Jason Bramhall’s role as senior director of project procurement for Hilton Supply Management (HSM) is to provide FF&E and OS&E services to the entirety of Hilton’s portfolio as well as other hospitality companies. “We aim to be positioned in a manner that provides procurement support to a variety of properties—HSM’s services, including both FF&E and OS&E procurement allow for a number of crossover opportunities with owners who may invest in a range of brands, so it helps keep trusting relationships in place and allows us to work across the entire breadth of an owner’s portfolio.”

What has the past year like been for you from the purchasing side?
First and foremost, it was determining how we could best support our owners given the rapidly changing dynamics. There were points in time where travel came to a standstill. The hospitality industry was significantly impacted, but HSM remained committed to working alongside owners who had the ability to proceed with projects already under construction. Where we had to go on hold, HSM did everything possible to proactively manage the supply chain to make sure that if we needed to pause in the project, we were able to ensure owners would not incur any additional financial strain.

A view of the lobby at the Waldorf Astoria Kuwait

What is the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?
We’re seeing a natural pent-up demand to get back out on the road and visit new (or familiar) places after more than a year. As a result, projects starting to pop back. Supply chain has become one of the biggest buzzwords across all industries. Availability of materials can at times be challenging to come by, and that includes FF&E commodities in the hospitality industry. We want all of our project partners to emerge from the pandemic in a positive way, and anything we can do to keep the timelines close to schedule while aggressively managing the budget will ultimately derive success for our owner community.

With so many shipping delays out of big manufacturing hubs like China and Vietnam, how are you pivoting?
The U.S. is experiencing historical logistical backlogs, particularly in products shipping from Asia to West Coast ports. There’s a window of uncertainty for delivery that we must manage with our customers due to the unprecedented delays at global shipping ports. When HSM communicates with owners regarding strategy and supplier selection, we share FF&E sourcing solutions, which include a multitude of options by location. Origin of product remains a critical topic of discussion for U.S. based projects.

How do you manage the relationship between owners, designers, and the brand?
It comes back to what’s in the best interest of the project and property, and what’s going to deliver the best value for the owner and their guests. Aside from building a hotel, FF&E is the single largest investment in a property over time, and our goal is to make sure we meet the design aesthetic and provide the owner with the best quality FF&E so those furnishings stand the test of time. Our goal is to always harmonize design, brand integrity, quality, pricepoints, and service for our owners.

A public space at the Hampton by Hilton High Wycombe in England

What are some of the major owner concerns you’re facing in this climate?
We’re seeing price increases due to material constraints and supply chain challenges, but we’re doing our best to mitigate those for our owners. Logistics remain a wild card because demand has vastly exceeded the world’s current capacity. Timelines for projects moving forward will need to be scrutinized to take all of these new supply chain facets into account so that all parties are aware of the nuances potentially affecting the final deliverables.

What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?
The most dynamic thing we’ve seen is that absolute lust for travel. It’s been incredible to see the smiles on people’s faces and their ability to relax and enjoy their new travel surroundings, feeling a bit more comfortable to venture out as each day passes.

Hear more from Jason at HD Expo:
HD Conversations: Ask the Purchases
Tuesday, August 24th
10–11 a.m.
Location: HD Social Hub

More from HD:
Programs and Products Await on the HD Expo Show Floor
4 Speakers You Don’t Want to Miss at HD Expo + Conference 2021
Canopy by Hilton Debuts First Hotel in New England

The post Hilton’s Jason Bramhall Gears Up to Speak at HD Expo 2021 appeared first on Hospitality Design.

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