Purchasing Power: Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel
Liba Eicher describes the new Kuwait hotel's purchasing strategy
Liba Eichner, director of purchasing at the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait describes the new hotel’s procurement strategy
How long have you been in hotel purchasing?
I have been in hotel purchasing for over 26 years and since the beginning when I moved into hotel purchasing I always loved the role, but I was also fortunate that I already had experience of hotel operations. The job has taken me all over the world, and each position has posed new challenges which often require very different approaches. Sometimes I have worked in established hotels, and other times, I have been involved in opening new ones. It is a job which is totally fulfilling and offers constant variety.
What products are you on the lookout for?
We are constantly ordering many regular items such as food, disposables and cleaning products; however, we are always looking for new or better products that will improve either our operation and/or our cost. Our department heads continually drop by my office with new ideas and only today I was searching for a supplier of rechargeable candles for a possible new initiative in the hotel.
What area of your hotel are you most proud of?
The hotel’s gardens are perfect for a stroll or just to take some time to sit and enjoy the water features which add to a tranquil atmosphere. When the evening comes and the gardens and fountains are lit, it is truly magical. I am proud of the work that went into creating and turning that area into such a special place.
Tell us about one of your most successful deals?
That would have to be our guest amenities. We spent many months scouring the world for an environmentally friendly yet unique, luxury product. We selected Plantation from "Limited Edition", a young, innovative company, which contains high quality botanical ingredients and fine essential oils, making them up to 99% natural, as well as being free from parabens, sulphates and artificial colours. Our guests’ positive comments confirm that we have made the right choice to introduce this line.
What does a supplier have to do to impress you?
They should offer a proposal specific to our needs and not simply recite his/her sale speech. It is always a pleasure to speak to suppliers who understand their products and also understand what a hotel of this calibre requires. Suppliers that have given us excellent service in the past and have been able to provide us with what has been promised will always be looked upon favourably.