WillowTree has partnered with Hilton since 2011 on a wide variety of projects, supporting the management of costs, architecture, and construction services within the enterprise. Specifically, we’ve collaborated to improve energy efficiency and hotel construction consistency, while simplifying processes around vendor and product management.

Hilton is a publicly-traded global hospitality company. Hilton franchises 16 different hotel brands including Hilton Hotels, Hampton by Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria, DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites by Hilton. Hilton has over 4,600 properties across 100 countries.

Hilton LightStay: Energy Management

Energy is expensive. In fact, for a hotel, it’s the second-largest cost after employees. Think of the resources consumed by hundreds — and in some cases, thousands — of rooms, operating every day of the year.

Hilton has maintained a longtime commitment to improving the efficiency of its properties. Among other efforts, it leverages a program called LightStay to help its hotels track resource consumption. The program helps hotels to reduce energy usage, defer waste from landfills, minimize carbon emissions and reduce operating costs. The LightStay system is used by every one of Hilton’s hotels across the globe.

We helped Hilton to redesign the LightStay program, devising powerful new tools and a friendly, streamlined interface. Since its inception, LightStay has helped Hilton save hundreds of millions of dollars while reducing the company’s impact on the environment.

Hilton Brand Standards: Construction Management

What makes a Hilton a Hilton? As it turns out, it’s a complicated answer to a simple question. As with any large franchise organization, Hilton’s job is to create a consistent brand experience for each of its properties. Every one of Hilton’s brands offers a promise to customers — and Hilton is able to keep that promise by carefully crafting thousands of standards that govern the architecture, construction and operation of its properties.

But, the situation gets complicated. Hilton is a massive company, operating a global network of hotels. With so many different hotel brands, geographies, regulations and cultural differences, it’s impossible to write a single set of standards to govern every hotel across the world. The standards must vary to account for brand and regional differences. The standards need to evolve as trends and technologies change.

Suppliers’ Connection: Vendor Management

It takes a staggering number of people & products to build a hotel. Hilton uses thousands of different companies across the world to help in the design, construction and operation of its hotels. These companies include architects, engineers, heating and cooling specialists, furniture companies, technology providers, construction contractors — it requires a staggering number of people and products to build a hotel. These companies require careful screening and evaluation before they are approved to work for Hilton.

Again, the global nature of Hilton’s business makes vendor selection a logistical challenge. Some companies provide services only for particular regions of the world. Other companies and products are approved for certain Hilton brands, but not for others. To add to the complexity, hotel owners, architects and contractors must be able to understand which vendors and products are approved for use in their hotel as they’re going through the design and construction process.

To help Hilton address this challenge, WillowTree led the design and implementation of a software application called Suppliers’ Connection. The application provides functionality for vendors to submit applications to supply their products and services to Hilton. Once approved, hotel owners use the application to select the vendors and products appropriate for their project. The application helps to simplify the process of building a hotel.