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‘Annual conference will chalk out 3-year-strategy for training and development’

Monday, September 11, 2017, 17:23 Hrs  [IST]

Hospitality Purchasing Managers’ Forum (HPMF), the largest body of hotel purchase managers in the country, will be meeting in Jodhpur between September 14 and 16 for their seventh Anniversary and Conference. Hospitality Biz spoke to Nitin Nagrale, Founder & General Secretary of the Forum to understand the preparations of the anniversary celebrations, its key highlights, and how it would be guiding the fraternity for future challenges.

Q Going into its 7th anniversary, what has been HPMF’s contribution in educating and elevating the standards of procurement managers?
I am seriously glad that I am an integral part of the HPMF. We have grown in leaps and bounds by becoming almost 1500 strong in 2017 from just three members in 2010. It’s a matter of pride that the fraternity finds value in HPMF. It has not become just because of passing years but because of dedicated efforts of many HPMF members. We are celebrating the seventh anniversary at Jodhpur from September 14th to 16th and it will set standards for industry events.

HPMF through its online portal, Google groups and through WhatsApp groups continuously ensures sharing of knowledge, information and facts. Many members have got to know many new things which they were not aware of through these groups. I will give an example of GST roll out last month. HPMF created a list of HSN codes of items specifically required for the hospitality industry and the same were circulated to the members. We organised several seminars on GST which resulted in easy penetration of the law. We also created a specialist certification course from AHLEI for the hospitality procurement managers in the world namely CHPM. I am once again proud that the first few CHPMs are from India!

Under the theme, ‘Seven Elements Of The Universe’, we will try to bring PM’s of different organisations at the convention. The synergy, coordinated efforts and the passion will lead to better environment in hospitality procurement.

Q How procurement functions of hotels has evolved over time? Has the advent of modern communication technology and tools made the procurement process easy or challenging?
Procurement is an integral part of the growth and it also has evolved along with the industry. The advent of modern communication technology and tools made the procurement process both easy and challenging. Easy because it’s not possible to do video calling and negotiate the deals without actually meeting the vendor in person, easy because emails can be sent in fraction of seconds and you don’t have to wait for the letters/ couriers or faxes to go to the vendors, easy because the approval processes in materials management processes are available online unlike the previous years where we had to waste time in obtaining signatures from all dedicated signatories, also easy because the online training tools available for SCM makes the team members perfect unlike previous years physical trainings.

But it also has become difficult and challenging due to easy access of information to everyone, because people do not have patience anymore and they expect replies as soon as the emails are sent, difficult because the world has become too scary due to cyber crime possibilities and data is no more secure, lastly I feel it’s also challenging as the modern communication technology and tools are creating a lot of e-pollution and e-waste which is very harmful to the mother earth.

Q What are the different ways a procurement manager can make a difference to the overall profitability and RoI to the organisation, and how that is understood by the hotel management?
Procurement manager is an integral part of success or failure of the hotel. He/ she must be aware of the local market, domestic suppliers and international avenues for supplies. He/ she must ensure that the latest trends are followed, new procurement methods are introduced, staff are always trained and trusted, government policies, notifications, rules, etc. are followed so that there is no miss while reading in between the lines, relationship with the user departments and suppliers are given top most priority so that any issue can be resolved without wasting time and energy.

Nowadays, the hotel managements have become more friendly and approachable and they also consider procurement as a prime function like any other operational department for implementation of game changing strategies for the hotel.

Q Vendor management and supply chain management are critical functions of a procurement manager, while fulfilling this role, how one can maintain transparency so that credibility is not compromised?
Vendor management is an integral part of the supply chain management process. The cycle doesn’t get completed without involving the vendors as they are the most important pillar of the process. A successful procurement manager has to be a successful relationship manager or he/ she will fail as a procurement manager. The quality and timeliness of the goods and services delivered at the hotel are byproducts of vendor management. It also ensures the efficient pricing for the organisation.

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