Published November 9, 2022 in Hotelier Magazine.
TORONTO — It’s been a tough few years for the hotel supply chain as COVID-19 has created myriad logistical challenges, huge supply delays and rising prices. But after a two-year hiatus, the Avendra Canada Supplier Show re-surfaced on October 13 at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, marking its 10th anniversary, bringing together more than 140 exhibitors featuring a range of new food, beverage and equipment products. For many of the more than 375 clients representing hoteliers, purchasing agents and operators who attended the tradeshow, it was the first time they’ve attended a tradeshow since the pandemic reared its head in 2020. As a result, they were eager to taste new food products, gauge equipment trends, and better understand supply-chain issues while also getting the opportunity to once again network.
It’s been more than 20 years since Avendra Canada first debuted on the Canadian landscape. The Rockville, Md.-based company was the brainchild of four organizations (Canadian-based Fairmont Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt and Club Corp), which banded together to create a new kind of procurement model where operators ― both large and small ― could leverage their purchasing power. The company’s repertoire of products ranges from food, china, tableware and uniforms to engineering supplies, service contracts, landscaping, laundry and housekeeping.
Today, Avendra North America rings in more than $14 billion in annual purchases, while at the same time providing advisory services for its clients, while sharing purchasing data along the way. A total of 12,500 member properties are part of the Avendra network in North America, with more than 500 of those located in Canada. While the Avendra team is based in the U.S., in Canada it operates under the direction of Afsar Ali Khan, managing director, Customer Care Canada, who heads the Canadian office.
The show remains a top meeting place for operators looking for supplies and information. As Kevin Toth, president of Nova Scotia-based Fox Harb’r Resort, explains, “Fox Harb’r Resort decided to become an Avendra partner in 2019 to leverage the buying power the group has with its preferred suppliers. As an independent large resort, Avendra is the ideal conduit for us to engage with a wide variety of suppliers around the globe that can meet our quality and timeline requirements.”
Toth says the supply-chain issues spurred by the pandemic, “have been a huge source of frustration and disruption to both our resort operations and real-estate development program. Avendra has been very helpful in working with us to lessen the impacts of delayed shipments and provide streamlined solutions. Its FF&E program for our various renovation projects over the past couple years has also been beneficial, helping us meet both budget and timeline objectives.”
Others such as Don Cleary, president of Marriott Hotels of Canada, believes “Meeting with suppliers — all in one place — allows us the opportunity to have an in-depth understanding of the products we procure for our hotels. Each year, we are more and more impressed with the quality, sustainability, and tech-savvy products and services that are available through Avendra’s contracted suppliers. And the return this year to an in-person show post-COVID was especially valuable given the supply challenges that Avendra has been instrumental navigating for our industry.”CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE