Procurement: Quality, Service and Cost

Dublin’s Temple Bar Inn has been operating since 2014. Situated, as the name might imply, in Temple Bar, it has been a very busy establishment since the doors were opened. With 101 rooms it is in the perfect location for visitors to ‘do the city on foot’ from their comfortable base on Fleet Street.

For the staff this means a busy unit where the focus is often very front of house. Visitors typically want to get in and get out. They want suggestions and recommendations on what to do in Dublin and they want go out and do it. Accordingly, there is less need for an emphasis on the hotel’s own facilities (there’s no full bar or all-day restaurant – the hotel only does breakfast).

Our interviewee, Naomi Lynch, General Manager, has been there from the start. She agrees that a busy hotel of this size with such a high number of guests most certainly requires a lot of attention at the front desk. But as any hotel staff will know, it is equally important to be on top of what is going on behind the scenes, and that the hotel’s interactions with its suppliers are just as important as its contact with its customers.

This is where Trinity Purchasing has been of tremendous value to the hotel. Trinity is an international procurement organisation that focuses on the hospitality industry, offering members considerable savings through collective purchasing activities. The company works with over 800 affiliated hotels and restaurants in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Finland and Dubai, with a portfolio covering all hospitality sectors.

The recent acquisition of the business by Avendra (itself owned by Aramark – Ireland’s leading contract catering and facilities management business), is exciting for all concerned & will only make Trinity Purchasing more suitable & more powerful for their customers.

Naomi told us: “At the outset Trinity proceeded with routine inspections and audits of our suppliers and items ordered to ensure that we were buying competitively in each department.”

In several cases, she went on to explain, it was not necessary to change suppliers in order to secure the target savings, but, “Trinity also introduced our business to suppliers that we would not have known of beforehand”.

The predominant area of savings for the hotel has been in the food and beverage department, which was surprising to Naomi. “Food and beverage is definitely an area in which most cost effective changes can be made and where we have considered changing suppliers the most,” Naomi said.

When it comes to changing suppliers, Naomi said: “It all comes down to quality, service and cost” – proving that the relationships with suppliers are not based purely on money.

“I have experienced resistance from some departments about moving long term suppliers to cheaper alternatives in the past,” she continued. “There is always an element of apprehension if some moves will work out for the better all around and not just as a cost saving initiative.”

Professionalism is also important to Naomi, and Trinity Purchasing delivers on this. “Brian has been our rep for one year and all dealings have been professional and efficient,” she said, adding: “The process of actually moving certain suppliers is always smooth”.

There is however, always the possibility of changing back to original suppliers depending on what is on offer in terms of pricing and service, but Naomi states that: “The more cost efficient suppliers have shown, in some of our cases, higher levels of service and product quality and therefore we would be unwilling or unlikely to revert back to originals,” indicating a clear benefit for those who use Trinity Purchasing.

The benefits of working with Trinity Purchasing are many, including a completely free and no-commitment audit before hand to assess where the business can save, as well as negotiations with suppliers on behalf of the business, ensuring the best price around for those in the hospitality industry. There are also ongoing assessments to ensure the best price possible, as well as continuous monitoring of all expenditure.

“There are no initial start up costs and no fees for businesses, and company representative Brian is always only a phone call away,” Naomi explained.  “So it is well worth it for businesses to investigate the potential savings that they could accrue working in conjunction with Trinity.”

Food for Thought – FFT.ie will talk to to other businesses with experience of group purchasing in the coming periods. But if you have any questions about how it works in the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thanks for reading. Now click this link to learn more & start saving.


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