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Logistics In F&B: Alwin Varghese, Cluster Purchasing Manager At Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights


Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights is home to one of the most fun spots to hang out in the emirate. In addition, a restaurant’s success depends on the warmth of its staff and the calibre of the food and drinks it serves, which facilitates a seamless logistics and supply chain. Housing restaurants like Belgium Beer Café, Lucky Voice, Hitchki, and Lock Stock and Barrel, to name a few, Logistics News ME brings forward a part of their behind-the-scenes operations.

Here is everything you want to know from Alwin Varghese, Cluster Purchasing Manager at Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights, as he talks us through the supply chain and logistics for many restaurants in the hotel…

  1. How necessary is proper due diligence about supply identification and evaluation for smooth supply chain management?

To maintain a smooth operation in supply chain management, it is essential to evaluate suppliers and their products before making any purchase. We always recommend seeing a physical sample of the requested products to pass our due diligence before deciding to examine quotes and finalize a purchase. This is to ensure we achieve the best desirable outcome from the purchased products of the selected suppliers.

  1. What are the different purchasing challenges you face?

The biggest challenges during any purchase include estimated delivery time and product quality. This remains a critical factor in purchasing the desired products as it can affect future relationships with suppliers if operations don’t go as planned. Late deliveries cause unnecessary delays that prove to be unsatisfactory. Quality of products is also important to us as it can affect the hotel’s overall operations about not only guest complaints but also several other departments, such as engineering and F&B, and many more within the hotel.

  1. What policies/ elements have you adapted at Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights for a smooth implementation of logistical operations?

To follow a smooth implementation of logistical operations, we make sure to purchase products when the store needs more than those items or at least 20 days before the event date. This allows us enough time to revise and review products before they reach our guests and to ensure we prevent unnecessary delays and costs. By adequately implementing operations from our selected suppliers, we can build long-term relationships, which helps better communication and trust between the two parties.

  1. How does supplier consolidation support the smooth functioning of Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights?

We have a list of suppliers we usually order from, and these are based on continuous years of built trust, previous purchases and the credit terms we have set. This is an essential factor for us as we can maintain a smooth, long-term relationship and achieve desirable satisfactory outcomes through time and costs for the hotel.

  1. How does purchasing power play a vital role in the hospitality industry?

We understand that purchasing takes a huge responsibility to maintain a smoothly running, lucrative hotel. The hotel always has unique needs that are not shared by any other industry. Therefore, we follow a set line of processes through our brand standards and initial procedures to reduce costs, ensure quality, productivity and stability are maintained and are on par with what our guests and clients expect from our business.

  1. When do you make a supplier a partner?

Choosing a desired supplier as a partner is challenging as it requires a lot of negotiations and communications for the selected products. We make a supplier a partner when we reach a desired set level of transactions and are promised to supply the same product with the same quality standards we agreed on with our initial purchase. Becoming a partner requires high reliability, responsiveness and flexibility to maintain smooth operations and achieve desired success for the business.

  1. How do you focus on aligning procurement as a business function with overall business objectives?

We are keeping close track of changing business goals and priorities. As a well-connected team, we are very well aware of the needs and wants before we send out any inquiry. We always set procurement KPIs to ensure every single one reflects not just a procurement goal but an organizational one. We also conduct regular and ongoing “alignment checks” to ensure procurement activity remains relevant and focused on the right things.

  1. Any specific features or issues you would like to convey?

The current market is saturated with many suppliers providing the same product. This is a challenge as initially, they would offer an excellent quality product for decent pricing, but they need to assure a set standard on either of those points for future orders. They always compromise on quality or price, forcing us to look for better suppliers in the market.

From Logistics News ME January 2023 Issue.

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