HSM Insights


Transforming a Historical School into Denver’s Newest Boutique Hotel

July 2022

The Slate Denver, a Tapestry Hotel by Hilton, officially opened its doors to guests on May 24—but the building’s historical use dates back almost a century. Originally built in 1926 as the Emily Griffith Opportunity School, the schoolhouse-turned-hotel is an honored historical site. And HSM’s FF&E Project Procurement team had the privilege of working with the hotel’s ownership, interior design firm and more than 70 FF&E suppliers to preserve the building’s cherished history. Owned by WelArm Land, LLC, the 4-story, 251-room hotel design is inspired by the property’s educational roots, from vintage alarm bells, typewriter artwork and original staircases to the school-themed meeting rooms, restaurant, and bar

“Since the project’s inception, we’ve worked hard to maintain the integrity of the hotel’s foundation, honoring the legacy of the Emily Griffith Opportunity School and its vast impact on generations of Denver residents,” said Kirby Kiner, general manager of The Slate Denver. “May is Teacher Appreciation Month, and we and our longtime partner Hilton couldn’t think of a better time to open our doors and invite guests into our reinvented schoolhouse.”

HSM and the Owner have teamed up on various FF&E projects in the past, including outfitting the management group’s dual-branded Home2/Tru hotel at the Denver Convention Center in 2019. When partnering on The Slate, our project procurement experts worked directly with Portland-based design firm, The Society, and bid the project’s fully customized FF&E package to a wide array of suppliers. From soft seating and mirrors to decorative lighting and schoolhouse décor, HSM priced out the entire FF&E package to vetted suppliers, providing a range of options and price points for procurement, including many of the art installations—for the entire property, balancing period-appropriate historical elements with a careful blend of modern décor to create a rich juxtaposition for guests. In total, approximately 300 specific items for The Slate were sourced from over 70+ suppliers around the world.

“Working on FF&E projects within an adaptive use space creates an exciting opportunity to re-purpose buildings of significance, and in this instance, adding a new hospitality narrative for the future while preserving the local scholastic history,” said Jason Bramhall, Senior Director at HSM. “HSM’s Project Procurement team was honored to partner on this custom transformation, delivering a distinct, new hotel experience to the city of Denver.”

Despite ongoing supply chain challenges throughout the renovation process, The Slate Denver proudly opened with a ceremony that included ringing its historic Opening Bell and inviting guests to experience a timeless property reimagined. Our procurement experts were proud to work alongside the entire team to help preserve and restore a piece of Denver history, and we look forward to toasting the Slate’s ongoing success at their aptly named bar, The Teachers’ Lounge.

If you have a renovation or new build on the horizon and want to discuss what our FF&E experts can do for you, reach out to HSMx@hilton.com or talk to your Strategic Accounts advisor.


Welcoming Four-Legged Guests in Partnership with Mars Petcare, Ecolab

June 2022

Thanks to Hilton’s recently expanded partnership with Mars Petcare, the world’s largest pet care company, partnering hotels are finding it easier than ever to become a pet hero for guests traveling with pets. As demand for traveling with pets continues to rise, a recent survey revealed that 70%1 of Americans plan to travel this summer, and more than two-thirds of American pet owners cite mental health benefits like stress relief and giving a sense of security as key reasons to bring their pets along when they travel. HSM has been hard at work negotiating contract terms and program enhancements, and we are grateful to team up with industry experts to provide a great guest experience for travelers and their companions.

One such program enhancement for pet-friendly properties is new options for pet relief stations from vetted HSM vendors including Guest Supply, HD Supply, and Zero Waste. And since pets like to visit the city as well, our team is also exploring pet relief options for urban hotels with limited greenspace. HSM has leveraged existing partnerships with Ecolab and other supplier partners to ensure hotels have access to resources, training materials and solutions to implement pet-specific best practices for cost-effective cleaning. To ensure all guests are guaranteed a clean stay, Ecolab designed a program comprised of innovative solutions meant to address pet-related pathogens, odors, and stains. Their accompanying on-demand digital training will allow hotels to swiftly onboard and upskill employees to realize the full potential of the simplified pet guest program.

As part of the partnership with Mars Petcare, the Mars Pet Expert Team (PET) will now offer virtual support via Mars PET On-Demand to guests staying at any of Hilton’s 4,600+ pet-friendly properties across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to getting answers to questions related to traveling with your cat or dog, guests will now also have access to convenient pet health, wellness, and behavioral support resources.

“We’re always looking to make a more welcoming world for pet parents and their pets, and the expansion of our partnership with Hilton to offer our services and expertise to guests at more than 4,600 hotels across North America is doing just that,” said Ikdeep Singh, Global President, Mars Pet Nutrition. “We strive to make communities more pet-friendly so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of a life with pets, and through this breakthrough collaboration, we’re proud to continue to find ways to make those benefits conveniently accessible even while traveling.”

HSM takes pride in our capacity to make connections among brands, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, and we are eager to continue working with Mars Petcare, Ecolab and our pet-friendly properties to ensure a “paws-itive” stay for guests and their pets. Through these partnerships, HSM is helping hotels extend the light and warmth of hospitality to traveling humans and their furry friends.

1KRC Research conducted an online survey of 1,004 U.S. adults 18 and older between June 1 – 3, 2022.


A Conversation on Going Green with Sustainable Partner Meveca

April 2022

As the world’s largest dedicated hospitality procurement partner, we at HSM realize our responsibility to protect the planet so that the communities and destinations in which we operate remain vibrant for years to come. This Earth Day, in line with our pledge to travel green, we sat down with one of our sustainable dining partners to talk about how they’re helping customers move toward a more environmentally sustainable hotel experience. HSM has cultivated a growing network of eco-friendly suppliers that provide green alternatives to traditional solutions, innovating new, more environmentally friendly paths forward for the hospitality industry. We were honored to connect with Meveca, a leader in the sustainable luxury dining space, to learn how they’re partnering with customers to offer responsibly sourced, energy-efficient F&B solutions.

HSM: As a company, why is focusing on sustainability so important, and what role do your suppliers play in the responsible sourcing process?

Meveca: In our eyes, the future of hospitality and the future of our planet go hand in hand. We believe that world-class manufacturing begins with respect for people and the environment, which is why we place so much emphasis on sustainability. By extension, we honor our core values by working with suppliers who share our commitment to make products responsibly and sustainably. In fact, we purposely have a high in-house product depth so we can continue to serve customer needs when sustainable suppliers are unavailable in a certain space.

HSM: Which of your products do you think has, or will have, the greatest positive impact on sustainability?

Meveca: While our team routinely works with operators and restaurateurs to reduce costs and support green initiatives through adjustments to lighting features, surfaces and other details, we’d have to say that our modular buffet equipment, THE BAUKASTEN livecookintable®, probably offers the greatest long-term investment toward sustainability. One table lasts 10+ years, with interchangeable modules that can be updated in the interim, and the system has been tracked to reduce food waste by up to 35%. Customers get an amazing ROI from one purchase. We also love our linen-less banquet, conference and cocktail table range, which allows customers to reduce their carbon footprint by saving energy and water.

HSM: In your opinion, why aren’t more luxury hospitality providers offering sustainable options?

Meveca: While a number of factors might stop luxury hotel suppliers from offering sustainable solutions, we think the top three concerns for suppliers when going green are 1) resistance to change, 2) cost effectiveness and 3) material reliability. Transitioning to an eco-friendlier business model requires a new way of thinking, an enormous amount of planning and research and a long-term commitment to the process, which many suppliers may not be prepared to make. Going green is also a costly process, which some suppliers simply cannot afford right now, and finding suppliers who offer materials that are both sustainable and provide great functionality is incredibly difficult. Finding the right partners with reliable material is often a deterrent for companies pursuing more sustainable options.

HSM: Global travel preferences are clearly evolving, and we are starting to see sustainability as a more frequent feature in the luxury space. What is your process to achieve a level of “green” luxury?

Meveca: Luxury and sustainability have widely been regarded as two ends of a spectrum, but at Meveca we believe the opposite—that clean air and water, natural materials and fresh food are the most primitive elements of comfort and represent a true luxury experience. We therefore conceptualize our equipment from an operational viewpoint to provide not only a product, but a long-term solution. For example, we think about product longevity and recyclability when designing equipment to reduce food waste and drive ROI. Our goal is to leave no waste for future generations, which is why our most powerful battery is built from “upcycled” car batteries and can be recycled again at the end of its use.

HSM: Last but not least, do you only partner with properties that can meet a specific price point?

Meveca: Quite the opposite. We are a completely solution-driven brand and one-stop shop for all hospitality dining solutions. From live cooking and buffet displays to banquet furniture and in-room dining equipment, we offer products that cater to any budget and requirements. Our expert team consists of designers, architects, chefs, hoteliers, sales and after-sales support. We work with each client to understand their needs so we can offer tailored solutions that fit their budget accordingly. Our modular, Lego-like system allows clients to add on equipment whenever their budget allows, which is a win-win situation at any price point.

HSM is grateful to the team at Meveca for sharing their time and valuable insights, and we applaud this partner and all our sustainability-focused suppliers for their efforts to protect our planet and reimagine the future of hospitality. Our F&B category management experts are teaming up with likeminded partners across the globe to help properties deliver dining experiences curated from responsible sources. To take advantage of HSM’s network of sustainable suppliers, contact your Strategic Accounts advisor or connect with us at HSMx@hilton.com.


HSM Experts Honored as “Pros to Know”

April 2022

HSM strives to deliver unparalleled service to our customers by connecting them with the most experienced and diversified talent the hospitality procurement industry has to offer. We’re incredibly proud to announce that two of those HSM team members—Nicola Jong and Doris Leung—have been recognized as winners of the 2022 Pros to Know award by Supply & Demand Chain Executive, which recognizes outstanding executives whose accomplishments offer a roadmap for other leaders looking to leverage supply chain for competitive advantage.

Nicola, Senior Director of Customer Engagement for APAC, began her career in procurement and brings more than a decade of experience in business development, sales, category management and customer engagement to her work supporting HSM's rapidly expanding presence across the Asia Pacific region. Nicola's finely honed awareness of respective markets, suppliers and local cultures uniquely positions her to work on procurement and supply chain initiatives across 20+ countries representing every possible category of spend.

Doris, FF&E Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Director for APAC, possesses more than a decade of experience and specializes in procurement for FF&E and OS&E, project management and value re-engineering for clients throughout region. She recently applied her talents space to help launch "Source & Go,” HSM's pre-opening e-procurement platform designed specifically for China which offers greater product and supplier visibility, supports brand compliance and presents investors with the flexibility and choices they seek from the sourcing process.

When it comes to hospitality, HSM is proud to be the world’s only truly global procurement powerhouse, and we couldn’t do it without the talented team members who support our customers every step of the way. With nine regional offices including APAC locations in Singapore, Shanghai and Shenzhen HSM is making the connection for customers between operational efficiency and incredible value. Our hospitality procurement experts are ready help you access the turnkey solutions to transform your business and benefit your bottom line.

Connect with us at HSMx@hilton.com or work directly with your Strategic Accounts advisor to put HSM’s size, scale, savings and solutions to work for your business.


Amplifying On-Property Access for Electric Vehicles

March 2022

A great majority of travelers view sustainable travel as a critical priority, and at HSM, we take seriously our responsibility to help shape and influence the future of the travel industry. One recent initiative designed to spark meaningful and lasting change toward climate action is HSM’s launch of a new electric vehicle charging program for partnering properties.

More than 70% of Americans say they would consider an electric vehicle in the future, and by 2030, EVs are expected to represent over half of new car sales in the U.S.. And while there are currently more than 1 million EVs in the U.S., there are fewer than 100,000 public charging ports available. So, HSM is hard at work to ensure that we are both partnering with, and investing in, businesses with the potential to radically transform the sustainability landscape while developing infrastructure for future need.

With growing guest demand for EV charging, HSM is leveraging our global reach to make connections with multiple leading brands and manufacturers in the marketplace, empowering our customers to choose the program that best meets their guests’ EV charging needs.

We also partner with suppliers who can offer turnkey solutions to help our clients transform their business efficiently and effectively. Electric vehicles and accessories are a burgeoning but often unfamiliar market space, and in addition to the acquisition of charging equipment many hotels will need support designing and constructing EV capabilities on site. HSM’s supplier contracts offer full-scale customizable solutions, providing EV charging station support from site preparation, equipment installation and built-in warranty to ongoing maintenance and long-term servicing needs. And for hotels in markets where a full-scale EV install may not be pragmatic, HSM’s partnering vendors will also offer options ranging from a monthly subscription program to fully outsourcing all elements of properties’ EV charging needs.

HSM is also working to ensure that each of our partnering suppliers has the marketing, networking and software support to connect with electric vehicle owners in search of available charging stations. Each vendor can interface with consumer-facing apps to promote a smooth and seamless user experience for your guests, and vendors can also help every partnering property determine the right level of access for their location.

Offering our customers significant savings remains a top priority for us at HSM, and customers who connect with EV charging capabilities through HSM will receive substantial savings off of MSRP. We are also furthering our commitment to invest in small and start-up businesses within the sustainability sphere, which is why HSM awarded $10,000 in grant funding earlier this year to EV EQUITY—a certified LGBT+ and woman-owned business specializing in electric vehicle consultations and charging solutions. This investment helps to further accelerate integration of EV charging stations across the hospitality marketplace, as global climate concerns necessitate a shift in the way we travel.

We recognize that the power and breadth of our programs is accompanied by a responsibility to drive positive environmental and social impact across our operations and supply chain, and HSM continues seeking out new ways to make a meaningful and lasting difference in the communities where we work, live and travel. Learn more about progress made toward our Travel with Purpose 2030 goals, and contact your Strategic Accounts advisor or connect with us at HSMx@hilton.com to discuss charging up your property for a greener, brighter future.


Strategic Partnerships, Solutions Ease Latest Shortage-Induced Supply Chain Snags

January 2022

Just when businesses and consumers around the globe were hoping for a season of supply chain relief, the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 began spreading across the globe, triggering factory shutdowns, manufacturing disruptions, delivery cancellations and even city-wide lockdowns. These latest developments come at a time when the global economy is already grappling with widespread shortages ranging from drivers, pilots and other frontline workers to shipping containers and the necessary machinery and staff to unload them. All this, coupled with raging winter weather, leaves the business world bracing for what economist Frederic Neumann calls “the mother of all supply chain stumbles.”

Thankfully, HSM has been building up supply chain experience and offering industry-leading expertise and support for 55 years (and counting!), and our procurement experts continue to provide our customers with the flexibility, access, information and innovative solutions they need to operate and grow their businesses despite this latest round of supply chain snags. While our experts cannot reverse shortages, influence inflation or change the course of winter storms, we have cultivated a far-reaching global network of suppliers, supporters and key partners to help us circumvent these and other challenges. On the logistics front, for instance, HSM partners with hospitality-focused freight companies that understand our business and share our sense of urgency to get product to each and every property. Due to the strength of these relationships, we have faced few delivery challenges caused by winter weather where our freight was delayed 1-2 days until local roads were passable. Customers were provided with constant status updates and, if need be, troubleshooting solutions.

“Supplier partnerships are key in the logistical space, and HSM has partnered with some of the most competitive, hospitality-driven logistical partners in the industry,” said Jon Thomas, HSM’s Director of Logistics and Supply Chain. “Timing and planning are critical, and having a visible supply chain from pickup point to delivery sets us up for success by helping us stay ahead of certain bottlenecks. Having multiple logistics partners is a key success factor for us as well, because when one supplier cannot handle a specific shipment for us, we have several backups in place to help get the job done in a timely manner.”

While some supply chain challenges are expected to subside once the omicron surge passes, other issues reflect a more deeply rooted reality. Currently, the U.S. is facing a driver shortage of nearly 80,000 workers, due in large part to drivers “aging out” of the business and retiring from the road. As such, the driver shortage is only expected to increase in coming years, prompting our logistics experts to pursue new solutions to get goods to our end users. For now, HSM’s logistics team is working to bypass backlogs and decrease a products’ travel time by connecting shipments with less congested entry ports closer to customers.

“We've really had to figure out how to plan ahead a little bit more—how to understand exactly what hotels are hearing from their guests and their customers so we can make sure the right product is there at the right time,” said Leena Baran, director of F&B Category Management for HSM. “We work to figure out exactly where everybody is in the process, exactly where product is going to be needed and how our solutions should evolve based on the changing consumer behavior. It's really all about communication.”

If you or your business could benefit from timely, transparent communication coupled with strategic risk mitigation solutions, HSM’s logistics and category management experts would love to help you alleviate some of the challenges you might be facing. From supply chain and warehousing needs to installations and renovations, we can put HSM’s size, scale and global reach to work to help insulate and support your property through these ongoing issues. Make a connection with your HSM Strategic Accounts advisor or email HSMx@hilton.com and together, we can arrive at the right solutions for your business.


Seasoned Expertise Helps Customers Navigate Supply Chain-Spurred Stagflation

January 2022

Despite persistent hopes that supply chain troubles would dissipate in the new year, businesses around the globe are seeing little supply chain relief as ongoing issues continue to result in raised costs and higher sticker prices. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Price Index—a key measure of inflation—rose by a measure of almost 7% in the final months of 2021, marking the country’s highest inflation rate in nearly 40 years. The continuous challenge of getting products from manufacturers to end-use customers, coupled with heightened consumer demand, shipping bottlenecks and elevated energy prices, reflects this record-breaking increase in the pricing of goods. Some experts are even referencing this surge in product pricing as a hallmark of stagflation, or recession-inflation, which reflects a period of sustained high inflation paired with high unemployment and stagnant economic demand. Put simply, many signs suggest that rising costs may not be falling anytime soon.

As economists and business strategists speculate about the anticipated timeline and potential long-term effects of current product and labor shortages on inflation rates, HSM’s procurement experts are here to help our customers circumvent backlogs, bottlenecks and delays while also offering real-time risk mitigation tips and insulation from the skyrocketing cost of goods. Through our partnership with Mintec Analytics, we offer our customers insights from a monthly detailed macroeconomic and price inflation report, positioning them to make informed decisions around purchasing, product features, potential F&B alternatives and other procurement needs. For example, partnering properties alerted to the current spike in pricing for both Chilean salmon and beef trim, a key component of ground beef, may choose to focus more F&B spend on poultry or pork products, which recently saw a temporary dip in pricing. HSM boasts procurement experts in every category to help guide our customers throughout the planning and purchasing process.

“Raw material shortages, logistical challenges due to lack of containers and diminished labor capacity have affected the entire supply chain, and we try and mitigate these concerns by working very closely with our suppliers and focusing on value engineering of our products—still maintaining the best quality while doing our best to limit price increases,” said Sunil Wadhwaney, HSM’s senior director of OS&E Category Management. “Our products and orders are prioritized because we have very strategic partnerships with our suppliers, and we work with them to increase inventory and to find top-quality alternative products when the standard item is not available. Day in and day out, our team is focused on finding supply chain solutions.”

HSM experts are also outfitting our partners to better weather long-term price hikes for various commodities, such as cotton, which has climbed in price due to poor growing conditions in recent years, as well as navigating ongoing global shortages, such as the current worldwide semiconductor shortage. We are also pointing customers toward timely and advantageous price drops, including the recent seasonal drop in steel driven by lower automobile production. Properties in the midst of building or renovations can count on our project procurement teams to help source raw materials and adhere to construction timelines as closely as possible.

“Strategic sourcing could not be more important with respect to resourcing, cost of goods and supply chain challenges that have ratcheted up the cost of freight to a point we've never seen in our industry,” said Jason Bramhall, senior director for HSM’s project procurement team. “We have a higher number of vetted, approved suppliers to choose from than many of our competitors, and the logistical challenges are ultimately part of the puzzle we enjoy piecing together for our customers. Whatever the project, our team members are providing customers with relevant insights, answering their questions with respect to industry trends, exploring new avenues to save them money and striving to be cognizant of their timeline, working within that window to provide them with a really amazing outcome.”

While we can’t move the needle on inflation rates or shorten the timeframe for supply chain challenges, our team can leverage HSM’s scale, scope, global reach and expertise to provide our partnering properties with as much protection as possible against the ongoing issues facing our industry. To benefit from our risk mitigation efforts and strategic guidance during upticks and downturns, connect with your Strategic Accounts advisor or reach out to us at HSMx@hilton.com.


Securing a Promising Partnership for Sustainable Seafood Sourcing

December 2021

In an exciting step forward for our company’s responsible sourcing initiatives, HSM recently entered into a collaborative partnership agreement with Seafood Legacy and UMITO Partners to procure more sustainable seafood for our partnering properties in Japan, Korea and Micronesia (JKM). Excessive fishing, or that which exceeds the pace of reproduction within marine ecosystems, poses a serious challenge for the international community, and as product demands continue to rise, Hilton is moving toward selective procurement of sustainable seafood to help protect and preserve native aquaculture. By securing this Memorandum of Understanding among the three partners, HSM is helping to make meaningful strides toward the Travel with Purpose goal of cutting our environmental footprint in half by 2030.

UMITO Partners is an environmentally purposed organization led by experts in fishery science and management, economic and financial sustainability, and community design for sustainability. Seafood Legacy is a social venture providing sustainable seafood consulting to Japanese government and seafood businesses. Both organizations will connect HSM with fisheries and aquaculture companies certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), as well as communicating requests to distributors from partnering hotels for specific certified marine products.

“Our goals include procuring 25 percent of seafood from sustainable sources by the end of 2022 through relationships with MSC- and ASC-certified fisheries and farms. We are also working to ensure that remaining product volumes are sourced from suppliers on World Wildlife Fund green lists or those working toward certification and sustainable improvements,” said Timothy Soper, Hilton’s Area Vice President for JKM. “Hilton continues to make great progress toward this global objective at all of our hotels across Japan, Korea and Micronesia, and we are confident that together with Seafood Legacy and UMITO Partners, our commitment to sustainable seafood procurement will expand and evolve as we lead the hospitality industry in responsible sourcing initiatives.”

HSM is also working with partnering organizations to abolish the procurement of endangered species by next year, providing hotels with only those ingredients obtained responsibly from certified suppliers. As an example, Hilton has banned the provision of shark fins at its restaurants, and Hilton Tokyo Bay has been recognized with eco-label certifications from both MSC and ASC.

In addition to our efforts around sustainable seafood, HSM is also investing in sustainably sourced meat, poultry, produce and cotton, cage-free eggs and alternatives to plastic straws for thousands of hotels around the globe. Utilizing our top-tier supplier relationships and HSM’s procurement strategy to protect our planet and its animals, our Food & Beverage category management experts are helping properties worldwide to deliver dining experiences curated from responsibly sourced regional and local resources. From wild Georgia shrimp in Savannah to tofu pudding in Hong Kong, our team can help you serve up fresh, delicious and eco-friendly fare to guests today while we work together to secure tomorrow. Learn more about progress made toward our Travel with Purpose 2030 goals, and contact your Strategic Accounts advisor or connect with us at HSMx@hilton.com to help HSM make an even greater positive impact across our global supply chain.


Growing Partnership Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses

November 2021

As HSM concludes our month-long spotlight on supplier diversity, we’re taking a closer look today at our far-reaching efforts to encourage the growth and development of a diverse range of suppliers, including women-owned businesses. We had the opportunity to connect with Simone Ray, HSM’s Director of Supplier Diversity, to hear more about Hilton’s commitment to promote inclusion, support and visibility for women working within the hospitality landscape. Ray and her colleagues are putting programming, mentorships, grants, networking events and sourcing opportunities in place to help HSM make sure that women not only have a seat at the economic table, but a strong voice in driving the conversation.

HSM: What have you been able to accomplish with HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program?
The program began a decade ago, and since then we have cultivated relationships with more than 4,900 women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses. Our supplier spend with these types of businesses has reached over $327 million, and we’ve committed to doubling our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030.

HSM: Can you share the overall journey of the Supplier Diversity Program?
In 2019, we embarked on a journey of transformation. The journey included investing even further in the program, innovating our communications and outreach to better tell our story and increasing Hilton’s involvement in the conversation around supplier diversity. We have truly elevated our program to best-in-class status.

HSM: How has this transformation journey included a focus on women?
HSM has made it a priority to offer content and programing that is relevant and empowering to women, like our collaboration with the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO) to host our annual “Doing Business with Hilton” event. Suppliers in attendance were able to hear firsthand from industry leaders and experts and to make important connections. We also recently partnered with the Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBENC) to host our second annual Supplier Diversity Summit.

HSM: How is HSM’s commitment to woman-owned businesses making a difference?
Ray: The economic development strategies from HSM’s Supplier Diversity team are designed to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship among our suppliers, which results in high-quality goods and services that benefit our incredible owners, customers and clients. When the procurement playing field is level, excellence emerges, and everyone wins.

Thanks to Simone, her colleagues and a companywide commitment to supplier diversity, HSM is leveraging our global reach to level local playing fields, carrying forward the important charge of promoting inclusion, support and visibility within the hospitality landscape. Learn more about our commitment to double sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030, and visit www.mysupplymanagement.com or connect with us at HSMx@hilton.com to help create space at the table for everyone who is touched by travel.

Together, we can establish a more equitable and inclusive industry, better representative of a world that is becoming more diverse by the day.


Promoting Diverse Opportunities in STEAM-Related Fields

November 2021

As HSM continues our month-long spotlight on supplier diversity, we’re looking today at our company’s ongoing efforts to raise the bar and create new opportunities in STEAM-related fields, or those industries rooted in science, technology, engineering, arts and/or math. We had the chance to speak with Leslee Ducey, HSM’s Senior Director of Corporate Procurement Technology, who brings more than 30 years of experience in information technology to her role as a senior strategy and operations leader. Ducey is currently putting her global expertise in vendor management and sourcing to work helping HSM and Hilton establish strong tech vendor partnerships from a diverse pool.

HSM: Can you describe HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program?
The program began a decade ago, and in 2019, we embarked on a further journey of transformation, innovating our communications and outreach to better tell our story. We’ve succeeded in cultivating relationships with 4,900+ women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses.

HSM: How are you and your team specifically contributing to supplier diversity at HSM?
I have made it a priority to instill in my team a commitment to grow diversity opportunities by adding diverse partners to any new technology RFPs for Hilton. Simultaneously, we are diving into opportunities to apply supplier diversity skillset mapping within the five technology category spend types. Additionally, we are using category grouping to help Hilton get a handle on technology- leading and forward-thinking niche skillsets.

HSM: Why is Hilton’s commitment to supplier diversity so important?
In 2020, Hilton was recognized as the #1 Supplier Diversity program by Diversity Inc. A company’s commitment to supplier diversity, especially under the umbrella of technology vendor partnerships, can be beneficial in so many ways. First, inclusion promotes innovation through the introduction of new products, services and solutions. Supplier diversity among technology vendors also provides multiple channels from which to procure goods and services, driving competition on price and service levels. And, finally, supplier diversity is advantageous to all stakeholders, not just to the companies with programs.

Utilizing the full force of HSM and Hilton, Leslee and her team are working to promote inclusion, support and visibility within the hospitality landscape, representing and reflecting the diversity of the communities in which we all work, live and travel. Learn more about HSM’s commitment to double our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030, and stay tuned for our upcoming Insights installment. In our concluding article, we’ll connect with HSM’s Director of Supplier Diversity Simone Ray about our company’s commitment to partnering with and supporting women-owned businesses.


Promoting and Supporting Hispanic-Owned Businesses

November 2021

This month, HSM is focusing on supplier diversity, and we’re continuing our November Insights series today with a closer look at our company’s commitment to culturally authentic supplier partnerships. We sat down with HSM Strategic Accounts Senior Manager Lissette Landestoy, whose strength in international supply management is built on her years of experience in negotiation, F&B, capital projects, hotel opening and conversions, budgeting and hospitality management. Landestoy is currently leveraging her talents and years of hospitality expertise to support operations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

HSM: Why is supporting Hispanic-owned businesses an important part of HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program?
HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program began a decade ago, and since then we have cultivated relationships with a number of Hispanic-owned and other enterprises that might have previously been overlooked. This includes 4,900 women-, minority-, veteran-, LGBTQ-, disabled- and disadvantaged small businesses. And we realize that while we’ve made great strides, we have the capacity to do even more. Supporting Hispanic-owned businesses is an important part of HSM’s commitment to doubling our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030.

HSM: Why does supplier diversity matter?
Landestoy: On one hand, it’s just good business. When you consider a larger pool of suppliers, the bar gets raised across the board. Inclusion promotes innovation, drives competition and increases choice. And on the other hand, from a hospitality standpoint, supplier diversity can improve the travel experience. No one wants to travel halfway across the world and encounter the same exact types of products and services they did at home. To create authentic cultural experiences, we must seek out and support products and suppliers that are regionally representative.

HSM: How are you making this happen at HSM?
Landestoy: My primary focus is in providing support systems for the products and services supplied to our Hilton hotels in the Caribbean and Central and South America. Ensuring that these suppliers are identified, included and empowered helps us create a distinguished Hilton experience that is unique in the marketplace.

HSM: Do you have any advice for Hispanic suppliers wanting to partner with Hilton?
Suppliers interested in partnering with Hilton should have potential to present their uniqueness, quality and infrastructure to support the hotels in their region. It should also be evident when introducing their company’s portfolio and capabilities that they have a diverse foundation at their organizations. Hilton is looking for its suppliers to be authentically diverse in order to be truly representative of the regions in which our properties are located. Ultimately, my advice is to be you and be proud of it!

Thanks to Lisette and her colleagues, HSM is helping our partnering properties better achieve their goals of welcoming guests with culturally authentic hospitality of the highest quality. Learn more about HSM’s commitment to double our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030, and stay tuned for our upcoming Insights installment.

Coming up next, join us for a conversation with Leslee Ducey, Senior Director of Corporate Procurement Technology, about the steps HSM is taking to raise the bar in STEAM-related fields.


Creating Opportunities for Veteran-Owned Businesses

November 2021

HSM takes seriously our responsibility as a global brand to forge partnerships that reflect and represent the communities in which we all live, work and travel. Throughout November, we’re talking about supplier diversity and the steps our teams are taking to create more opportunities for small, diverse and disadvantaged businesses. We sat down with our director of Category Management for Hotel Operations & Services, Melody Holmberg, to discuss how she’s putting her 17 years of supply chain expertise and experience as an Army logistics officer to work paving a path for veteran-owned businesses across the country. Through thoughtfully designed events, programs, grants, mentor relationships and networking opportunities, Holmberg and her colleagues are helping HSM make sure that our nation’s heroes are strongly represented in the supply chain network.

HSM: Why is supporting veteran-owned businesses an important part of our Supplier Diversity Program?
Holmberg: At HSM, we’ve developed an industry-leading Supplier Diversity Program that helps support our commitment to empowering veteran-owned and other diverse enterprises that may otherwise have a smaller reach. We have partnerships with more than 4,900 women-, minority-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned and we are dedicated to taking our investments even farther. Supporting veteran-owned businesses is an important part of HSM’s commitment to doubling our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030.

HSM: Why does supplier diversity matter?
Holmberg: During my years of experience, I’ve had the opportunity to work for a small, woman-owned business and a Native Alaskan-owned company that were both able to get their start thanks to government-sponsored diversity initiatives. Firsthand, I observed the leadership at these companies. Both were very people-focused and committed to promoting a diverse thought culture, as well as inclusion of varied cultural backgrounds. Because the government gave them a chance, they were able to take a small contract and expand, increasing this type of leadership in the marketplace. There are so many great companies out there that need someone to take a chance on them and give them an opportunity to shine. I have also been able to work with other various small and diverse companies, witnessing their ability to provide a more agile and custom service-based experience in the marketplace.

HSM: Do you have any advice for veteran-owned suppliers wanting to partner with Hilton?
Holmberg: My best advice is to be very detailed in what you offer, like what geographical locations you can service and how your offerings set you apart from the “big” players. Also, pay attention to what Hilton is asking for and listen to the requirements, then prepare a tailored pitch instead of just offering a canned response. Finally, be willing to show how your business can help Hilton’s business and properties. Being able to present a mutually-beneficial partnership will put you ahead of the competition!

By providing diverse and small suppliers with global partnership possibilities, plus mentorship, network access and step-by-step guidance, Melody and her teammates are making the connection for our veterans between initiative and opportunities. Learn more about HSM's commitment to double our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030, and stay tuned for the final installment of our supplier diversity series. Up next, we’ll talk with HSM Strategic Accounts Senior Manager Lissette Landestoy about the power of partnering with and promoting Hispanic-owned businesses.


Celebrating Strides, Investments in Supplier Diversity

November 2021

Against the turbulent backdrop of the past two years, one message stands out loud and clear—that the need for increased diversity and inclusion is as relevant and crucial as ever. And at HSM, we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that our company and the greater hospitality industry are inclusive, reflective of, and respectful to the communities and cultures in which we all live, work and travel. That’s why we developed our industry-leading Supplier Diversity Program, begun nearly a decade ago to help us engage, support and create business opportunities for diverse and disadvantaged companies and customers. Since the program’s inception, HSM has cultivated relationships with more than 4,900 women-, minority-, veteran-, LGBTQ-, disabled- and disadvantaged small businesses.

Recently, we sat down with five members of the HSM team to hear their perspectives on the importance of supplier diversity, as well as gleaning their advice for prospective vendors interested in partnering with HSM. Follow along this month as we share a series of five Insights articles celebrating achievements and new opportunities emerging across five fields of supplier diversity. Up first, we spoke with Corey J. Brown, senior manager of Energy Procurement and Strategy, to learn how his team is promoting diverse opportunities in energy, seeking out partnerships with Black-owned businesses and leading HSM’s energy program toward a first-in-class position:

HSM: How does supporting Black-owned businesses contribute to HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program?
Brown: HSM’s Supplier Diversity Program has come a long way, but we still have farther to go. In the past decade, HSM has cultivated relationships with a number of enterprises that in the past may have been overlooked. Supporting Blacked-owned businesses and seeking out diverse suppliers is an important part of HSM’s commitment to doubling its sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030.

HSM: How are you and your team specifically contributing to supplier diversity at HSM?
Brown: We contribute to supplier diversity within the energy space by proactively seeking out vendors with diverse backgrounds when establishing the criteria for an RFP or energy-related projects. This commitment to seek out diverse vendor relationships further builds on the platform of Hilton taking the time and effort to expand its ever-growing network more equitably.

HSM: Why is Hilton’s commitment to supplier diversity so important?
Brown: Our commitment to supplier diversity, in my belief, will only make Hilton a stronger advocate to promote opportunities for vendors. Committing to a diverse supplier network shows our business partners that we seek a more representative and complete supply network of qualified vendors. Our proactive approach within our energy program builds upon the foundation of making sure that we work with the best and that our partners can deliver exceptional value for Hilton and our guests.

HSM: Do you have any advice for Black suppliers wanting to partner with Hilton?
Brown: My advice for any diverse suppliers who want to partner with Hilton would be to believe in your product, show the value your product will bring, and promote who you are and your passion for what you do.

We appreciate Corey and his colleagues’ ongoing efforts to promote a more inclusive, innovative and competitive network of energy partners within our portfolio. Learn more about HSM’s commitment to double our sourcing from diverse suppliers by 2030, and stay tuned for our upcoming Insights installment.

Next up in our series, we’ll speak with HSM Category Management Director Melody Holmberg, who is putting her expertise as a former Army logistics officer to work creating new opportunities for us to support and partner with veteran-owned businesses.


HSM Initiative Promotes Human Rights and Creates Opportunities for Egyptian Youth

November 2021

As a global leader in hospitality procurement, HSM takes seriously our responsibility to ensure that human rights are upheld at every step in the supply chain. We also seek out opportunities to create a more level playing field through our commitment to supplier diversity and an equitable future. And with nine offices spanning every major region of the world, HSM procurement experts are positioned to make authentic connections with our suppliers through regular visits and working together to mitigate unethical sourcing. In addition, they work to ensure that employees are of age, treated well and given the proper tools and resources to be successful. One such expert—Ingy Helal, HSM’s regional procurement director for Egypt and North Africa—successfully launched a job training initiative in Egypt to address access inequities she observed in her region, ultimately transforming a one-month sabbatical into a multi-year program that has positively impacted more than 5,000 youth.

In 2018 Helal was selected as one of ten winners for Hilton’s Thrive Sabbatical program and spent her sabbatical month volunteering with Egypt’s Meshwary program, a collaboration between UNICEF and the Egyptian Ministry of Youth Sports (MoYS) designed to empower and prepare youth, particularly young women, to join the labor market. In an effort to promote gender equality and introduce interested candidates to the hospitality industry, Helal partnered with HSM and Meshwary to create a one-month internship program at Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort in Sharm El Sheikh. Fifteen young people from across Egypt traveled to Sharm El Sheikh for one month of on-site training and mentorship under Helal’s leadership, and a number of participants were offered employment following their initial internship experience.

Mostafa Mousa, who dreamed of becoming a pastry chef but lived in an area with no access to career training, spent 10 days of his internship learning to knead, bake and prepare different types of breads. Following the program, Mostafa was offered additional training and then a full-time job in the resort’s pastry and bakery department. Program participant Donia Zakareya, meanwhile, received training from the hotel in a traditionally male-dominated field, and she is now serving as the first female landscaping engineer in an Egyptian tourist resort.

“This was my dream opportunity,” said Zakareya. “Who would agree to transport, accommodate and train a girl in landscape engineering at an international hotel? But we all had equal chances … our capabilities, determination and interest were the only criteria.”

Following the resounding success of Helal’s initial cohort, HSM and Hilton invested further resources to expand the program to two additional hotels. Working with Meshwary, HSM helped secure a grant from the Hilton Effect Foundation, and Helal then leveraged HSM resources to implement a formal on-site training program at Hilton’s three partnering Egyptian properties. Since the program’s inception, nearly 50 young people have received hands-on job training with Hilton, and 70 percent of interns were offered full-time positions. Another 17 graduates went on to start their own businesses after completing the program. HSM’s involvement has also helped drive the success of the wider Meshwary project, which so far has delivered employability, entrepreneurship and life skills training to more than 5,200 youth — nearly two thirds of whom are female.

And while COVID-19 initially posed a threat to the program’s future with the suspension of on-site training, HSM partnered with UNICEF to digitize the training and bring resource guides online. Acceleration to a hybrid training model is helping to extend the program’s reach, and thanks to a recent agreement, more than 750 Egyptian youth will receive internships and on-site training at Hilton hotels over the next five years. By working with external partners through Meshwary and investing time and effort into youth training and work experience, HSM has ultimately been able to strengthen Hilton’s labor pipeline in Egypt while positively impacting the country’s youth and economic future.


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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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