Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Cerand

Jerry Cerand

Director & Category Strategy Leader, Avendra

Jerry Cerand is the category strategy leader for produce, seafood and dairy at Avendra, North America's leading procurement services provider with more than $3 billion in annual purchases. He is responsible for the procurement and distribution of perishable commodities for hospitality-related industries, and helps oversee and manage every link in the supply chain. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Mr. Cerand joined Avendra in 2004 focusing his culinary expertise on the seafood category. He next led the fresh produce team and then was promoted to the director of Avendra's fresh foods team for both local and national suppliers. In his current role, he sets the strategy for the entire supply chain for produce, seafood and dairy contracts, from sourcing to distribution to customers. Mr. Cerand brings a unique perspective to the job, based on his extensive operations and culinary experience. With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, he has owned his own bistro and home meal operation, and worked as general manager of many white tablecloth restaurants. He has the advantage of insight into customer wants and needs - from quality, fresh food options to a strong supply chain that supports customer preferences. As part of a team of 60 contracting professionals, Mr. Cerand works with associates on the strategic supply chain management team with highly specialized expertise in hospitality-related categories. This team has expertise in negotiating the most competitive contracts to realize the best savings throughout the supply chain. Mr. Cerand's focus includes creating access to local produce, seafood and dairy suppliers. Mr. Cerand serves as the lead on local sourcing programs and formerly sat on the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) board. In his spare time, he volunteers for area food banks and local soup kitchens.

Mr. Cerand can be contacted at 301-825-0500 or jerry.cerand@avendra.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.