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Category: Blog Posts

Blog PostsLodging

How a Hotel’s Supply Chain can affect Guest Satisfaction

You may or may not be aware of exactly where your food comes from, but you need to know if you are actually getting the best results from your supply chain.

Managing your supply chain can be somewhat difficult because food and supplies are being purchased and packaged both domestically and abroad. In the event food suppliers see the impact of bad weather, food contamination or even government fines, they revisit their pricing strategy and make adjustments, upward, that are passed along to the hotel and restaurant operators.

According to an article on the Food Safety Magazine website, the FDA continues to place strict regulations on companies exporting and importing food to stem instances of food contamination. There have also been cases reported of food fraud and misrepresentation of ingredients on food packaging. In fact, new U.S. agencies have been created to meet the need for tougher inspections.

You cannot possibly know about all the different variables that could affect your order, including recalls. But these factors signal a need for you to be more involved in your hotel’s procurement process.

It is important to have a good relationship with your suppliers so you can be more informed about changes that might influence your products, and ultimately your service. You obviously can’t control some of the factors in your supply chain, but you are responsible for what is served in your facility. As such, it’s best to question whether you are receiving the best products at the best prices with adherence to current safety rules and guidelines. Given the size of that task, some companies engage a purchasing company like Source1 Purchasing who can offers immediate product updates.

To ensure the best quality and pricing, it’s also important for operators to periodically evaluate their product line. Start by focusing on the top items in your hotel supply chain: Do the products meet the needs, standards and expectations of you and your guest?

With Source1 Purchasing, you can identify the products that are contracted. That translates to additional cost savings realized when these items are added to the order. Operators should also review these items to see if it’s time to upgrade them for quality or change the serving size to serve customer trends. Are you buying the right products to satisfy guests and are you leveraging your spending to get the best price? Be aware of your purchasing patterns using your data to ensure you’re getting the best results.

Purchasing data can also help target areas of possible concern at your property. For example, at some hotels and restaurants, the purchasing staff may choose products based on their individual preferences instead of the brand standards. Relationships can sometimes influence a decision.  To successfully manage procurements for a hotel or restaurant, buyers must be knowledgeable of the food industry as a whole and be proactive in obtaining the best products at the best price.

As an operator, all it takes is a focused approach and visibility into your purchasing data to be confident that you’re making the best choices. You know where you are in the industry and you know the factors that impact your buying decisions. By reviewing your purchasing records and making a few key changes, you can experience wins in your operations and in your hotel supply chain.

Blog PostsLodging

5 Ways a Sourcing and Procurement Solution helps Operators

Every hotel requires products and services.

Small operations purchase a smaller volume and have historically paid a higher price.  Today, operators have the choice to join a group to access sourcing and procurement solutions that are tailored to meet their hotel’s purchasing needs.

When hotels opt to purchase on their own, they may invest a great deal of time to realize short term benefits.   Consider the alternative of joining with many other operators via a purchasing company and access better prices immediately and longer term, additional rebates which can annually be a significant amount.

There is great value in cultivating loyal customers. An article on Hotels.com recently shared results from a Deloitte research project regarding loyal guests. The report, conducted recently, found that only 8 %of travelers are loyal to a single hotel brand. This elusive group is savvy with online research.  You want to be sure that when they arrive on your front desk, every aspect of their hotel experience delights them.

Gaining loyal customers is critical for your hotel because they help generate consistent revenue flow. There is less overhead involved in repeat guest. Additionally, they serve as your goodwill ambassadors to their friends and family.  The most authentic of marketing at no cost.

Food and beverage (F&B) can be an important feature in some hotels. By placing an emphasis on the right kind of theme and food quality, operations can capture the attention of local residents as well as their hotel guests. A purchasing company like Source1 Purchasing can help you access high quality, national brands, and sourcing and procurement solutions.

Keith Spinden, Hyatt Regency Chicago’s senior director of F&B, says in an article on the Hotel Management website that both owners and operators need to have a long-term commitment to serving quality F&B. It has to be more than a current trend for your hotel.

“We really need to maintain our focus on top-line sales and get a steady stream of customers walking through the door and coming back,” Spinden says. “We must maintain a certain level of revenue, but if we play around with quality, our top line will decline as well and that’s a downward spiral we try to avoid.”

A sourcing and procurement strategy helps hoteliers work smarter in five ways:

1) Save time.  Reaching out to suppliers is often time-consuming. When you use the services of a procurement organization, the experts conduct the research to ensure the best solution.

2) Save money in two ways. The procurement solution provides contracted, pre-negotiated savings on specific items. Pre-negotiated prices typically cover a longer period of time so operations can be protected from inflation and other short-term fluctuations in the market. Plus, you gain access to rebate on a quarterly basis.

3) Become more powerful. Sourcing and procurement solutions merge your volume purchasing with the purchasing of other customers, which increases your savings: Larger hotels that buy huge quantities of food and supplies qualify for volume discounts. Adopting sourcing and procurement solutions enables smaller hotel operations to enjoy the same benefits and the same high quality, name brand products.

4) Protect the promise.  It is important for you to deliver on your promise to every guest. If you are able to purchase a higher-quality product with a higher volume of discounts, then you can use the savings to improve other facets of your operation.  Aside from F&B, you can also purchase linens, in-room amenities, appliances, TVs and even MRO, FF&S and OS&E. Your guests will be delighted with the consistency and quality of their experience.

5) Get options.  You can spend your precious time securing two or three quotes or you can work with the buyers at a procurement organization that can take your need, research options and present you with details.  You can focus on making the decision that meets your needs. While taking advantage of discounts and lower prices.

Source1 works with virtually every hotel company and understand the brand standards of each we work with your team to deliver the best products to your guest at the very best price.

Blog PostsCasinosCateringLodgingRestaurants

3 Ways to Improve Retention in 10 Minutes

Written by Chris Butsch

As a leader, you’re probably already aware of the countless ways to improve your culture and inspire loyalty. But who has the time? As a friend and director of purchasing recently put it: “How am I supposed to build a great culture when I don’t even have time for lunch?”

Luckily, small tweaks can make a big difference in employee retention rate. To create a culture of retention, you don’t need to hire a resident yoga instructor named Artesia, or pay to send your whole team to learn fire-walking in Bali. Rather, by applying some clever positive psychology, you can improve your culture and boost retention in 10 minutes or less. Here are three ways to increase employee retention:

1. Show Some Extra Gratitude

According to the World Health Organization, burnout occurs when effort outstrips reward, relaxation, and recognition (source). So to keep your best people, you need to give them more money, more time off, or curiously, more thanks.  Will saying “thank you” really make a difference? Researchers from Harvard and Wharton found that when employees of a fundraiser were simply thanked for their hard work, their outward call volume increased by 50%. The researchers also found that when thanked, people are twice as likely to offer help to a colleague (source).

Gratitude releases a cocktail of neurochemicals increasing emotional intelligence and reversing stress (source). When you thank an employee, you’re giving them an espresso shot of joy and motivation. So to reap the benefits, consider starting your next meeting sharing 5-10 minutes of sincere gratitude for your employees. In your expressions of gratitude, be sure to use “because” to illustrate impact. For example: “Melissa; I sincerely appreciate how you took initiative to reach out to our upset client because you alone might’ve saved the account!”

2. Start Meetings with Deep Breathing

Purchasing demands lead to stress, stress leads to burnout, and burnout leads to turnover. Demands are inevitable, but you can prevent your best employees from burning out by helping them nip stress in the bud. Luckily, one of the most effective ways known to science takes just 2 minutes. When stressed, you subconsciously take short, shallow breaths. Problem is, “thoracic breathing” for hours doesn’t provide your brain with enough oxygen; performance suffers, and stress increases.

Help your team break the cycle with 2 minutes of deep breathing. When you deliberately fill your lungs with air, oxygen and nutrients rush to the brain, increasing performance, creativity, and calm. Furthermore, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that consistent deep breathing practice helps permanently improve calm and productivity (source).

To reduce your team’s stress, try starting your next meeting by asking everyone to perform ten deep breaths from the abdomen; 4 seconds in, 4 second hold, 4 seconds out. Watch how stress melts away; did you notice a difference in the mood and tempo of the meeting?

3. Share Your “Why”

Millennials are the canaries of the corporate coal mine; if something’s “off”, they’re generally the first to go. As a result, the ability to retain top young talent is a hallmark of a strong culture.

So what’s missing?

According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, in most organizations it’s a sense of purpose. “Millennials believe a business’ sense of purpose should be far greater than is currently the case.” (source). Retention is achieved “when employers demonstrate a strong sense of company purpose beyond financial success.” You may think purpose is easy to cultivate when you’re saving the rainforest or performing open-heart surgery. But how do you cultivate purpose in the purchasing world, and moreover, how do you do it in less than 10 minutes?

Ask yourself: who do we help? How do we help them? What suppliers, manufacturers, or patrons’ lives are improved by our work? How can I share their story with my employees? A 10-minute story via email or during a meeting illustrating how your team’s work impacted the greater good is an essential ingredient in a positive work culture. Find a way to share your “why” with your team and you’ll be giving them a zero-cost, high-ROI driver to stay loyal and hardworking.

In Summary

In an ideal world, you’d have countless hours to devote to improving work culture, employee engagement, and retention. In the high-stress reality of purchasing, however, spare time is measured in minutes. But if you can fill those cracks in the calendar with gratitude, purpose, and a few minutes of deep breathing, you’ll quickly improve company culture and inspire your best people to continue happily working hard for you.

 

Chris Butsch is a professional speaker and business author helping companies slash disengagement and turnover by keeping their best people happy.

 

Blog PostsLodging

How Hotels Can Be More Family-Friendly

Attracting families is an important priority for many hotels. While traveling families has always been a lucrative demographic for the hospitality industry, there is more opportunity than ever for hotels who are committed to being “family-friendly”. Studies show that younger parents are traveling with their children at a growing rate. Millennial parents specifically will often travel with their young children three or more times a year. By taking a few simple steps to make sure that parents with small children feel comfortable and welcomed, a hotel can easily build a reputation for themselves as a family-friendly establishment.

Child-Friendly Amenities & Activities

Most traveling families will include some downtime in their itinerary. Even when they’re not out exploring the city, parents will still need to have some activities lined up for their children while they’re relaxing at their hotel. Hotels can help parents keep their children entertained by offering special amenities they can enjoy during their stay. Some popular choices include kid-friendly DVD’s or video gaming systems that parents can barrow during their stay. Other family-friendly hotels go a step further and offer organized activities for children such as arts and crafts classes.

The Comforts of Home

For many parents, traveling with small children can be enjoyable but also stressful at times. Chances are, especially if they have a small baby in tow, parents will not be able to pack all the comforts of home with them when they travel. Family-friendly hotels can help create a safe and comfortable stay for their youngest guests by offering special accommodations just for small children. Most importantly, small babies need a safe place to sleep. Hotels should source quality cribs from their trusted furnishing supplier for parents to use during their stay. Some other popular offerings include:

  • Play Yards
  • Strollers
  • Childproofing Items (such as outlet covers)
  • Night Lights
  • Food & Beverage Programs for Kids

It’s not uncommon for children to be picky about what they eat. Hotels should make it a point to add child-friendly menu items to their food and beverage program. Another thing to consider is that parents will need to have healthy snacks on hand for their children while they are out sightseeing. It’s a good idea for child-friendly hotels to offer grab-and-go items that parents can easily purchase before they set out to enjoy their activities for the day.

From furnishings to grab-and-go food items, Source1 Purchasing’s network of quality suppliers have everything your hotel needs to make your guests feel at home. Contact us today to learn how we can save you upwards of 9% on all of your hospitality supplies.

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Blog PostsCatering

Spice up Your Catering Profits

How profitable is your catering business? Some caterers experience a pretax profit of over 25%, while others are barely able to show a profit. The average pretax profit for caterers is between 7% and 8%. Having an accurate, up-to-date picture of how your catering company is performing financially is crucial.

Blog PostsCasinos

Casinos Use Food and Beverage to Sweeten the Pot

With new restaurants, more menu choices for in-room dining, high-end buffets, and new gaming table snacks casino operators must be smart about food and beverage purchasing. Many casino operators are opting to work with purchasing partners to help them lower food costs and generate additional revenue.

Blog PostsCasinosCateringLodgingRestaurants

The Secret Sauce of Menu Pricing

In the hospitality industry, whether you are running a hotel with food and beverage services or a managing full service restaurant or managing a catering company, pricing food is always the key to profits and it’s more important than ever before.

Blog PostsLodging

Hospitality Management: A Giant Juggling Act

Our purchasing solutions will help you meet the needs of your diverse stakeholders. Your employees will do their jobs more efficiently and you will have help managing the financial expectations of senior management and, most importantly, it will help you provide exceptional guest experiences.

Blog PostsLodgingRestaurants

Consistency: The Breakfast of Champions

If your guests remember having a hot breakfast at one of your hotels, they will expect the same if they stay at another in a different location. Guests want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that when they stay at a specific hotel brand they will receive the same level of service and quality.

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