In conversation with: Director of materials, Saadiyat Rotana Resorts & Villas

Mudavakkad talks about his role, the challenges he faces and how how managed to save his company $10,347.17

 Sureshbabu Mudavakkad director of materials, Saadiyat Rotana Resorts & Villas
Sureshbabu Mudavakkad director of materials, Saadiyat Rotana Resorts & Villas

How long have you been in this role?
For the past 12 years I have followed my passion and worked in the purchasing department in the hospitality industry. I rose up the ranks to become the director of materials.

What specific products are you are on the lookout for?  
As the director of materials my responsibility is to source all sort of hotel supplies, anything from food and beverage ingredients, furniture, fixtures and equipment, operating equipment, engineering products as well as IT products. To maintain the highest level of hospitality it is essential to be able to find the best product within the hotel’s budget plan.

What challenges do you face at work?
The main challenge at the moment is the validity of the price as most of the suppliers issue quotations with the limited validity period. To benefit from the preferred rates I work closely with the department heads, as teamwork allows us to deliver the best results in terms of quality vs price ratio.
Another challenge that I occasionally face is limited availability of operating equipment items. Most of the suppliers do not keep a stock of the required items and sourcing them can lead to a waiting time of two to three months. To overcome this challenge, we have developed maintenance and purchasing plans together with the department heads to help meet the deadlines of the delivery due date.

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Tell us about one of your most successful deals?
During the soft opening of Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas I experienced a situation when the supplier issued an LPO using the previous year’s price; however, the price had increased by the day of our request. After prolonged negotiations, which didn’t lead to a successful deal, I reached out to the headquarters of that company in the United States of America. Followed by the approvals from the top management I succeeded at keeping the price as initially quoted which lead to a saving of AED38,000 ($10,347.17).

What does a supplier have to do to impress you? 
I look for a combination of service and quality. With a variety of different suppliers available, it is important to remember that a supplier does not only deliver an item but also provides a service. So, the quality of service as well as the quality of the product matters.

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