At Front Desk Supply, our clients’ business is important to us. We’re pleased that the hospitality industry has seen a boom in guest travel and all-time high hotel occupancy rates. However, this increase comes at a time when supply and demand are not balanced, and as a result, hotel products are harder to procure.
A combination of the pandemic and the global supply chain created many of the issues we see today. We’ve received similar questions from many clients about industry-wide issues. We have compiled those frequently asked questions and created this article to address them. See the answers below and learn what Front Desk Supply is doing to help hospitality businesses.
- Why are paper print products becoming expensive?
- Why do adhesive products have a long turnaround?
- How can I get my RFID cards faster?
- Why is my hotel product order lost or delayed?
Q: Why are Paper Print Products Becoming Expensive?
Paper print products have been in high demand. During the pandemic, many paper mills halted production due to safety issues and lack of demand explaining the decreased quantity of paper produced. As restrictions were lifted, paper mills went back to work. Unfortunately, many companies shut down and did not return, creating a smaller pool of paper material manufacturers. This, along with global supply chain delays, created a tight situation for businesses needing paper print products. Further, much of the industry shifted to boxes, rather than paper, creating further shortages.
When procuring hotel products, you will notice that there are now fewer options to choose from, many of these options are not readily available, and in many cases prices have increased. We’re seeing a cumulative ripple effect driving up costs for important hotel paper supplies, such as hotel stationery and notepads to key card holders and disposable menus. We are working hard to certify alternate options, but that takes time and diligence to ensure the situation doesn’t deepen.
Related Article: How the Supply Chain Impacts the Label Print Market & Products
Q: Why Do Adhesive Labels Have a Long Turnaround?
The pandemic created a short supply of everything, including the chemical used to create adhesive labels. That means hotel products, such as baggage tags with adhesive backs, are in demand. Unfortunately, manufacturers cannot keep up with their supply of the raw materials needed. Clients ordering any products with adhesives see extended turnaround time as a consequence – nearly triple what they once were..
We’re hearing from front desk managers that travelers are checking bags at their hotel before check-in, as they are eager to make the most out of their vacation. Our most popular bag tag has been out of stock due to a run on them, but we are working hard to get it back in stock. Interestingly our customers report it is out of stock nearly everywhere, so we are not alone, but can assure you we are working harder to get it back in stock due to its popularity.
Q: How Can I Get My RFID Cards Faster?
Just as the chemical for adhesive labels are harder to come by and produce, so are the chips manufactured for use in computers and RFID products – including RFID key cards. The chips are not being produced fast enough; most of them are manufactured overseas, then shipped to the United States. The global supply chain continues to see delays for all shipments coming through ports. This means delays throughout the supply chain when creating generic or custom hotel products.
As with other supply chain related issues, we are getting creative about juggling schedules, seeking back up vendors and trying to be as efficient as possible internally. Rest assured, you will get our best efforts every day!
Related Article: How Often Should I Reorder My Hotel Supplies?
Q: Why Is My Hotel Product Order Lost or Delayed?
There are many steps that your order takes before it arrives at your places of business. We have a process for how we work with clients, and one of the most crucial steps involves delivery. We use couriers to ship your hotel products as a key partner; issues with them before the pandemic were at a minimum. However, pandemic demand brought a higher volume of deliveries and increased the number of issues and delays by couriers. Through our representatives at the couriers, we better understand the situation – a shortage of drivers is at the core of the issue, combined with an increased demand. For every office that would receive deliveries, that is now multiplied for all the workers at home – the volume is way up!
It’s unfortunate and although Front Desk Supply cannot control deliveries, we go above and beyond to track down orders and resolve issues if they arise. We have been automating getting tracking information out, so that our customers are also able to see the status and alert us, or the couriers when delays happen to help intervene.
Q: Are Generic Substitutes a Quicker Option?
Many hotels are making wise choices to keep their business going. One solution is the use of generic hotel product substitutions. While clients are waiting for their custom product orders, or in place of custom products, they order generic products to stock their supply. These items are faster to ship out; however, options may not be available due to high demand and low supply. We are working hard on updating our prior inventory models for these, as demand for them has grown faster than expected.
Generic hotel products are ordered more frequently because they are ready to ship but that also means that options run out faster. We’re asking clients to provide several options for generic products for backup orders in the event their original choice ran out, so we can more quickly get the next best option out. We have quite a few varieties of most technologies, so hopeful one suits your need!
What This Means for Hotel Clients
Prices for hotel products are increasing. Front Desk Supply cannot control price increases; however, we are dedicated to providing cost-effective hotel supplies at prices below market demand. We are doing our best to hold any increases below others in the industry and continue to seek lower cost raw material/component options.
Estimated production times are being extended. As a consequence of seeking better pricing and across the board supply chain delays, our lead times are getting longer for some products. For example, if a paper delivery we were expecting is delayed by a week (a regular occurrance!) we have to on-the-fly adjust the schedule which takes time. We are working hard to reduce down time, but it is hard if you are missing key materials. Our near just in time system has been impacted.
Delays are inevitable. Your business is important to us and we are doing our best to ensure that orders are shipped and delivered in a timely manner, but as noted above, there are quite a few issues impacting things. Any notice about needed delivery dates are helpful, so we can develop alternatives to ensure your needs are met.
How Front Desk Supply is Helping Businesses
Front Desk Supply is here to help the hospitality industry. We will get through this together.
To help our customers, we are working to keep hotel product prices consistent and below market price increases. We are constantly expanding our network of vendors to ensure that we can supply the items that front desk managers and hotels need.
What makes us different from other hotel suppliers is our company’s proactive approach to finding alternatives that work for our clients. Many hotel suppliers and vendors struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, and we are here today because we worked twice as hard in the best interest of our clients despite the obstacles.
Do You Need Hotel Supplies?
Request a Quote with Front Desk Supply.
Front Desk Supply is a leading hotel supplier for the hospitality industry. We offer a wide range of hotel supply products, such as custom pens, hotel key cards, key card sleeves, and more. From boutique hotels to nationwide hotel chains, we have a selection of generic hotel supplies and offer custom hotel supply orders.