The buying devil is in the detail, says Lynx

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Rachel Dobson, managing director of Lynx Purchasing, explains how the buying specialist’s new insight guide can aid in the successful running of a hospitality business.

Few hospitality businesses would survive for long if they didn’t keep a very close eye on the money going into the till, yet it’s surprising how many pay little or no attention to what is coming into the business via the back door route, in terms of deliveries from suppliers.

Lynx Purchasing’s new insight guide, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Purchasing Teams, sums up one of the most important buying habits as “The Devil’s in the Detail”.

To ensure that the business gets not only what it needs, but also what it has paid for, there need to be systems in place, as well as people whose job it is to implement those systems and deal with the details.

For example, who checks supplier price lists against invoices to make sure the business hasn’t been overcharged? Prices change all the time, especially for fresh produce, and suppliers are often quicker to implement new pricing in an invoice than they are to make sure every customer is ordering from most up-to-date price list.

Who counts and weighs products coming in at the kitchen door? It makes sense to check that 6kg of tomatoes isn’t 5.5kg, a case of 63 lemons isn’t ten short, and products such as cauliflowers and peppers aren’t undersized. Make sure your suppliers know that you check deliveries, too – it helps them to focus on accuracy when picking and packing orders.

It’s also worth ensuring that you purchase the most cost effective case or pack size for your business; and always analyse gross versus net pricing when it comes to meat and fish.

For example, one Lynx Purchasing customer, the executive chef of a gastropub, asked for a review of cocktail prawns. Lynx Purcashing looked at six options with different prices and ice glazes. Once defrosted and re-weighed, they found that the most expensive pack was actually the best value per portion size.

There needs to be structured menu planning and costing. The free Lynx Purchasing GP App for Apple and Android devices makes calculating menu costs simple.

For details, go to www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk/purchasing-expertise/gp-calculator-app/.

You can download a free copy of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Purchasing Teams at www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk/seven-habits-highly-effective-purchasing-teams/.

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