Public safety emergencies are a critical time for businesses. The hospitality industry knows that during these times it’s all hands-on deck to ensure public safety with quick and confident planning.
Avendra’s Emergency Preparedness Protocol, managed in partnership with our suppliers, helps customers prepare early for supply chain disruptions caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as product recalls and other safety alerts from manufacturers and distributors. Recently, with COVID-19, Avendra added pandemics to its list of public emergencies and quickly deployed the protocol to help communicate timely and business critical information to our customers.
How the Protocol Started:
Avendra has been enhancing its emergency preparedness best practices since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 5 hurricane. It was during this time that Avendra saw a need within our hospitality community to support our customer procurement teams in their pre-planning and restoration efforts to minimize guest impact and assist them in getting quickly operational.
The intent was to develop a protocol whereby Avendra could lend its expertise and guidance to customers. Since implementing the protocol, customers have come to rely on this support to swiftly and confidently help them plan and minimize unfavorable business impact.
Read more about our Emergency Communications Protocol in Hotel Business.
How It Works
Avendra’s locally-based Field Support Customer Representatives and Regional Contracting Directors in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean proactively monitor local weather and crisis situations in their geographic areas. When a crisis is looming, it spurs Avendra’s Customer Care, Strategic Sourcing and Marketing teams into immediate pre-crisis action.
As an immediate first step, Avendra sends a Customer Advisory with real-time supplier updates to customers located in the potentially impacted area(s) along with Avendra’s Emergency Preparedness Brochure. Some of the brochure guidance typically advises customers to stock up on essentials, order early and print key supplier contact information in case of power loss.
Additional activities include identifying project team members and impacted suppliers, as well as setting up recurring calls for the duration of the event. The goal, in collaboration with suppliers, is to prepare customers so they can mitigate any supply chain disruptions and operational impacts pre-crisis. As the situation unfolds, Avendra’s team is in constant contact with suppliers and continues a regular cadence of Customer Advisory communications.
The Regional Contracting Directors also host daily calls with suppliers to obtain product availability and supplier status notifications that are bundled and shared with customers. Additional customer service best practices are offered, like arranging for standing orders with suppliers to avoid missing an ordering deadline. In some cases, we may also discuss quantity limits for certain products, like bottled water for example, so that all customers are able to receive needed supplies.
What Made COVID-19 Different
During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, communications were ongoing and a variety of resources, like our COVID-19 Resource Guide, were developed in collaboration between Avendra’s sourcing, customer care and marketing teams to help clients mitigate the operational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide supplier product information. These resources offered customers timely information so they could buy critical items to help them get back to business safely and efficiently.
Pattie Pearson, Director of Finance, at The Hotel at Avalon shared, “I cannot express how much I appreciate daily emails from Avendra over the past two months. We would not have the PPE that we have been able to get without the information we received from Avendra. As always, their insight is invaluable.”
Early on in the crisis, 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. This included assisting supplier partners to distribute donated products.
Avendra continues to work with suppliers and customers to help ensure the supply chain is supporting their business needs. This includes monitoring market conditions and product availability and providing updates on new category trends such as signage, thermometers, grab & go and to-go packaging, as well as sourcing sustainable disposable options and personal protection equipment (PPE).
Benefit for Hoteliers
Avendra’s deep supply chain expertise and supplier relationships gives peace of mind to hotel operators and helping to ensure the services and products our suppliers provide meet the highest standards for safety, quality and value. Together, with our suppliers, we are committed to ensuring our customers are engaged, informed and prepared to handle any potential supply chain issues so their operations are impacted as minimally as possible. Supplier and customer communications early and often can be critical to ensuring the hotel’s supply chain operations are successfully managed.
If you are seeking a procurement partner that is an extended part of your procurement team and can help you stay informed and prepared, look no further than Avendra.