Guest Supply has become a leader in products and services that enhance the guest experience at thousands of hotels. By Eric Slack
With more than 35 years of experience, Guest Supply is an industry leader in full-spectrum hotel solutions. Guest Supply, a Sysco company, has a unique combination of capabilities – including product design and development, manufacturing, distribution, and service and support – positions Guest Supply as the only provider a property might ever need.
“Our customers can look to us to meet their growing and evolving needs as we continually expand the level of service we offer,” Vice President of Global Supply Services Al Moran says. “While properties around the globe benefit from our vast scope of product selection, a more efficient ordering process and our efficient operations, we can simultaneously help our customers maintain guest satisfaction and brand loyalty.”
Guest Supply’s manufacturing controls ensure the production of the highest-quality products. For customers, this level of quality results in more operational efficiencies, plus better-performing and longer-lasting items. For guests, it creates a more comfortable experience – one capable of making a hotel their preferred destination.
The company’s full spectrum solutions include product development, manufacturing, and the distribution of more than 30,000 items from every category. Its full suite of products includes personal care amenities; bath and bed linens; room accessories; housekeeping supplies and chemicals; furniture, fixtures and equipment; paper products; appliances; and in-room food and beverages.
With a development team in-house, Guest Supply designs many of its products, placing innovation at the center of the process to create long-lasting, cost-effective and environmentally friendly options. Working with state–of-the-art equipment, Guest Supply manufactures an extensive selection of amenities and textiles. It operates at high speeds, and it is able to produce custom orders of low or high volume.
“Our international capabilities and flexible operations allow us to easily adapt to the changing needs of our customers and to deliver high-quality products at global competitive prices,” Moran says.
With more than 1 million square feet of space located strategically throughout the United States, Canada and around the globe, Guest Supply’s distribution process ensures that customers get what they need, when they need it – resulting in operations that run more smoothly.
“Our global footprint also allows us to effectively serve customers who are expanding internationally,” Moran says. “No matter where their growth takes place, from Europe to the Middle East to Asia Pacific, they can count on continued support from Guest Supply and access to the products they depend on.”
Helping Guest Supply continue to improve has been expansion of senior management’s functional executive disciplines to provide broader business experiences, both domestically and internationally, which specifically focus on the respective core competencies within supply chain, distribution, finance, sales and marketing. Within these five competencies, the core component of collaboration has become the foundation for the organization’s ability to effect change and optimize any aspect of its business.
“The collective executive staff that has been established acts in unison,” Moran says. “Any type of engagements – regardless of size and scope or whether they are operational, systems related, client based, marketing direction or otherwise – have the respective disciplines thoroughly vetting the process and/or actions to ensure that once a move forward position has been made, the end result doesn’t adversely impact the organization or its strategic objectives.”
The company has evolved its philosophy toward supplier partners in recent years. Today, core suppliers must have operation reviews on a regular basis. Depending on the partner, these could be quarterly, semi-annual or annual reviews, which consist of key metric evaluations and discussions on strategic supply chain initiatives, market and industry trends, and overall enhancement of supplier/client relationships grounded in how to improve operational effectiveness and serving its customers.
“The implementation of this particular practice drove the engagement of our suppliers from all areas of the globe to take on another aspect of growth and acceptance,” Moran says. “The supplier base not only embraced the new direction, they wanted to enhance the level of engagement from increased metrics, engagement of their respective senior management participation, and reversing the engagement to be facilitated at their locations around the world. As such, our supplier relationships are now at new levels.”
Over the last few years, properties moved away from maintaining high levels of inventory, essentially moving to a just-in-time platform. This shift in industry philosophy has driven distribution suppliers to enhance their inventory levels to support a vast number of product SKUs across various product categories and at various levels.
“This shift has increased inventory complexity and caused operations to enhance various operational systems such as distribution resource planning, material requirements handling, our forecasting culture within the organization, enhanced delivery relationships with the various carrier services, and stronger supplier relationships,” Moran says.
Other recent trends include reduction of weight as it relates to Guest Supply’s textiles category and reduction of bottle dimensions impacting the fill amount of product in its amenities coupled, all while not impacting quality. An additional area making the market more competitive is the introduction of additional distribution options for customers whereas single sourced agreements potentially existed in the past.
“Coming full circle, the organization plans on achieving our goals through total engagement of all functional disciplines within the executive team, full support of sales and marketing, implementation of enhanced best practices, and operational excellence to our customer base, supplier engagement and partnership, and internal operational excellence within finance and supply chain,” Moran says.
At the same time, the organization has invested in both hard and soft capital. The enhancement of the executive staff brings years of global experience, business knowledge and a philosophy of continuous improvement to the organization. This focused business approach coupled with a collaborative culture has enabled the organization to maintain its industry leadership position.
“This type of collaborative engagement internally as well as among our customer and supplier base created some momentum.” Moran says. “All have embraced the vision and committed to the implementation of any strategic or tactical initiatives.”
Guest Supply knows it faces challenges going forward, but the company is confident that it is in a position to pursue its goals in the short and long term.
“The organization will always be tasked to ensure our business is in the best possible position to maximize growth domestically and expand our international footprint,” Moran says. “Focusing in these areas with the goal of finding better ways to service our customers in partnership with our supplier partners will be the foundation of our future growth.”