How a business responds to challenging times is very often a better measure of its robustness than how it operates when things are going well. The first weeks of 2018 have shown, if anyone really needed more convincing, that the catering and hospitality sector is in for a bumpy ride this year.
Several high profile eating out brands have announced that they will be closing branches or scaling back on expansion, and more have sounded warning notes when updating the City on their trading.
Costs are increasing due to multiple factors – currency depreciation, minimum wage and business rates increases, weather and changing patterns of global demand are all factors. Perhaps most importantly, the industry is in an inflationary cycle for the first time in many years – and for younger business owners, managers and chefs, for the first time in their careers.
Fortunately, there are also some experienced hands who’ve been through this before. At Lynx Purchasing, we see inflation as an opportunity to persuade operators to replace bad purchasing habits with good ones, and in doing so maintain margins or even increase them.
So, what do we mean by bad purchasing habits? When the market is strong and customers are knocking at the door, it’s easy to become complacent. So, during 2018 we’re focusing on what we call the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Purchasing Teams – tried and trusted tactics that should be in every operator’s armoury in the current tough market.
Our newly published insight guide looks at the Seven Habits in detail, including real-world examples of ways in which our customers have improved their buying and made substantial saving by applying them. Whether you operate a hotel, bar, restaurant, pub, cafe or care home, the Seven Habits provide tools and tips to help you buy better and save money in every area of the business:
- Beware The Sacred Cows: When it comes to purchasing, no product, ingredient, service or supplier should be sacred. Compare prices and look around for other options.
- Keep It Strictly Business: Strong relationships with suppliers doesn’t mean getting too close and cosy. Compare prices and know which other suppliers are out there.
- The Devil’s In The Detail: Have systems in place to make sure you are getting exactly what you pay for as well as buying what’s best for the business. Such as checking price lists against invoices, and checking and weighing deliveries.
- All Budgets Are Equal: Necessities – from cleaning products to pest control, lighting and office stationery – often escape buying scrutiny. Making a change here could be an easy win with no customer impact.
- Provenance Isn’t Always King: Local is a great story for the menu but businesses can lose sight of true costs – and value – of buying from local suppliers.
- Test Traditions: Just like habits, there are good traditions and bad ones – “this is the way it’s done because we have always done it this way” isn’t a good enough reason in itself.
- Always Review Renewals: it’s easy let contracts roll over, especially if you and your managers are happy with the service. Never automatically renew a contract, call for competitive quotes on everything from utilities to waste management.
You can download a free copy of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Purchasing Teams from our website at https://www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk/resources/seven-habits-highly-effective-purchasing-teams/. We’ll also be looking at each of these effective habits in much more detail is a series of blogs in the months ahead, so stay tuned!
If you want to find out more about how you can tap into the experience and expertise of the Lynx team to help you make the most of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Purchasing Teams, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01325 710143.