The firm, which has 45 hotels across the UK – 13 of them in Scotland, said the web-based Multiple Operator Portal system from iTrade Network has given its head office full visibility of supplier transactions across the business, cutting down on the amount of day-to-day administration for its hotel managers.
The system, which was rolled out across the group within five weeks, is designed to allow all parties involved in the purchasing process – head office, individual outlets and suppliers – to share one view of agreed products and prices on which orders and invoices are based.
The online system removes the burden of ordering over the phone and the associated paperwork.
Enzo Bertolone, purchasing manager for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, said the system, which is expected to handle 70,000 orders a year for the firm, has brought greater control to purchasing across the group.
“With 45 hotels, it can be difficult to track what is being purchased at each hotel,” he said.
“The Multiple Operator Portal resolves this issue as it gives head office full visibility and control over what is being purchased.
“It also enables us to track suppliers’ compliance, streamline processes and increase efficiencies across the group.”
The new system has also proved a hit with the company’s hotel managers, according to Enzo.
“The Multiple Operator Portal is easy and user-friendly and allows hotel management teams to be more customer-focused and less involved in day-to-day administration.
“It removes the burden of placing orders over the phone and additional time on associated paperwork. Ordering is all done online, with orders and invoicing tracked at head office level.”
Macdonald Hotels & Resorts isn’t the only group to recognise the benefits brought by online purchasing.
Pool and snooker club group Rileys installed iTrade Network’s Multiple Operator Portal to enable head office to steer its 120 UK venues, ten of which are in Scotland, towards a more efficient way of buying.
Valerie Currie, purchasing controller for Rileys, said the online system has allowed head office to manage stock levels across the business.
“The Multiple Operator Portal gives us a fantastic opportunity to ensure our clubs only order head office-approved products,” she said.
“The new platform helps us in the purchasing of all our products, to maintain stock at the right levels and to know exactly what, when and the value of products across the business.
“It also frees up the time of our managers and allows them to be more customer-focused and use their time to run the business.
“Through the Multiple Operator Portal, Rileys has saved in excess of £100,000 within the first three months, all achieved through better stock management at unit level and minimising wastage.”
Alex Walters, sales director at iTrade Network, said online purchasing systems are designed to resolve the issues associated with controlling purchasing across a group of outlets.
“They help to financially maximise the benefits of each carefully-negotiated supplier contract throughout a network of outlets, as well as delivering powerful management information, time and resource efficiencies for head office personnel and making ordering much easier for local outlet managers,” he said.
“Effectively, they act as the operational website for the business.
“Through a company-branded website, the Multiple Operator Portal simply connects head office, outlets and suppliers on one ordering system.
“It is easily scalable and can manage all the complexities of food and beverage ordering across the supplier network, whether a group has five or 5000 outlets.”