During the week of June 6-9 Hyatt Hotels conducted their 2023 Procurement Summit at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress property. During the event BirchStreet Systems CEO John Fay addressed more than 140 procurement professionals and sponsors gathered for the event.
Fay provided a company update, review of recent software updates and upgrades along with the product path forward for the remainder of 2023.
“For those of you who know me well, I’m a big fan of history—any kind of history. It could be American history or world history. I’m going to start out with a historical quote and I’m going to reach back to 1960 and repeat some words that John F. Kennedy said in a famous speech called “The New Frontier.”
“I think we all know that in American history, the frontier was always this place of evolution and change—some of it good, some of it not so great. President Kennedy said, ‘We stand today on the edge of a new frontier. A frontier of unknown opportunities and perils.’
“Of course, he was talking about the race to the moon, during the cold war, but I believe that we here today, in 2023, are also on the edge of a new frontier. And for us, it’s a frontier in procurement, purchasing, and servicing our customers.
“If you think about the dynamics in terms of the new frontier, for us, think about the changes brought by COVID—in our own personal behavior, our use of technology, our acceptance of others buying online, online team meetings, and wide acceptance of the remote workplace.
“Coming out of that, we have favorable trends driving us. Global demographic trends such as populations getting bigger. We also have generational changes in experience, people who are un-experiential, which really drives leisure spending.
“And all that relates to pressure on the system. So how do you solve that pressure on the system? You solve it with process, with technology, with scale. If you narrow it down to hospitality, there are some things out there that are really affecting us.
“The first is ESG. I got up this morning and picked up my hotel shampoo. It’s free of animal cruelty, and it’s vegan. Five years ago, who in the room was buying shampoo that was vegan? Nobody, right? And that’s just driving—this little bottle—a symbol of our customer behavior changing which drives our change.
“But how do you know in the supply chain if this is vegan? How would you tag it? The suppliers at BirchStreet Systems have it in the marketplace or maybe it’s a vendor, is there a tag somewhere that says this is really certified by an organization that governs these things? And of course, that’s one example.
“There is also data through decisions. There is artificial intelligence, which some of us are experimenting with. There are lots of questions about how to use that and the legality of the information from the public domain, but not a lot of questions that it’s a big change for all of us. And of course, that’s just continuing a trend that we have been experiencing together for the last 16 years of digitization. There’s a lot going on.
“We hear directly what is on the mind of our customers. Would they say data-driven decision-making is a competitive image? How do you pick the right product? Is it the lowest price? Is it the best product? Is it the highest quality? Is it ESG-compliant? So how do you understand that?
“‘We stand today on the edge of a new frontier. A frontier of unknown opportunities and perils.’ And for us, it’s a frontier in successful procurement, successful purchasing, and successfully servicing our customers.
John concluded his presentation with a highly popular round of Kahoot specifically focused on questions and answers related to Hyatt’s 16 year working partnership with BirchStreet Systems. Prizes were awarded to the winners, and many commented on how much they enjoyed the variety of the presentation.
Powering through its 21st year of P2P innovation, BirchStreet Systems will continue to push the edge of a new frontier for hospitality P2P.