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To Be a Procurement Connoisseur, a Mahatma

हई मुदत कि ग़ािलब मर गया, पर याद आता है, वो हर
इक बात पर कहना कि यूँ होता तो का होता!

Taking care of simple things in procurement enginery makes lot of difference. When we are customer, it is sometime easy to ignore the worth of partnership between our company, its suppliers and service providers. Taking them along, with what we are buying helps a lot. At a time when every talk is focusing on rebooting with New Normal in Hygiene for Kitchen, Restaurant, Housekeeping, and Guest-care; I thought of re-affirming the roleplay of young purchasing professionals’ vis-à-vis its vending partners.

1st and foremost in the act is to “Know your product”

It is important for the procurement professionals to know the product they are buying. Gather product information from the user department who has requisitioned. It is important that you know the product to be procured and have specification details of what you will be buying. Product Knowledge always puts you on an even platform as your vendors; makes it easy to filter-out and choose the ‘right source’ and ‘product quality’. Aim to be a Material Connoisseur, a Savant, and a Mahatma.

Acknowledge expertise

Acknowledge expertise of your vendor to set the tone of the relationship.
Converse, ask questions, clear misconceptions and gain product knowledge. Your apt handling of conversation will boost your influence and importance, and further help its customization that the user may have required, but not thought of. Get updated with quality options. It will help in negotiating discounts and other concerns. With the knowledge of product and service costs, your vendor will respond positively as you are buying assets where cost of specification may affect longevity.

ASK but don’t be desperate for answers

ASK but don’t be desperate for answers or information on the spot. Give your vendor time to provide you desired information. Sometimes, he may seek time, as he was not ready for what you may want to hear.

Use cohesive language

Set the tone for the relationship because your talking will set the tone for future conversations as well.

Make your expectations known

Help your vendors serve you better. Involve the user department and set clear expectations for healthy relations. Be practical and logical; and don’t ask for the un-expected.

Discuss Payment

Be open about when you pay bills and why a payment could be overdue. One of the touchiest subjects is payment of supplies and services. Money is the only reason for which any supplier or even we work. Your supplier may have his limits to financing. Don’t make him an unwilling financier. Involve the company’s controller of finance, if that may be required; and be concerned about this when it comes to payment. Always be forthright to address cash-flow issues.

Do not expect the impossible

If the supplier has a lead-time of say 3 weeks, don’t look surprised why he can’t deliver in 3-4 days. Coordinate within your organization to foresee the production and delivery time and pre-order accordingly. Mark this Important.

Recognition’ works wonders

Tell your vendors that his product or service has a success story; and they did well. This kind of affirmation will boost their morale of being in association with you. It helps.

Return all phone calls and emails

Return all phone calls and emails in a timely manner. It helps build stronger relationships with vendors. You will receive the same civility from them that sets your mood.

Building strong relations

Building strong relations in businesses are predominant to success. Your
relationship with your vendors goes both ways. Communication being the key, talking to vendors in right manner can change the quality of that relationship. You as a customer support their company and they, as your supplier, contribute to the success of yours.
Other factors and key points in hospitality procurement are to approach and choose the right vendor, indigenous or imported, spend value categorization, market surveys for day to day market trends and access to sourcing network building forums.


About the Author

Mr Y.K.Mehta has worked a decade-long tenure with Taj group during the 80s.
He expertise in Purchase, Admin and Exports. At present he is the the Chief Executive of Mehta Furnishers, known for making Baskets, Caddies,
Carts, Trolleys, Furniture and Hotel Accessories for Rooms, Housekeeping, Restaurant and other Verticals of Hospitality as OEM for some prominent hospitality brands.