‘Reset, Reboot & Re-live the new life’

The norms of the business are changing and will change forever from here on, in terms of personal hygiene, sanitation, and cleanliness.

Hospitality and aviation are the most affected sectors other than any other industry in the world by the COVID 19 pandemic. Hospitality always caters to a leisure element of life and Covid19 has taken off the leisure element and because of social distancing norms the guests wouldn't want to travel immediately. The norms of the business are changing and will change forever from here on, in terms of personal hygiene, sanitation, and cleanliness. No one would now say that he excels in a specific dish, flavour, or the ingredients, rather he would say that he is the best in terms of sanitation and hygiene or his hotel has a safe environment for its guests. The guests will now start looking for safer places than what they used to compromise on. People used to eat at a Dhaba or at their favorite eatery because of its tempting and tasty flavours at a reasonable price, but now all these cramped places will be going to shut. It will be difficult for them to survive if they will not come up with a more clean, hygienic and sanitized environment and follow social distancing.

Life is going to be changed from here on. People will have to reset, reboot, and completely re-live their new life from the day the lockdown ceases. There will be doubts in everyone’s mind and nobody is going to trust anybody from here on.

Key Hurdles

It is all unprecedented and uncalled for what is going to happen from now on. People will have to think backwards and plan their operations accordingly. They will have to re-create areas wherein they would be able to follow social distancing in terms of their security from entry gates to lobbies to reception to elevators and so on. The existing infrastructure will have to be modified to meet the social distancing norms. Reduced revenues and increased expenses will be the biggest concern which the HORECA owners and operators will have. Staff training on new ways of doing business with restricted movement and personal touch will become especially important.

What happens from now on is important and every customer will have to be dealt with a lot of care & integrity in hygiene and sanitation. 5-start hotel guests are the ones who can afford the costs for the extra care and safety measures as they have that kind of money, reputation, or background. They are the people who are already concerned about hygienic connotation. Now, they will be scared to even enter a smaller hotel or a restaurant, which may not be able to follow all new standard operating procedures.

In that regard, the industry must act collectively, whether it is housekeeping, procurement, operations or general management, we must prepare guidelines on ‘what not to do’ and ‘what to do’. We are creating standard operating procedures on how to run supply chain operations in a hotel.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) 

Protection Against Spread of Covid-19 in Hospitality Industry

Follow FSSAI Guidelines on Food Safety, Hygiene and Sanitation

Vendor Identification, Selection and Approval

Purchase process, declaration for Covid – 19

Product sampling, receipt and approval

Receiving Process

Sanitation of received goods at the organization

Transfer of sanitized goods to user departments and stores

Minimize no of suppliers

Vendor audit and inspection

Sanitization of all work area post work hours

Breaking the Pandemic

I believe that the hotel’s most crucial engagement at this moment should be with their suppliers and their customers. Being in communication with them can remove a lot of misunderstandings because a lot of suppliers and employers fear that they may lose their job, business or money. So the organizations must immediately retain confidence in their suppliers and customer base by maintain a communication with them.

Secondly, hotels must start working backwards on what they are going to do when they open. They should not wait for the day to be announced for opening, rather put the reopening plan in place. They need to identify and allocate the resources NOW! The hotels will have to pick everybody in confidence and the most important aspect will be teamwork. They have to work on processes and must have a backup plan of everything. At this point of crisis, understanding the requirements and getting back to the management with a reasonable solution that matches the requirements will be the key to success.   Everyone needs to have the cross-functional relationship which ultimately matches up with the objective of the organisation, i.e. clean safe safe environment and the profitability of the organisation. 

Obstacles That Need To Be Handled To Restart

Avoid visiting market places frequently

Try to restrict the frequency of movement of vendors’ vehicles into premises by ordering sufficient quantities in consultation with the user departments

Request the vendors to medically check the representatives accompanying the vehicles or the delivery personnel.

Ensure that the vendors are practicing these safe packing and hygiene procedures before it leaves their premises. Materials should arrive in sealed containers and should not be exposed.

Request for double packing of the products so that the first packaging can be removed at the receiving section itself.

The vendors should fumigate their delivery vehicles on daily basis

Road to Recovery

Create contingency plans: Start with scenario-planning strategies for different demand environments

Mitigate supply shock: Work closely with existing suppliers while diversifying the supply base 

Manage demand volatility: Manage panic buying situations while taking on a responsible buyer role 

Make work safe: Invest in protective gear for supply-chain workers and communicate via apps to manage time, availability, and safety

Future of Hospitality

I believe that whatever work was in progress as part of expansion plans, will be completed for sure because you already have the manpower, material, and funds for that project. A couple of projects which were being built may open up by next year, perhaps in six months’ time.  But these hotels will have to bring in a lot of hygiene standards including social distancing elements, in terms of dishwashing, kitchen ranges, or restaurant settings. The new projects will have an advantage that they can put these new hygiene processes and systems of international standards into plan now and build the hotel accordingly. These hotels will be the ones which will be preferred by the guests instead of going to an old hotel, which is undergoing makeshift arrangements.

Everybody has to start working on consolidation of what they have done in the past. For every organization, they have to start working on the database correction as the operations are not happening now. Database in terms of, what items does one buy, at what price, from whom, and the annual volume. Every project manager should now create a consolidated consumption report per item or category. And, they should also start working on database consolidation of suppliers, who are the suppliers adjusting, which are the suppliers who can supply to me and accordingly create backup plans as well. 

The manager needs to work on cleaning of their software systems wherein the master system of materials management or supply chain management are normally very messy. So they can utilize this lockdown period to clean that up, remove duplicates, add correct descriptions, attach that to correct recipe management and cost centers. They can also create something called a material certification sheet. They should also concentrate on revising SOP materials, management, manuals and look at processes and procedures which they are following. Also, they must get back and check the job descriptions of everyone. They should look at the future in terms of the new SOPs and new ways of working.

There will be new requirements in terms of sanitation and hygiene which the hotels will have to adopt. For example spray guns, a fixed updated panel and robots that will reduce the human interactions.

Pearls of Wisdom

The objective of HPMF is to bring in a supply chain to the forefront and make it the most important department in the functioning of an organization. The good thing is that the supply chain has taken the front seat and I'm happy about it that everyone is talking about supply chain being the most important and critical element of any organization. 

Also, the best thing at this point of time is that everybody is working backwards and planning. People have started being more empathetic and they are working towards a better tomorrow. Also, I personally feel that as soon as this phase will be out of our lives, this will become a benchmark for everybody, fitting the standard on hygiene, sanitation for the world. From here on, you can’t go back, you will have to go beyond!


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