Tag: purchasing and supply chain management
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Brand awareness refers to the percentage of customers who can recall your brand, and it gives your company an edge no matter what industry you’re in. You want to make sure that your brand awareness campaign is flexible enough to grow with your company so that you can make changes to it as necessary. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at the three objectives of brand awareness you should have for your company.
At Source1 Purchasing, we offer the procurement services you need to extend your purchasing power and increase brand awareness. We can help you manage your supply chain to better control your expenses and maximize your value through our purchasing power. If you are ready to optimize your supply chain and increase your savings, then contact us today to get started with a free supply chain analysis!
1. Build Customer Awareness
Whether your brand already enjoys high recognition or you’re just starting out, there are some steps you should take to build and maintain customer awareness. Here are several steps that can help build customer awareness of your brand:
- Use branded packaging
- Utilize SEO strategies
- Make social work for your brand
If you’ve ever received a shipment that was shipped in branded packaging, then you might have felt as if you were opening a gift rather than another package. It’s important to keep in mind that the product experience doesn’t necessarily begin with first use, but with opening the package. Focus on the way that your products are packaged to make sure that they stand out from your competitors’ and enhance your customers’ experience with your brand.
Utilize SEO Strategies
When customers search online for a product or service that you provide, you want to make sure that your company’s site is on the first page of search results. Being included in the first page of results on search engines means that far more people are likely to see your website and become familiar with your brand. This is crucial to increasing brand awareness since the majority of people do not continue past the first page of search results. With that in mind, it is imperative that you utilize SEO (search engine optimization) techniques to make sure that your company is consistently in the top 10 search results on page one.
Make Social Work for Your Brand
Social media can be a powerful tool for building and increasing your brand awareness. Consistent posts that illustrate what your products or services can do for potential customers are sure to keep your name at the top of their feed. The more that people see your posts, the more likely they are to become interested and pursue your solutions for their problems. In fact, as they begin to find a connection with what you offer, they may share your posts with their contacts, which helps to build your audience.
2. Promote Your Website
This tip might seem a bit obvious, but hear us out. There are a surprising number of businesses that do nothing to maintain and update their website, let alone promote it. If you hope to succeed in this day and age of instant communication, then it is essential that you have a user-friendly website with up-to-date information. You can promote your website by linking to it from your social media posts, videos you share, and other avenues of marketing. Your website can be a powerful tool for maintaining customer relations, providing ease of transactions, and building brand awareness — so don’t neglect it!
3. Add Value
Think about one of the best customer experiences you have ever had and ask yourself, “what made it special?” Perhaps you received a free or discounted service, were able to purchase more of the product at a lower cost, or appreciated their proximity to your home. No matter what made that experience stand out in your mind, it’s important to think about the ways that you can add value for your own customers. Many people feel strongly about supporting their local business community and giving back through volunteer opportunities. With that in mind, consider some of the ways that you can plug into those emotions with carefully strategized community events.
While this was just a brief overview of three objectives of brand awareness, there are a number of ways that you can get started strategically applying these to your own brand. At Source1 Purchasing, we know that it’s important to maximize your brand experience goals through purchasing, which is why we are proud to offer access to the largest portfolio of programs available. Source1 Purchasing has more than $9.5 billion in purchasing power and contractual relationships with more than 1,000 suppliers, which means that you can grow and strengthen your supplier networks with our help. Contact us today to get started, and receive your free supply chain analysis!
Colleges and universities constantly need to procure various items to support academic, research, and public service programs. They also purchase goods and services that support a variety of day-to-day operations, including maintenance, student housing, food services, and bookstore operations. With so many moving parts, it’s important to make sure that your educational institution is utilizing cost-effective and efficient procurement.
At Source1 Purchasing, we have access to the largest portfolio of programs and value to maximize your brand experience goals through purchasing. With 22 years of experience and $7 billion in purchasing power, we are your purchasing solution. Contact us today to obtain your free supply-chain analysis.
1. Review You Current Procurement Process
The first step toward truly improving your procurement process is to analyze the current system for any inefficiencies so that you know what needs to be eliminated. Without taking the time to evaluate your process, it would be nearly impossible to identify any disorganization or wastefulness.
When you work with Source1 Purchasing, you can take advantage of a dedicated client success manager who will provide the specific support that you need for your program. Our supply-chain resources and expertise will be at your disposal, along with our technology-based community to drive results, performance, and insights.
2. Utilize Automated Workflows
One of the biggest wastes of time for your procurement department is the need to complete repetitive and mundane tasks. You can save time, money, and everyone’s sanity when you take advantage of automating this particular aspect of the daily workflow. Source1 Purchasing gives you the power to automate your institution with our online ordering platform, BirchStreet. Using this powerful tool, you’ll be able to connect with suppliers, access online catalogs, control products, access reports on all spend and purchasing behaviors, and more.
3. Drive Bottom-Line Savings
You need to find the areas in your procurement process where you can eliminate waste so that you can drive bottom-line savings. To do this, it’s important to make sure that you are accessing the data, analytics, and business intelligence that will provide accurate and comprehensive reports. We make this solution easy with our premium business intelligence and data platform — Data 360. Source1 Purchasing provides our clients with both spend management and category and product management so that your procurement process becomes more streamlined, which will help to drive savings and reduce stress. Additionally, you can rest assured that your institution and site will improve quality compliance with our optimization and performance dashboards.
4. Increase Purchasing Power
One of the keys to truly optimizing your purchasing solutions is to increase your purchasing power. You can do this through access to our team of procurement experts who work to maximize your value through the purchasing power of Source1 Purchasing. With more than $9.5 billion in purchasing power and contractual relationships with more than 1,000 suppliers, we can truly enhance your supply chain by increasing your purchasing power and helping you control your expenses.
5. Access Top Quality Brands, Products, and Services
Your educational institution needs a wide variety of products to offer the best services and experiences to your students. From food services and student housing to lab equipment and more, it’s important that you are able to access the top quality brands, products, and services to meet these needs while maintaining your budget. Source1 Purchasing is proud to offer access to the largest portfolio of programs and value to maximize your brand experience goals through purchasing. We start by providing a free supply chain analysis to identify what’s working and where there is room for improvement. We work with you to provide the access, visibility, and control that you need to maintain your brand standards.
6. Enhance Quality
The vendors that you use determine the quality of products and services that you receive. At Source1 Purchasing, we provide an analysis of your current purchasing and spending activity to help you pinpoint which vendors provide the best quality and pricing. Once that has been determined, you will be in a much better position to decide which vendors will be awarded contracts. Partnering with our global supply chain company truly gives you the opportunity to control your expenses and maximize value through purchasing.
Finding the right purchasing solution for your institution can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Contact Source1 Purchasing today to start your free supply-chain analysis, and learn how we can help you increase the quality of your products and services while maintaining your budget.
Deciding whether or not to have your staff wear uniforms could be something that you’ve gone back and forth on for a while. Whether or not your staff is currently wearing uniforms, we have some reasons to explain why it’s a good practice to implement and maintain in the hospitality industry.
If your business is looking for the right procurement services company to get the products you need, then be sure to contact Source1 Purchasing to get started. From a free supply-chain analysis to creating a program for your specific needs, we offer buying that you can believe in. Get started today!
Promote a Positive Image
If there is a specific image, color, or logo that represents your brand, then providing uniforms that capture this will help to promote a positive image. The more that your customers see your brand, the more likely they are to develop positive feelings and begin to feel a sense of loyalty. In fact, they may not be aware of how often they are seeing your brand, as many of the details will be recorded by the subconscious. This will benefit you in the long-term when they recall how much they like your business, even if they can’t recall specific reasons why. Simple features and a clean look aid in promoting the positive image that your brand needs.
Help Customers Identify Staff
Whether a customer has walked into your lobby, bar, or restaurant, they are likely going to search for a staff member who can assist them. The easier it is for them to identify your staff, the more it will help provide a better customer experience. Customer satisfaction is key to obtaining their recurring patronage as well as positive word-of-mouth. If your employees don’t wear uniforms, then your customers may be at a loss to identify who can help them, which can lead to feelings of frustration and irritation. Providing a great and consistent customer experience is a major goal of all hotel operators as it will drive repeat visitors and quality reviews.
Improve Customer Service
Help your customers avoid frustration by improving customer service with consistent branding in your uniforms. The more recognizable your staff is, the easier your customers will be able to identify who can help them, which will potentially reduce the time it takes for them to receive service. An additional benefit for you is that when your staff wear uniforms, they are likely to be more conscious of their actions and attitudes whether they are actively serving customers or not. Should you choose to add a name tag to the uniform, you could also create a more personalized experience for your customers.
Health and Safety
There are a number of uniform items that can provide health and safety benefits for your employees. Whether it’s a kitchen uniform that protects employees from the equipment, heat, and chemicals, or non-slip safety shoes, aprons, and gloves, there are a number of items that you can provide your employees when uniforms are a priority at your business. Boost your employees’ morale and loyalty to your company by providing the uniform items they need to be safe and provide ideal customer service.
Boost Confidence in Your Brand
Depending on the atmosphere and experience that you wish to create for your customers, a well-chosen uniform can help to create brand consistency. For example, a traditional chef coat and black pants can convey a professional yet laid-back atmosphere for customers. Black pants paired with a white chef coat or other solid color help to create a more fashionable atmosphere. Boost confidence in your brand by choosing uniforms that elicit the feelings you want your customers to experience and make sure that your uniforms are consistent with your brand.
If you are in the hospitality industry, then you know that there are a wide variety of items that you need to keep things running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. At Source1 Purchasing, we want to be your go-to procurement service company. From providing you with a free supply-chain analysis to leveraging our purchasing power for your benefit, we are your Top Rated® Local Procurement Solution. Get started today!
If you’ve been in the hospitality industry for any length of time, then you are probably aware that guests who continue to come back do so because of the special treatment they receive from your hotel. While we hope that you are already implementing ways to make your guests feel special, we have a few tips to share with you so that you can expand your repertoire.
At Source1 Purchasing, we are proud to be one of the best procurement services companies for the hospitality industry. Whether you are looking for ways to optimize your supply chain, or expand your purchasing power, we can help. Call today and get a free supply chain analysis.
1. Details make the difference
Not everyone actively notices the details in life, but the details make a difference in your guests’ experience. Whether or not they consciously notice the arrangement of fresh flowers in their room or the concierge who greeted them with a smile, their brain registers these details on a subconscious level, which translates into them feeling special when they visit your hotel. When you take the time to analyze the texture of your linens, the wattage in your light bulbs, or the number of pillows and towels that are provided in the rooms, your guests will be appreciative. These details are what help set your establishment apart from others.
As a procurement outsourcing company, Source1 Purchasing can help you to improve your purchasing power and supply the products that will help to keep your guests coming back for more. Call today to get started!
2. Be selective about which amenities are free
While gifts are a nice idea to make your guests feel special, they’re not a great idea if they aren’t something that your guests actually want.. The key to choosing something that will make them feel special is to look for the amenities that see a lot of use at your hotel. For example, free WiFi, and a hearty breakfast bar could be the two key items that make your guests feel more at home. If your hotel is near the beach, then consider offering free straw hats or beach totes. Remember, the important factor is to not skimp on the quality of the amenities.
3. Accessibility matters
Some of the most common travelers are families with children, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. Make sure that your hotel offers accessibility and accommodations for all of the different types of people who will stay with you.
When you give recommendations of places your guests can visit, be sure to include walking times or distances to expect at each location so that they can gauge the appropriateness of the activity for their ability levels.
Be ready to recommend restaurants and entertainment venues that will appeal to all of your guests: senior citizens, families with children, young couples without children, and single adults.
When it comes to your menus, be sure to highlight items that are safe for those guests who have various food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Make sure that your hotel offers plenty of diaper-changing stations in both men’s and women’s restrooms. Depending on the laws of the state your hotels are located in, they may actually be required to offer diaper-changing stations in a certain number of bathrooms.
4. Anticipate needs
One of the ways you can anticipate needs is by engaging with your guests when they check in. Welcome them with a smile, and follow up with a phone call to their room after they’ve checked in. By asking if they have everything they require in their room, you just might find out if there are some needs that you could meet during their visit. Are they visiting to explore some of the great hiking trails? Provide a surprise bag of trail mix with a handwritten note in their room. Are they looking forward to experiencing some of the great local cuisine? Offer a list of your top five personal favorite restaurants.
5. Gather feedback to tailor personal responses
Gathering feedback from your guests is important so that you can identify the areas where your hotel needs to improve, as well as sending a personal response to each guest. Feedback can be obtained by asking guests to complete an online review of your hotel or a survey they can receive via text. To encourage guests to take the time to provide feedback, try offering something they want such as a discount on their next stay.
When you receive feedback, identify areas that need to be strengthened so that you can make sure your guests are always receiving the very best treatment at your hotels. The more special they feel, the more loyal they will be.
If your hotel needs to make some changes with the types of supplies that you offer your guests, then be sure to visit Source1 Purchasing to see what our procurement service company can do for you. Increase your purchasing power today when you call for a free supply chain analysis.
While hotels must be able to cater to a number of different customer groups, business travelers are a particularly lucrative segment that you want to be sure to target. While many travelers might look for ways to stretch their dollar, guests who travel for business tend to be more liberal with their spending. By understanding the types of amenities that business travelers look for, you can better target these valuable guests and attract business travelers to your establishment.
At Source1 Purchasing, we understand that you need to provide amenities that will appeal to a wide variety of guests. Be sure to contact our group purchasing organization today to learn how we can enhance your buying power and improve your supply-chain costs.
Many business travelers enjoy the ability to maintain their fitness routine while they are away from home. This seems to be especially true for millennials. While hotels with fitness rooms may have an advantage over hotels that don’t, you want to make sure that you offer the type of equipment your guests want. If all your fitness room offers is a treadmill and a few hand weights, then you might want to consider adding in some newer aerobic and weight machines. If your hotel is not in a position to update your fitness area, then consider partnering with a nearby gym to give your guests access to the type of equipment they want.
Business travelers need to make sure that their clothes are pressed and ready for the meetings they have planned. While many hotels offer laundry services, they are not always adequately advertised. When targeting business travelers, be sure to promote the specific laundry services that your hotel offers. Same-day dry cleaning services can help put your hotel ahead of the pack.
Technology has changed the way we interact with the world around us. Today’s business travelers have high expectations when it comes to the digital services that your hotel offers. You must do more than simply offer free access to high-speed internet. Business travelers want to engage with your hotel digitally, which means that amenities such as mobile check-in, mobile keys, and a digital concierge are all convenient ways to allow your guests to access the services they need.
A great customer experience starts with a stable supply chain. Source1 Purchasing can help you save money on all of your hospitality needs. Contact us today for a free cost-savings analysis.