Mobile Procurement and the National Hotel Purchasing Manager

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Vroozi. 

When you work for a national hotel chain, the country may seem just a little bit smaller. Many of the decision-makers at these organizations are used to checking in from the road, though they are certainly afforded all of the finer amenities that come with a mobile lifestyle. With mobile procurement, professionals from all industries can feel that same sense of nomadic comfort.

As the national purchasing manager for a hotel chain that spans the United States from coast to coast, Evan is a consummate road warrior. More than a thousand hotel locations dictate that Evan has a lot of ground to cover ­– and even more purchasing to approve.

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Just what purchases does Evan have to oversee and approve? Guest rooms, lobbies and ballrooms all need to be furnished. Bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies, even first-aid supplies need to be kept well stocked. Laundry rooms and swimming pools need to be maintained. Physical appearances for the exterior of the hotel, such as painting and roofing, cleaned/shoveled parking lots and walkways and presentable landscaping need to be looked after. In a corporate chain, consistency between locations is a key element to the brand – and presentation is everything.

However, for as mobile a professional as Evan is, he can’t possibly be everywhere at once. He’ll even be the first to admit that he hasn’t quite been to every location in his hotel’s portfolio (yet). So, how exactly does Evan manage to oversee more than a thousand hotels to approve purchases and maintain their consistent, quality presentation? He leverages mobile procurement.

Mobile procurement allows Evan a way to connect with all of the regional and individual hotel managers and administrators across the country. Hotel employees that oversee much smaller regions than Evan can simply determine what is needed at their local hotel(s) and place order requests for the corresponding items.

To ensure consistency, Evan uploads only the approved supplier catalogs into the company’s procurement platform. He’s also wary of keeping costs as low as possible, meaning that vendor pricing is a large consideration of his supplier approval.

In fact, the mobile procurement process offers a 2-pronged solution to keeping costs to a minimum.

When the designated local buyers place their purchase requests in the platform, it’s up to Evan to review and approve the orders before they’re placed. The requests send an alert right to Evan’s smartphone or tablet and can be reviewed on the same device. However, when Evan sees common orders, such as requests for more cleaning supplies or new linens, he can hold off on accepting the order until he’s received similar purchase requests in the same region. At this point, he can combine multiple orders into a single request from a supplier to better capture their bulk volume discounts.

With mobile procurement, Evan can manage and approve all of his purchasing – and track his spending by hotel, region, etc. – any time, from anywhere. Now, Evan can feel extra comfortable when staying at any one of the thousand-plus of his company’s hotels across the country. The United States of America doesn’t seem so big, after all.

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