The relationships you have with your suppliers is about far more than simply getting the best value for your money. The concept of Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) is a complex topic which requires the building and maintaining of long-term relationships for continued success.
A good supplier relationship which you can rely on saves you the time and stress of having to renegotiate contracts or continually find new suppliers. This increased efficiency will have a positive impact on your hotel’s overall efficiency and, ultimately, your ability to provide the best possible service for your guests.
To help you establish a successful SRM strategy, here are four ways to keep your hotel suppliers on side.
1. Invest in the right technology
Being aware of the right technology can make SRM more efficient and more effective in several ways. For example, some software will provide your suppliers with the ability to interact with their suppliers 24/7 or to find the information they need without having to spend time calling or emailing and waiting for a response.
Through a portal of this kind, your supplier can manage budgets or see the latest contracts and documentation in one location. Some SRM technology will enable you to track your suppliers and the supply chain over time to identify the best relationships and areas of inefficiency or risks to consider.
The more straightforward you can make the working relationship for both you and the supplier, the higher the likelihood of success on both sides. You could recommend the best SAP support portal to your supplier and work to find solutions to improve your relationship with the supplier in other ways too.
2. Help the supplier understand your guests
From the towels and toiletries in your rooms to your Internet service, every aspect of your hotel is under scrutiny and can significantly impact whether or not a guest chooses to return. What’s more, online review platforms have made it easier than ever before for guests to broadcast their findings for good or bad.
Make sure that your marketing and procurement teams are in constant communication to identify any issues which suppliers need to be aware of. This will help the supplier to understand the needs and expectations of your guests so they can continue to meet your standards and you won’t need to have uncomfortable conversations later on.
3. Maintain consistency in the relationship
While multiple departments in your hotel need to work in collaboration, it’s best if one person, team or department manages the procurement process. This means suppliers have a consistent contact who can build a rapport with them, manage a central budget and make sure that the supply chain is fully coordinated. If individual departments are approaching suppliers separately, this could lead to confusion and inefficiency.
4. Prepare for supplier meetings
Take time to research and understand your suppliers before you meet with them. This might include finding out about their profit margins, their challenges, and their processes. The more informed you are, the more you will be able to establish a mutually beneficial relationship and the more confident you will seem in negotiations. Try to find a personal connection with the individuals which will demonstrate you are in the relationship for the long term, not just for financial reasons.