategic Accounts as consulting partners, offering your business both top-level, strategic planning and individualized, property-specific support. 

At the above-property level, Strategic Accounts offers support for owners and management companies that includes reporting, updates and portfolio-level support. Our business reviews supply in-depth, per-property spend analysis to help ensure compliance, provide accurate performance reporting and drive deeper savings. Our customer alerts offer real-time updates on commodity cost outlooks, product and commodity supply alerts, food safety alerts and new supplier bulletins that provide a high-level overview of newly-signed contracts. Sharing these alerts, along with new product development and testing, can be especially important during highly volatile times.  

Our property-level tactical support for hotels starts with HSMx as a first point of contact for all things ordering- and supplier-related. This includes quotes for guestroom appliance and kitchen equipment, OS&E and Protective Equipment resupply, help identifying cost savings opportunities, FF&E renovation project procurement and serves as an escalation point for supplier opportunities. Each of our customers is also assigned a geographically-focused account manager to leverage opportunities for targeted supply chain solutions, provide unparalleled service, add procurement expertise to your portfolio and drive value through engagement. In relation to purchasing, we also offer support for our eProcurement system, which offers one-stop shopping with digital supplier catalogs, easy access reporting and the ability to add additional modules, such as inventory, accounts payable and receipt management. 

As you can see, the “strategy” in Strategic Accounts is evident. Our team can help yours with both strategic and tactical support to ensure that you not only have access to the programs, technology and support you need, but also to the assistance that will help you optimize HSMs services and maximize your results. 



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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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