Tackling the procurement ‘dilemma’

Finding the right supplier can be a challenge for any business, especially if sufficient time isn’t allocated to developing a procurement strategy that can be scaled across multiple sites. Change, it seems, has to come from within. FEJ reports.

A whopping 80% of business owners claim they face issues when working directly with suppliers, research from a leading purchasing body claims.

York-based Beacon, which helps hospitality and leisure businesses improve their profitability, found that issues such as trying to find the right supplier and having a lack of time to review their suppliers are affecting more than 80% of companies’ purchasing strategies — and ultimately their bottom line.

According to its study, 28% of business owners find that they have a lack of time for supplier reviews and price re-negotiations, leaving them unhappy with the cost of products and services, but with no easy way to improve the situation. Furthermore, 16% of those asked are frustrated by the poor quality of suppliers and 15% think they use too many suppliers, which has a knock on effect on the amount of time spent-on administration and paperwork.

The research also revealed that 21% of business owners find the process of searching for and eventually finding the right supplier is a real issue within their organisation, an initial hurdle which is difficult to overcome, taking up valuable time and resource.

Paul Connelly, director of operations at Beacon (pictured), says the results suggest that a lot of companies simply don’t have the resources to put a solid procurement strategy in place.

“We conducted this research to find out more about how businesses outside of our customer base purchase from suppliers, and specifically what issues they face day-to-day,” he comments. “These results show that many businesses are facing issues when working directly with suppliers, and not primarily due to poor service, but mainly down to a lack of time to invest in managing and maintaining a successful procurement strategy.”

Beacon works closely with more than 2,000 businesses in the hospitality, leisure and healthcare sectors to manage their purchasing strategies, taking the onus away from the business owner, and allowing it to utilise its expertise to ensure working relationships with suppliers are successful.

“We work with a large number of pre-qualified suppliers, which offers choice to our customers if problems should occur, while our rigorous application process ensures clients are confident in the negotiated commercial terms and service agreements in place — something that business owners find time-consuming and difficult,” says Connelly.

Beacon’s coverage extends to the catering equipment sector, where it has relationships with companies such as Lockhart Catering Equipment and Brakes Catering Equipment. At the end of last year, Beacon customers were able to benefit from an exclusive 20% off all light goods purchased with Lockhart over the value of £1,000.

The offer, which was double their normal discount, was arranged to help partners consolidate their orders ahead of the busy festive season so that they could ensure their catering equipment delivery was on time and in full.




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