5 Tips for Futureproofing: The Complexities of Distribution

HSMAI hosted a Distribution Executive Roundtable in Toronto.  From technological advances to sustainability demands, industry leaders grapple with a changing landscape of distribution. Here’s a look at the most pressing concerns and strategies to address them. 

1.Technology and Costs 

Technology’s rapid evolution is a double-edge sword. The influx of digital tools promises efficiency but demands adaptability. For many, this means not just updating systems but retraining staff and reshaping traditional practices to integrate new tech. 

The escalating distribution costs threaten the sector’s profitability. Companies must strike a balance between automation, which promises cost savings, and human intervention, which ensures quality.  

2. Sustainability is a Priority 

Sustainability is no longer a buzzword; it’s a consumer demand. The rise in eco-friendly practices and sustainability certifications highlights this shift. Yet, with a myriad of certifications, there’s a call for standardization. Meeting consumer expectations requires clarity in sustainable offerings, urging businesses to align with universally recognized standards. 

3. Vendor Management and Third-Party Dependencies 

Effective vendor relationships are key in distribution. Companies struggle finding reliable third-party resources, while also ensuring transparent and collaborative communication. Participants shared that an inward-focused approach, where information is shared widely within an organization, can make an impact. 

4. The Operational Maze 

From resort fees to recruitment, operations in hospitality can feel like navigating a maze. Addressing diverse challenges such as variable state-by-state taxation only adds to the complexity. Efficient execution of new initiatives, balanced budgets, and adaptive recruitment strategies are essential. 

5. Preparing for the Future 

What does the future hold? In this rapidly evolving landscape, participants suggested embracing innovation, honing problem-solving skills, and continuous learning. Equally crucial is educating both teams and customers, ensuring everyone is on the same informed page. Others recommended adaptability, foresight, and a proactive approach as the cornerstones to not just survive but thrive in this dynamic environment. 


Thank you to the executives from participating companies:  

  • Accor Hotels 
  • Aimbridge Hospitality 
  • Cote Family Companies 
  • IHG 
  • Marriott International 
  • MGM Resorts International 
  • Montage International 
  • Omni Hotels & Resorts 
  • Rosewood Hotels & Resorts 

HSMAI hosts this unique by-invitation only forum annually for distribution executives. If you are interested in being invited next year, please email Bob Gilbert.  

Categories: Revenue Management
Insight Type: Articles