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Unlocking hospitality: purchasing for a shifting service landscape

The way people dine, travel, and socialize continues to change. Learn how procurement can evolve and respond to shifting sourcing demands.

A year of lockdowns and social distancing upended the food service and hospitality industry. Now, vaccination rates are on the rise, sparking hope of a post-pandemic reality in millions of people. Families and friends are rescheduling postponed vacations and are eating out again. Employees are returning to the office. Organizations are reassessing in-person conferences and tradeshow participation. The world is eager to dine, travel, and explore again.

As reservations and bookings increase, restaurants, hotels, and the many businesses that serve consumers must stay in tune with customer expectations and health regulations, and adjust their accommodations accordingly. For purchasing teams, this means quickly arming their employees with cost-effective supplies that help them deliver reliable experiences that keep their communities safe and their guests coming back.

Procurement leaders seek to provide their establishments with easy, efficient buying processes to help recover business to pre-pandemic levels while gaining sustainable growth. Here are examples of companies that enhanced their purchasing with digital solutions, spending less time sourcing and more time satisfying and delighting patrons.

Finding a wide range of specialty items in one place
Vacasa, a leading vacation rental company, keeps their properties stocked and furnished around the world by shopping on Amazon Business. Vacasa includes authorized buyers across 12,000 properties on a single Amazon Business account to reduce administrative burden and increase spend visibility. By comparing pricing and delivery promises of multiple sellers in one place, Vacasa is able to source the best deals on specialty products while maintaining supply availability.

“Our purchasing has to be decentralized because managers across the country and beyond buy specialty products for unique properties at the direction of the owners—such as a specialty lightbulb for a unique floor lamp,” says Sarah Henderson, supplies specialist at Vacasa. “Because we rely on Amazon Business for fast, on-time shipping of specialty items, we can be more nimble and manage these requests with fewer people here in Portland.”

Getting what you need, faster
Red River Brewing Company, a family-owned craft brewery in New Mexico, consolidates purchasing with Amazon Business to streamline operations, generate holistic spend reports, and automate workflows. By using the Amazon Business mobile shopping app, buyers can quickly purchase the items they need in real-time, without having to be in front of a computer.

“It’s difficult for businesses in Red River to get what they need efficiently, given we’re a few hours from the city. With features such as Business Prime and reorder lists, I just keep a list of my commonly purchased items, and in a push of a button anywhere on site, I’m restocked in two days without spending hours leafing through catalogs, or worse, driving to and from Albuquerque,” said Michael Calhoun, Owner, Red River Brewing Company. “I also use the Business Analytics tool to quickly pull spend reports and reconcile my credit card transactions. As an engineer, this efficiency is what attracts me to Amazon Business.”

Sourcing innovative technology at scale
Wynn Las Vegas uses Alexa for Hospitality to deliver touchless experiences for their guests. Guests can use Alexa to control room lights and temperature, access information, and personalize their resort experience. Alexa for Hospitality allows organizations to deploy and manage a fleet of Alexa enabled Echo devices and voice AI experiences. Administrators can easily configure settings, enable skills, and assign property contacts at scale. Alexa for Hospitality works with Amazon Echo devices, which can be ordered in bulk through Amazon Business. The Alexa for Hospitality console can be accessed using Amazon Business account credentials.

“Alexa is powerful because it provides natural voice experiences that offers guests an intuitive way to interact. It’s helpful, it’s personal, and it’s smart,” said the COO of Wynn Las Vegas. “Because our guests are comfortable with using Alexa, it helps them to easily access information that allows them to personalize their resort experience and fully enjoy the restaurants, spa, golf, shopping, salon, pool and lounge venues we have at Wynn Las Vegas.”

Looking ahead
As citizens and employees shift from isolation back into the real world, the experiences for the food service and hospitality industry will need to evolve. By embracing smarter, more efficient processes, procurement leaders can build a more resilient business that is ready to flex and respond to sourcing needs and emerge stronger post-pandemic.


Watch our on-demand webinar "Cost optimization for procurement: savings for return to work" to lean new ways to gain efficiencies and maximize business value.

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