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Lodging

Choosing the Best Linens for Your Hotel

Hotel managers know how much small details can play a large roll in a customer’s experience. That’s why linens play such an important role in the hotel industry. Bedding and towels can have a major impact on a guest’s impression of your hotel, so it’s worth investing in linens that will make a good impression. Here are three things to consider when choosing the best hotel bedding for your establishment.

QUALITY

Hoteliers should never skimp on quality when it comes to bed linens and towels. High-quality linens will not only delight guests, they also have a longer lifespan which can save your hotel money over time. One common myth about purchasing towels and sheets is that you should always buy items with the highest thread count possible. While it’s generally true that a higher thread count is more desirable, fabric quality will ultimately determine how soft your towels and sheets are. Another quality indicator is the length of a sheet’s fibers. Longer fibers add durability to fabric and help reduce snags and pilling. Before purchasing any linens, ask your supplier to provide as much information about their product as possible and always request samples before making your final purchase.

MATERIAL

When it comes to linens, opting for a natural fabric like cotton is your best choice. Cotton is durable, easy to care for, and sustainable. Cotton is a breathable fabric which helps keep guests cool throughout the night, allowing for a better sleeping experience. If possible, choose organic cotton linens that are free of pesticides and other chemicals. The chemicals found in conventional cotton products may serve as irritants to guests with allergies and skin sensitives.

CARE

After investing in quality hotel bedding, it’s important to maintain them properly. Your hotel’s cleaning staff should be instructed to treat any stains prior to washing linens. Further, it’s important that sheets and towels are always washed per the manufacturer’s care instructions. For cleaning products, choose a supplier that specializes in cleaning solutions that will help extend the life of your linens. Caring for your linens properly will ensure that they remain in like-new condition for many uses.

Save money on linens, cleaning products, and other hospitality supplies when you take advantage of the collective buying power that comes with joining Source1 Purchasing. We help you stabilize your supply chain by streamlining your purchasing processes and lowering your overall costs. Contact us for a free supply chain analysis today.

 

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The Difference Between Cost vs Price

A smart manager understands that cost of a product is not the same as the price the company will eventually pay for it. This is about understanding the fine line between quality and value offered vs. the money paid for it. At Source1 Purchasing we understand this, therefore we offer more value to our customers for their money.

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The Changing Role of Technology in Supply Chain Management

Technology has had a huge impact on the way hoteliers and others in the hospitality industry approach supply chain management. Thanks to new innovations in customer data and inventory tracking, purchasing specialists are able to create better systems for procuring their hospitality supplies. A more streamlined supply chain translates into lower operating costs that requires less time to manage. Further, having an efficient and more stable supply chain directly effects customer experiences in a positive way, leading to an increase in overall customer satisfaction and, ultimately, an increase in repeat business.

RFID

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a system of tracking inventory movement throughout its lifecycle. RFID labels can be placed on virtually anything and do not require manual hand-scanning for inventory to be tracked. This allows procurement officers to accurately track everything from customer consumables to maintenance supplies in real time. Utilizing RFID for asset tracking gives businesses greater control over their inventory, helps cut down on waste, and allows for more efficient purchasing. Because the flow of inventory is tracked digitally, there is less need for “hands-on” inventory management, freeing up employees to focus on other tasks.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the multitude of devices we use every day that send and receive data via an internet connection. The IoT is set to completely revolutionize the way the hospitality industry manages their operations and supply chain. Hotels already use these smart devices in a number of ways. Internet-enabled thermostats, for example, can be signaled to turn on air conditioners at the time a guest checks in. Guests arrive at an air-conditioned room, but HVAC systems aren’t running unnecessarily when the room is unoccupied. In the near future, it may even be possible for these types of devices to intuitively trigger purchase orders or notify management when equipment requires maintenance.

Big Data

The biggest asset technology has to offer businesses is data. Big Data gives hotels valuable insights into their customers’ behavior, allowing them to establish the lifetime value of a guest and offer them more individualized service. Many businesses already use Big Data for customer relationship management, but there are opportunities use data to improve operations as well. The wealth of information gathered from asset tracking systems and smart devices allows procurement managers to vastly improve their purchasing performance by way of streamlined supplier relationship management and inventory maintenance. Purchasing service organizations, like Source1 Purchasing, also use item tracking systems to help simplify client and supplier interactions, manage fixed pricing structures, and track manufacturer rebates.

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Purchasing–You Don’t Have To Do It Alone

Owners and operators are hampered by being “small fish” in a big purchasing pond, lacking the collective buying clout required to be able to negotiate the best prices. They’re discovering that “do-it-yourself” procurement is not as simple as they had hoped and are now realizing that they don’t have to do it alone.

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5 Habits of Successful Companies

It’s important to think about what makes companies successful so that you can see how your own business compares. What do you need to improve? What are you doing well? In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at what makes a company successful and five habits that successful companies deploy in their daily business strategies.

At Source1 Purchasing, we have more than $9.5 billion in purchasing power and contractual relationships with more than 1,000 suppliers, which means that we can help you gain success by enhancing your capacity to achieve results. If you’re interested in utilizing our team of procurement experts to maximize your value through purchasing, then contact us today to get your free supply chain analysis!

1. They Have a Mission

Successful companies know who they are, who they serve, and what they stand for. This mission drives every decision they make. Successful companies care about both their employees and their customers. This means that they focus on building relationships that ensure employee happiness and customer satisfaction. Additionally, successful companies focus on delivering meaning. From donating to religious charities and helping to protect the environment to supporting autonomy and more, there are many ways that you can deliver meaning, support your mission, and connect with your customers and employees.

2. They Keep Employees Happy

It’s important never to underestimate the value of happy employees. Many studies have shown that when employees are happy and productive, they may be willing to work for a lower wage when their needs of self fulfilment have been attained.This means that successful businesses strive to ensure that each employee feels like a valued member of the company. The more that your employees understand their value to the company, the lower your turnover rate will become. For example, a successful company might provide on-site daycare, on-site medical care, and paternity leave. Even though these services are an additional expense, they communicate the incredible value that employees have, which leads to better employee retention.

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3. They Plan for a Variety of Situations

Life is always unpredictable, which means that to be successful in business, you have to plan for a variety of possible situations. Sometimes everything goes according to plan, but to be a successful company, you have to be able to react and adapt quickly to unexpected choices. A great way to decide the best option for your business is to consider the worst possible outcome when confronted with two less-than-great choices. The thinking behind this strategy is that considering the worst allows you to adapt and make the reality better than it could have been. Successful companies aren’t afraid to construct a variety of scenarios, create reaction plans for each, and move forward with the best option.

4. They Strive to be Part of the Community

Successful companies understand the value of taking an active role in their community. The way that the public perceives your business can either work for or against you. If you do not have the best reputation currently, or perhaps no reputation to speak of, then brainstorm some specific steps that you can take to begin creating the reputation and image that you want to have. Find ways to enlist volunteers, participate in local events, and provide funds to local schools or businesses. The more that your community sees you playing an active role, the more you will be appreciated and your business become successful.

5. They Value Innovation

Success companies value innovation because they know this is one of the best ways to continually improve their services and products. If your offerings are not great, then you need to evaluate what should change in order to offer the best. Just because something has been successful for the past few years does not mean that it cannot be improved. In fact, the less willing you are to change your products, services, or other offerings, the more likely you are to watch your success fade.

Rather than waste time wondering what you need to do better, invest in research and development to see what is being offered by other successful companies in your industry. Once you have that information, develop a scalable plan of growth and innovation to keep your business relevant and successful.

Source1 Purchasing knows that maintaining your brand standards, developing and growing your supplier networks, and controlling quality standards in every location can be a very expensive and time-consuming task. We are here to offer tips for business success and the leverage that comes with our purchasing power and contractual relationships, as well as access to our professional team of procurement experts to help you grow your business. To learn more, contact us today and obtain your free supply chain analysis!

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5 Customer Service Mistakes to Avoid

As a business in the hospitality industry, you know that one of the most important items that you provide is superior customer service. In the competitive world of hospitality, the level of customer service that you provide is what helps to set you apart from the competition. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at five of the most common customer service mistakes that you want to avoid.

At Source1 Purchasing, we are proud to be the leading Purchasing Services Organization (PSO), with more than $9.5 billion in purchasing power and contractual relationships with more than 1,000 suppliers. We can help you improve hotel customer service by maintaining alignment with your brand standards, growing and strengthening your supplier networks, and controlling quality standards at each of your locations. Contact us today to obtain your free supply chain analysis!

1. Value Automation Over Personalization

While there are many services that can and should be automated to enhance the customer’s experience, there are a number of services that are probably best handled face to face. Just because something can be automated doesn’t mean it should be. Be careful not to underestimate the value of personal interactions and direct contact with your customers. The savings that automation might provide could be undercut by dissatisfied customers. Remember that while some customers might prefer to chat online, others will appreciate talking with a representative over the phone.

2. Failure to Listen

It is very easy to assume that you know what your customers want, but this assumption could lead to major mistakes in your customer service department. As important as listening skills are, they don’t always come naturally, so be sure to prioritize teaching good listening skills across your organization. While your customer service representatives will likely have more direct communication with your customers, it’s important that everyone who represents your business demonstrates excellent listening skills. On that note, determine effective processes that will help your customer service representatives to truly listen rather than simply read from a script.

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3. Reactive Rather Than Proactive Approach

If you realize that there is a growing problem in one area of your business as more and more customers complain, then you have already made the mistake of taking a reactive approach to customer service. A proactive approach is one that constantly looks for ways to improve processes and eliminate problems before they have time to appear. For example, take time to brainstorm how to impress your customers from their first point of contact rather than wait to deal with their complaints or problems. By altering your approach in this manner, you will not only make a proactive approach a standard, but you will be well on your way to providing superior customer service.

4. Limiting Customers to One Specific Service Channel

This mistake is a common one that many businesses in the hospitality industry make. In our technologically driven world, it can be easy to assume that all of your customers would rather complete their business online, but this would be a big mistake. Since there is not one channel that all of your customers will want to use, it’s important to give them a variety of ways to get in touch with you. From chat and talk to text and email, the more service channels you provide, the more likely you are to have satisfied customers.

5. Provide Inconsistent Customer Experiences

If you have identified a pattern of customer complaints coming and going in waves, then inconsistent customer service is likely the culprit. When you know you have excellent staff in place who are able to provide great customer service, then the problem lies with consistency. For example, a customer calls one day with a problem and has a resolution within five minutes. The next day, the same customer calls in with the same issue and waits 20 minutes before the problem is solved.

This example highlights the problem with inconsistent service. Your customers want to know that you will be predictable and reliable, which is why it’s imperative to make sure that all of your employees provide consistently great customer service.

Hopefully you found these customer service tips helpful. With all of the services, products, and employees that you strive to manage, it makes sense to utilize the help of a procurement service company to maximize your value through purchasing. At Source1 Purchasing, we can do just that! We’ll also help you leverage your purchasing data so that you can establish benchmarks, set goals, and track your overall program performance. If you’re ready to get control of the products, contracts, and services you need, then contact us today to obtain your free supply chain analysis!

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How to Provide Superior Customer Service

As a business in the lodging industry, you are well aware of the importance of providing excellent customer service. While you may already be offering great service, it’s a good idea to review some of the best strategies, and see where you stand against the competition. In today’s post, we’ll cover the five strategies you need to provide the best possible customer service.

At Source1 Purchasing, we understand the importance of controlling your order entry and inventory system to match your specific needs. You want to make sure that you have what your customers need when they need it, and that means having access to a team of procurement experts who will maximize your value through purchasing. When you partner with Source1 Purchasing, you can rely on our purchasing power and contractual relationships to help you increase your capacity to achieve results.

1. Track Changes in Customer Expectations

In the hospitality industry, things are always changing. It’s important that you are able to monitor the trends and move with them. If you don’t, then you run the risk of falling below your customers’ expectations. Since your goal is to exceed customer expectations, it’s important to track any changes in this area. There are many ways to do this, including survey cards and emails, but no matter which option you choose, make sure that you use some form of tracking research to measure their satisfaction and monitor changes in these trends over time. The more that you can stay in touch with what your customers want, the better you’ll be able to consistently meet and exceed their expectations.

2. Go Beyond the Call of Duty

In the hospitality industry, there are many things that you can do to provide an exceptional experience for your customers. From providing baby-safe sleeping arrangements and extra blankets to multiple daily newspapers and free wifi, there are multiple ways to ensure that your guests are satisfied. While you won’t always be able to provide everything they need, it’s important to let them see that you are willing to go the extra mile when possible. For example, if you have a guest who has a number of dietary restrictions, then providing foods that are safe for them to enjoy will go a long way to earning their loyalty.

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3. Make a Strong First Impression

You never have a second chance to make a first impression, especially in the hospitality industry. Make sure that the first point of contact with your customers is positive, warm, and welcoming. Often, the first contact sets the tone for the duration of your customer’s visit, which is why this first point of contact is so critical. While it’s likely that your customers will meet the employees at the front desk first, it’s important that all employees understand the value in greeting guests with a smile and a warm welcome.

4. Be Accessible and Approachable

There is no way to alienate your customers more quickly than being inaccessible. If they need to get in touch with you and can’t find any employee who is able to help them, then you are on the verge of losing a customer in the future. Make sure that there are multiple people who are able to assist customers at all times. Additionally, be sure to train them on the best skills to use when working with customers. There’s no point in having numerous employees available to help if they lack basic interpersonal skills and offend your guests.

Be sure to select the employees who are more naturally extroverted to ensure a pleasant experience for all of your guests.

5. Improve your Response Time

Last, but certainly not least, is your response time. It might not surprise you to know that one of the biggest factors in providing excellent customer service is speed. In other words, the longer a customer has to wait to get help, the more likely they are to browse your competitors. While it is perfectly acceptable to respond to business emails within 24 hours, you want to make sure that you have an expedited timeline for your guests. Once you have established a timeline that your company will stand by, be sure to market it everywhere to help you stand out from your competitors.

At Source1 Purchasing, we are proud to offer the access you need to our team of procurement experts, visibility to leverage our purchasing data to streamline your performance, and control over the products and services you need to protect your brand standards. Contact us today to obtain your free supply chain analysis!

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A Fresh Take on Purchasing

This combination of unpredictable external factors and evolving customer demands are creating problems for hospitality professionals. Food service operators need to stay aware of consumer preferences and try to source the trending and popular ingredients from local suppliers, all while managing their food budgets in a volatile market with ever-changing commodity prices.

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