How does one engage in intelligent procurement in keeping with budgetary limitations and quality, especially when it comes to purchasing housekeeping products, which tops the expense list?
Limited budget has always been a challenger for procurement professionals but it has also formed the basis for intelligent procurement! It helps the procurement professionals to look beyond the walls and be more creative while making any purchase. As far as Housekeeping products are concerned, we try to source and develop alternative products suitable to our brand standards, keeping in mind quality and consistent availability from the local market. Locally developed products allow us to minimize costs and helps in reduction of PAR levels. Wherever possible we also try to make centralised purchase contracts to obtain bulk buying discounts.
What are the processes adopted by you in vendor engagement and vendor management?
I have always believed in the power of building relationships. Vendor engagement and vendor management create better work environment with suppliers.
Vendors can be engaged to develop specific and customised products using local resources and raw materials. They are able to provide suitable alternate solutions, help reduce costs and above all, a loyal vendor bails you out of any awkward situation anytime.
We engage in regular meetings with existing and prospective vendors to understand their challenges and to arrive at a collective solution. Further, a Vendor Appreciation module has been introduced so that we honour them for their outstanding support to our function. A happy vendor results in happy guest and in turn a happy bottom line in the P&L of the hotel.
Do you agree that vendors need to be empowered in the supply chain and how it contributes to intelligent procurement and in sourcing products as per requirement?
Yes, we should empower the vendors in the supply chain. Vendors gather a lot in their dealings with various clients. We need to not just note down their suggestions but also implement them wherever possible and necessary. They are more knowledgeable than a buyer as they create the product and posses better knowhow. They can create better quality products with the same raw material and at better cost when they are engaged in the supply chain process. That’s what I would call as intelligent sourcing!
What has been your experience with procuring housekeeping products and dealing with vendors in the cleaning industry?
I have never considered housekeeping products more different than any other category of products, as the process of purchase remains same for all. What is different when it comes to sourcing cleaning products, is the pace at which the technology in equipment is changing. Now there are so many equipment available which are less power consuming and which needs less manpower too. It has also become more economical and sustainable in nature which helps in maintaining the budgeted costs. Several new brands and manufacturers are in the market today and this has now added one more aspect to consider when finalising the vendor.