Lilo blog

Do You Have Visibility In Your Hotel Purchases?

hospitality purchases - why visibilty matters for hoteliers


From guest room supplies and amenities to maintenance equipment and office supplies, hotel purchases encompass a wide variety of products and services.

Without a bird’s-eye view of these purchases, hotels risk overspending, inefficient inventory management, and even compliance issues.

Many hotels still rely on traditional purchasing methods, which often involve multiple vendors, manual processes, and limited data analysis.

However, if hoteliers have little or no visibility into what’s being ordered, how often, at what cost, and why, it’s safe to say they lack control over their expenditures. 

Signs of the Lack of Visibility in Hotel Purchases

  • Maverick spending: Managers in various departments often bypass established procedures to buy hotel supplies.
  • Poor inventory management: Your property has experienced overstocking or stock-outs in the past year. 
  • No cost control: Uncontrolled purchases lead to wasteful spending. When your employees are unaware of negotiated pricing or preferred suppliers, they might order unnecessary supplies or buy them at higher prices.
  • Compliance risks: Having failed to adhere to purchasing policies and regulations has exposed your hotel to legal and financial penalties in the past.
  • Inefficient processes: Misplaced invoices, duplicate orders, or inaccurate data entries – do these problems sound familiar?

Why Veteran Hotel GMs Prioritize Transparency in Hotel Purchases

Hotels, large and small, stand to accrue numerous benefits if they implement processes and systems that provide complete visibility into routine hotel purchases.

When the hotel management knows what’s being purchased and when, it is easy to optimize inventory levels and avoid stock-outs or overstocking that disrupt operations, disappoint guests, and affect your bottom line.

A transparent hospitality procurement system like Lilo allows you to analyze historical data, identify spending patterns, and pinpoint areas for potential savings.

For instance, you might discover that a particular vendor consistently offers higher prices for cleaning supplies compared to competitors. With clear visibility in hotel procurement software, you can negotiate better rates or explore alternative suppliers to save more on hotel supplies each month.

You can also identify areas where bulk purchasing hotel supplies might be advantageous. 

Enforcing purchasing policies and procedures through custom order guides not only saves time on reordering but also ensures compliance with regulations and minimizes legal and financial risks. 

Needless to mention, digital hospitality purchase orders also reduce administrative overhead as they eliminate the need for paper forms and manual data entry. 

Can a Centralized Hospitality Purchasing System Help?

Hotels can leverage technology with an e-procurement platform like Lilo to automate and streamline purchasing processes. 

A cutting-edge e-procurement solution, purpose-built for hoteliers, allows hotel GMs, housekeeping managers, and other leadership roles within a hotel to monitor all purchases in real time through a single, unified dashboard. 

This level of transparency is akin to having a dedicated procurement department staffed by experienced hospitality purchasing consultants, who: 

  • Leverage their expertise (and volume) to secure bulk discounts, wholesale rates, and favorable terms with suppliers.  
  • Develop purchase guides so that you can control (and maintain consistency in) what can be purchased, from whom, and at what prices. 
  • Route all purchase orders through a single system so that hoteliers can track and monitor a single invoice.
  • Analyze your spending patterns across different categories, suppliers, and locations to identify areas for consolidation or cost reduction.
  • Use purchasing data to optimize inventory levels and reduce waste or overstocking.

Nurturing a Culture of Cost-Consciousness

Consolidating hospitality procurement with a robust platform like Lilo makes it easy for hoteliers to implement best practices for hotel purchases and ensures accountability for every purchase, no matter how small (like a single case of shampoo).

But, savvy hoteliers often go beyond mere consolidation through hotel procurement software.

They actively communicate cost-saving initiatives, successes, and challenges to all managers to foster a culture of transparency. 

They also take all steps necessary to train and encourage employees involved in purchasing processes to identify cost-saving opportunities and suggest areas for improvement.