The timeline for a typical hotel brand conversion is approximately one year—but there’s nothing typical about Spark by Hilton, the enterprise’s first conversion-only, prototypical brand.
Spark represents Hilton’s first foray into the premium economy segment, a category which comprises roughly 40% of the U.S. hotel market. When introducing the brand in January of this year, Hilton established an ambitious development target, setting out to create the in-house infrastructure to support property openings in the same year a deal is signed (and ideally, within just 6-8 months). To meet this challenge, Hilton tapped procurement powerhouse HSM as the brand’s sourcing partner, charging the team to innovate supply chain solutions that could facilitate exceptionally fast conversion times while delivering an exceptional stay experience for Spark by Hilton guests.
It's a goal that was achieved in record time and celebrated in real time at a ribbon cutting for the world’s first Spark by Hilton property on Sept. 14 in the town of Mystic, Connecticut.
Designed with simple comforts, straightforward value and reliable essentials in mind, Spark offers guests a better budget-friendly stay—all while delivering on the promise of rapidly accelerated speed to market, exacting consistency and a robust and reliable supply chain for Spark owners and management teams. Hilton and HSM attribute the brand’s successful and on-time opening to the extraordinary collaboration among their teams, as well as HSM’s in-depth involvement in Spark’s development from prototype design through to each property opening.
“First projects are always accompanied by challenges, but the supply chain solutions we’ve created and the teamwork displayed by all involved made the brand’s inaugural opening a great success,” said Todd Zimmerman, Senior Director of FF&E Category Management. “We’ve leveraged our strong pipeline of supplier partners; securing sizable advance inventories of the brand’s bespoke FF&E to minimize lead times, another first for our organization, and working with our distributor to establish dedicated stock for Spark’s required OS&E package.”
The resulting infrastructure now operates as a thoughtfully curated and well-oiled machine, bringing converted properties online quickly, efficiently and with staunch consistency. Beyond product innovation and supplier negotiations, by acting as Spark’s procurement services provider, HSM is also positioned to:
Looking ahead to 2024, HSM and the Spark brand team are eager to bring the brand’s massive development pipeline to fruition, introducing more communities and welcoming more owners to this electric addition to Hilton’s family of brands.
Building off the success of this new procurement model, HSM has also been tapped to serve as the sourcing partner for Hilton’s newest extended stay brand, launched under the working title of Project H3. Designed for travelers staying 20 nights or more, Project H3 by Hilton combines the best elements of the enterprise’s existing extended stay brands with those cost and operating efficiencies that better suit the long-stay guest.
“The combination of our purchasing platform and our sourcing, innovating and negotiating expertise is what positions HSM to provide such incredible value to our owners and operators,” said Jason Bramhall, Senior Director of Project Procurement. “The horsepower driving the HSM engine really allows us to stand out and offer differentiated benefits from that of the crowd.”
To explore a potential partnership with HSM for an upcoming renovation, conversion or new build within your portfolio, connect with your Account Manager or contact HSMx@hilton.com.