Procurement considered a "cut off department"
According to Hotelier Middle East's Hospitality Procurement Report 2016, procurement teams have been tarred with the reputation of not working in collaboration with other departments in the hotel
According to Hotelier Middle East's Hospitality Procurement Report 2016, procurement teams have been tarred with the reputation of not working in collaboration with other departments in the hotel.
Inside the report, IHG Dubai cluster director of procurement Stelios Damianelis comments: "The perception was that procurement was just trying to buy it cheap, which is not what we are trying to do. We are trying to change people's perceptions that we operate like that."
Ahead of the opening of Four Seasons Abu Dhabi this month, Hotelier Middle East met with the new property’s GM Sam Ioannidis. Ioannidis discussed with Hotelier the issue of collaborative procurement in hotels, and gave examples of best practice from his own property.
His procurement team, he told us, are encouraged to work with departments they are sourcing for, and to also look creatively at procurement, in order to source options with added value and “uniqueness” for the hotel.
Attempts to encourage this have included taking procurement managers on trips to local farms and markets.
“[Procurement managers] need to say what is the quality, and where did this come from,” Ioannidis told Hotelier.
“We try to make sure that what we are buying is coming from a limited distance, and to then build on those relationships. For example we found a hydroponic farm [in Abu Dhabi].
“When you look outside F&B, it is basically the same,” he continued. “Ok, you can’t take them [procurement] to local markets, but if we want to buy a table, we can take them to local vendors that do welding.
“We can then ask the vendor, what can we do to make this design look Arabesque. We bring the purchasing team along, with designers, or the rooms division team. Through that collaboration, we find a product that creates a uniqueness for the destination.”
“We went to a camel farm, to make sure that the guy we buy our camel milk from to make our ice cream, is the guy that we can trust. We went to countless date farms to figure out, which are the dates we can use to make ingredients for amenities. This process is not cookie cutter, but in doing this, it makes our destination very unique,” concluded Ioannidis.
The Hospitality Procurement Report 2016 looks at how other hoteliers in the region handle collaborative procurement between internal stake holders. To find out more, access the full report here.