The Importance of Supply Chain Management in Hospitality
Every business needs to know that it will have the stock it requires as and when it is needed to fulfill orders. Whether that is items for resale or goods that are part of providing a service, nothing looks worse for a company than running out of something needed for a customer. Managing the purchase of the goods is a skill all of its own, and not one that everyone can handle. There is much more to supply chain management than putting orders with suppliers, and there are some industries where it is more important than others, with hospitality being a typical example. Here we look at the importance of supply chain management in the hospitality industry.
Getting the Best Prices Possible
Anyone can just buy the goods that are needed, but if they pay more than is necessary, your business could be adversely affected. You need someone with the skills for effectively managing your supply chains with the process that is right for you. The logistics of arranging this can be very complex, and negotiations can be tough, but someone with a masters degree in supply chain management from an institution like Kettering University will have been taught exactly what is needed.
Some people think that this might not be necessary, but completing a master’s degree could make all the difference to their ability to handle these things well. An online course can be fitted in around any lifestyle, too. A degree such as this will not only teach you how to operate an effective chain supply yourself, but also the management procedures that need to be in place if the hospitality provider you are working for is a chain that has whole departments to work in this area. A degree in supply chain management will open up a whole world of possibilities for anyone working in the hospitality industry.
Technology is Helping to Make It Easier
Technology is playing a part in changing supply chain management, with huge companies altering the way they work because of it. Learning how all these up to date systems work and about the new standards set is an important part of being a supply chain manager, no matter what the industry is.
Just think in terms of every bar code that is scanned at a supermarket checkout and how that helps the store to know what has been sold and what they need to replace. That is a very simple and basic way of explaining how supply chain management software can help with the task, but as with all technology, it is only as good as the user. You need to understand the programs you are using, as although they are generally very good, sometimes things go wrong, or a special event might not fit with the criteria they have been programmed for.
Catering for a wedding party that has booked your hotel as their venue is the sort of thing that may need special attention and the expertise of a supply chain manager. The harm that could be done to the reputation of not providing good food, drink and service for a wedding could cause a drop in bookings for any hotel.
Consumables in Hospitality
Regardless of how large or small your hotel is, just imagine how bad it would be if you could not supply your guests with breakfast because you had run out of supplies. What happens if you use all of your beers and have none to replace them? When evening meals are due, how embarrassing it would be to say you can only offer half the menu because you do not have the products to complete all the meals shown.
The same applies to restaurants. Not being able to fulfill their menu looks really bad and will stop customers returning. A bar that runs out of wine or beer will suffer by customers going elsewhere, and once they have done that, it is hard to get them to return to your establishment.
Successful businesses are built on loyal customers bases, but this will not happen with yours if you keep letting customers down.
Food and drink are an important part of any hotel stay, and eating out is often part of consumers’ vacations. It is vital that you can fulfil your obligations with food and drink, and effective chain supply management is the way to do it. Without it, there would be no foods in restaurants and no beer or wine in bars, and that will basically kill the hospitality that your venture should be providing.
Your establishment also needs to have enough clean bed linen to be able to change it when required, and an ample supply of things such as table napkins, cutlery and crockery. This might all seem very obvious, but you would be surprised by how many hotels fall down in these areas.
Putting Your Customers First
The hospitality industry differs in several ways to others, but the main thing is the importance they have to place on keeping the guests and visitors happy with the service they are receiving. Your customers will not be concerned about the work that goes on out of sight, such as accounting practices that record your sales and purchases, how you buy your products and who from, who supplies your energy and phones or staff rosters. All they will be concerned about is a clean and comfortable room to stay in and good food to eat and drink.
Putting guests first should be the highest priority on the list for any successful hotel, bar and restaurant. Without them, the business will disappear very quickly as they are what the hospitality industry is all about.
With effective supply chain management and a team of staff on the frontline that are pleasant and helpful, there is not much more you can do to encourage guests to enjoy their stay in your hotel and visit again next time they are in the area.