Perfect purchasing: Kumar of Novotel Visakhapatnam shares details

Allada Ramesh Kumar, Purchase Manager, Novotel Visakhapatnam, Varun Beach talks about purchase

Purchase, Purchasing, Purchase Manager, Novotel Visakhapatnam, Interview

Allada Ramesh Kumar, purchase manager, Novotel  Visakhapatnam, Varun Beach talks about key aspects, challenges and measures undertaken for an effective purchase

What is the most crucial part of purchasing in today’s dynamic market scenario?

In a contemporary hotel setting, ‘hygiene plays a major role when it comes to defining standards and procedure. Hygiene, as a concept, comes into play at the stage when we buy commodities. Although we educate and provide regular training to vendors, somehow, they fail to deliver 100 per cent hygienic material. In such a scenario, the purchase team plays a crucial role while balancing quality and quantity, both of which are equally essential to run a hotel.

What are the vendor compliance systems you have initiated to save costs?

We refer to yearly tendering advertisement released in newspapers, which is transparent and open to all. We get a fair amount of deals there, as there is no chance of favouritism. We also look for direct sources, from where we can derive maximum cost benefit by saving other hidden expenses. The other way is by developing local vendors, so we save not just money but also time. Replacement of international brands with ‘Made in India’ products depends on their availability and the feasibility. Strong negotiation skills and access to multiple supply options offer purchase managers confidence while negotiating with vendors to get the best deals out of them.

How do you identify high-risk vendors? What are the various measure and procedures that have been introduced at the property?

The purchases for which the lead time required is a bit higher than what is needed, and those areas where we have only limited options available, have been identified as ‘high-risk vendors’. Based on what needs to be purchased, the lead time and its consumption, we identify few things and fix the PAR level (Periodic Automatic Replenishment), that has been followed by us in a tracker, which we refer to as ‘Critical Item List’. We monitor these critical items on a weekly basis. Also, we treat all vendors who deal in perishables as high-risk vendors, especially the one’s dealing with meat and frozen products. For perishables we follow a checklist and also maintain records such as temperature record, in-house lab test report, rejection report, regular vendor site audits and vendor meets to avoid risk of food spoilage and food poisoning.

How do you train your team to follow procedures for smooth coordination in supply chain management?

I prefer to opt for on-the-job training rather than impart classroom training for my team, so that people will learn and understand fast. I usually conduct situational based training for the area depending on the need of improvement, by using an effective feedback method for their performance. I ensure that the team is aware of their weakness and strength, so that they can learn fast and understand the system and procedure.

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