By Jena Tesse Fox. Published on 10/21/2020 in Hotel Management
As independent and branded hotels across the U.S. have implemented rigorous safety measures to keep guests and employees safe, getting the right equipment to follow these measures has become even more vital. Hospitality procurement services provider Avendra has been doing its part to help hotel owners, operators and suppliers through the COVID-19 crisis, making sure hotels have everything they need to maintain safety.
During the first few weeks of the pandemic, the company shifted its focus in order to source products and build supply chains for new categories (such as face masks) and manage increased volumes in other areas (like hand sanitizer and sanitizer dispensers), said Chip McIntyre, SVP of strategic sourcing and procurement at Avendra.
“Personal protective equipment, sanitizing solutions and to-go products are now necessities for hoteliers,” he said. As the pandemic dragged on, the sourcing team worked with suppliers to provide product information for critical supplies. At the same time, the sourcing, customer care and marketing teams collaborated to communicate with customers, sharing the company’s own COVID-19 resource guide and reopening materials as needed. “Avendra also helped prioritize access to critical items to hotels that shifted to functional patient care spaces or those that provided housing for frontline workers,” McIntyre said. “This included assisting supplier partners to distribute donated products.”
Avendra’s role in the supply chain also includes ensuring the products are properly handled and delivered. “We make sure first that our clients’ inventory isn’t diverted to another customer, but also that products are handled safely in the warehouse and during different types of deliveries,” McIntyre said. “For instance, new delivery protocols may dictate that a pallet drop occurs on the back dock with no one interacting with the driver during the delivery. Or the driver could bring in the delivery with no contact with another person and take the product in [a] drop-in cooler, freezer or dry area. Avendra helps communicate and manage the expectations for suppliers and customers.”
Nine months into the pandemic, face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting and sanitizing wipes and sprays, safety signage and clear barriers remain in high demand from hoteliers. “Now that the supply chain has adjusted, items that are needed in hotels should be in a good supply state for the most part, with some spot outages occasionally,” McIntyre said. “The hand sanitizer dispensers’ supply chain is still catching up due to worldwide demand. Disposable gloves have seen an increase in demand as businesses start to come back, so we have added supply to make sure our customers will have ample inventory as occupancy increases.”CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE