Follow the Spa Industry Leaders: Tammy Pahel

American Spa recently caught up with Tammy Pahel, vice president of spa and wellness at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort to discuss spa procurement trends. She also serves as the chief wellness officer for Alchemy Wellness Resorts, a consultancy and management firm renowned for its holistic approach to wellness on a global scale. Pahel, a Global Wellness Summit Ambassador, actively engages in research initiatives aimed at propelling the industry forward. Her forward-thinking strategies, such as forging partnerships with leading global technology brands to introduce cutting-edge touchless wellness experiences, have resulted in nearly a million dollars in new revenue streams for Carillon Miami. Here are her thoughts on spa procurement trends:

What is currently the biggest procurement challenge to your business? 

Some common challenges that wellness resorts and spa businesses may face in procurement include: 

  • Sourcing Quality Products: Ensuring the availability of high-quality wellness products and equipment that meet the resort's standards and align with its wellness philosophy can be a challenge. This includes sourcing organic and sustainable products, as well as equipment that is technologically advanced and effective. 

  • Cost Management: Balancing the need to provide high-quality wellness offerings with budget constraints can be challenging. Negotiating favorable pricing with suppliers while maintaining quality is essential to managing costs effectively. 

  • Supply Chain Disruptions: Disruptions in the supply chain, such as delays in delivery or shortages of essential products, can impact spa and wellness operations. This challenge has been particularly pronounced in recent times due to global events like the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues. 

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, such as health and safety standards and licensing regulations, is crucial in spa and wellness procurement. Keeping up-to-date with changing regulations and requirements can be a significant challenge. 

  • Staff Training and Education: Providing ongoing training and education for spa staff to ensure they are knowledgeable about new products, treatments, and techniques can be challenging. This includes training on product usage, safety protocols, and customer service standards. 

What is your most fruitful resource for finding new suppliers? 

  • Spa and Wellness Trade Shows and Expos: Attending industry-specific trade shows and expos dedicated to spa and wellness products and services is an excellent way to discover new suppliers. These events often feature a wide range of exhibitors showcasing the latest trends, products, and innovations in the spa and wellness industry.  

  • Industry Associations and Networks: Joining spa and wellness industry associations and networks can provide access to a community of professionals and businesses in the industry. These associations often host networking events, conferences, and educational programs where businesses can meet and connect with potential suppliers. 

  • Referrals and Recommendations: Seeking recommendations from colleagues, industry peers, and other spa professionals can be an effective way to find trusted suppliers. Referrals from trusted sources can help businesses identify suppliers that offer high-quality products and services. 

  • Social Media and Online Communities: Participating in spa and wellness-focused social media groups, forums, and online communities can provide valuable insights and connections. Businesses can engage with other spa professionals, share experiences, and ask for recommendations for new suppliers. 

  • Supplier Outreach Programs: Proactively reaching out to potential suppliers through targeted outreach programs can also be effective. This may involve contacting suppliers directly via email or phone, attending supplier events, or leveraging professional networks to identify potential suppliers. 

Where do you think there are gaps in spa and wellness product offerings? 

Identifying gaps in spa and wellness product offerings requires understanding the evolving needs and preferences of consumers in the industry. Some potential gaps that businesses may consider addressing include: 

  • Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Products: With increasing awareness of environmental sustainability, there is a growing demand for spa and wellness products that are eco-friendly, ethically sourced, and produced using sustainable practices. Businesses may consider offering a wider range of sustainable options, such as organic skincare products, biodegradable packaging, and environmentally friendly spa amenities. 

  • Customization and Personalization: Consumers are increasingly seeking personalized experiences in their spa and wellness journeys. There may be a gap in the market for customizable products and services that cater to individual preferences and wellness goals. This could include personalized skincare formulations, bespoke treatment packages, and tailored wellness programs. 

  • Technology Integration: While technology has become increasingly prevalent in the spa and wellness industry, there may still be gaps in the market for innovative products that leverage technology to enhance the spa experience. This could include advanced skincare devices, virtual reality relaxation experiences, and wearable wellness technology for monitoring and optimizing health. 

  • Inclusivity and Diversity: There is a growing awareness of the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the spa and wellness industry. Businesses may identify gaps in product offerings that cater to diverse customer demographics, including products specifically designed for different skin types, ethnicities, and cultural preferences. 

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: As awareness of mental health and wellbeing continues to grow, there may be opportunities to expand spa and wellness product offerings to address mental health concerns. This could include products and services focused on stress relief, relaxation, mindfulness, and emotional wellbeing. 

  • Holistic Wellness: Consumers are increasingly adopting a holistic approach to wellness, seeking products and services that address not only physical health but also mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. There may be gaps in the market for holistic wellness products that integrate elements such as aromatherapy, sound therapy, energy healing, and mindfulness practices. 

By identifying and addressing these gaps in spa and wellness product offerings, businesses can better meet the evolving needs and preferences of consumers and differentiate themselves in the competitive market. 

How can suppliers better work with buyers and operators?  

Spa and wellness suppliers can improve their collaboration with spa and wellness buyers and operators by adopting several strategies: 

  • Understand Buyer Needs: Suppliers should take the time to understand the specific needs, preferences, and challenges of spa and wellness buyers and operators. This includes understanding their target market, budget constraints, quality standards, and business objectives. 

  • Offer Customized Solutions: Instead of providing one-size-fits-all products and services, suppliers should offer customized solutions that meet the unique requirements of each spa and wellness establishment. This could include personalized product formulations, tailored service packages, and flexible pricing options. 

  • Provide Education and Training: Suppliers should offer comprehensive education and training programs to spa and wellness buyers and operators to ensure they understand how to use their products effectively and maximize their benefits. This could include product demonstrations, workshops, and ongoing support resources. 

  • Foster Open Communication: Effective communication is essential for building strong relationships between suppliers and buyers. Suppliers should maintain open lines of communication with spa and wellness operators, soliciting feedback, addressing concerns promptly, and providing regular updates on new products and promotions. 

  • Focus on Quality and Reliability: Spa and wellness buyers and operators rely on suppliers to deliver high-quality products and services consistently. Suppliers should prioritize quality control, product safety, and reliability to build trust and confidence among their clients. 

  • Collaborate on Marketing Initiatives: Suppliers and buyers can collaborate on joint marketing initiatives to promote products and services effectively. This could include co-branded campaigns, cross-promotional opportunities, and participation in industry events and trade shows. 

  • Stay Informed about Industry Trends: Suppliers should stay abreast of emerging trends, innovations, and best practices in the spa and wellness industry. By offering cutting-edge products and services that align with industry trends, suppliers can better meet the evolving needs of spa and wellness buyers and operators. 

By adopting these strategies, spa and wellness suppliers can enhance their relationships with buyers and operators, drive mutual success, and contribute to the growth and sustainability of the spa and wellness industry as a whole. 

Are there any specific products or solutions that you are currently researching and/or purchasing? 

  • Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Products: With increasing awareness of environmental sustainability, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort may explore sourcing spa and wellness products that are eco-friendly, ethically sourced, and produced using sustainable practices. This could include organic skincare products, biodegradable spa amenities, and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. 

  • Technology Integration: Carillon Miami Wellness Resort may consider investing in innovative technology solutions to enhance the guest experience and optimize spa and wellness operations. This could include advanced spa management software for booking and scheduling, virtual reality relaxation experiences, and wearable wellness technology for guest monitoring and engagement. 

  • Holistic Wellness Offerings: As consumers increasingly prioritize holistic wellness, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort may expand its offerings to include a wider range of holistic wellness products and services. This could include aromatherapy products, sound therapy equipment, meditation and mindfulness resources, and wellness retreat packages that cater to mind, body, and spirit. 

  • Personalized Wellness Experiences: Carillon Miami Wellness Resort may explore opportunities to offer personalized wellness experiences tailored to individual guest preferences and wellness goals. This could involve investing in technology solutions for guest profiling and customization, as well as partnering with wellness experts to offer personalized consultations and programs. 

  • Health and Immunity Support: In light of ongoing health concerns, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort may prioritize sourcing products and solutions that support immune health and overall well-being. This could include immune-boosting supplements, wellness-focused meal options, and wellness programs designed to promote resilience and vitality.  

What are the top three most important criteria you look for when securing a supplier? 

  • Quality of Products and Services: The quality of the products and services offered by the supplier is paramount. It's essential to ensure that the products meet high standards of effectiveness, safety, and reliability. This includes assessing the ingredients, manufacturing processes, certifications, and track record of the supplier's products. High-quality products and services contribute to the overall guest experience and reputation of the spa or wellness facility. 

  • Reliability and Consistency: Spa and wellness operators depend on suppliers to deliver products and services consistently and reliably. It's crucial to work with suppliers who have a reputation for consistency in product quality, on-time delivery, and customer service. Reliability ensures that the spa or wellness facility can maintain smooth operations without disruptions or delays. 

  • Value for Money: While quality and reliability are essential, it's also crucial to consider the value proposition offered by the supplier. This includes evaluating the pricing of products and services in relation to their quality, as well as considering factors such as discounts, incentives, and payment terms. Securing a supplier that offers good value for money ensures that the spa or wellness facility can maintain profitability while providing high-quality offerings to guests. 

By prioritizing these criteria when selecting spa and wellness suppliers, operators can establish strong partnerships that contribute to the success and reputation of their business.