Effective procurement processes can have a significant impact on the success and profitability of hospitality businesses. Having a centralized procurement platform can drive value for owners, partners, and clients by easing operations, optimizing costs, and maximizing performance.
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Procurement is fundamental to achieving success in the hospitality industry — impacting everything from operating costs to supplier relationships and customer satisfaction — and yet this important function is often underappreciated and overlooked.
Procurement involves the process of sourcing the goods and services necessary for a hotel’s operation. This can include a wide range of items and services, from furniture and equipment to food and beverage supplies, housekeeping items, energy, and technology systems for property management.
“In recent years, the role of procurement has shifted from cost-cutting to business-enabling,” said Caroline Tissot, group chief procurement officer at Accor. “Procurement is an important element of Accor value proposition, and it plays a significant role in delivering on our sustainability commitments.”
The Role of Procurement Amid Today’s Hospitality Challenges
A dizzying array of variables come into play when managing operations for a large hotel group with a global footprint. Risks associated with climate change, political uncertainty, increased regulation, and inflation can be mitigated by enabling efficient procurement processes built around expertise, agility, and customer-centricity.
“Our procurement teams play a key role in ensuring the Group’s agility and resilience, and addressing our hotels’ and owners’ business needs with the right context, be it working to mitigate the impact of inflation, anticipating and limiting the effects of product shortages, or, during the pandemic, negotiating with suppliers to help hotels adjust to reduced activity and sourcing products to meet hygiene requirements,” Tissot said.
Managing this complex set of challenges requires an approach that leverages Accor’s global scale while tapping into local and regional partnerships via 30 offices across the Group’s global footprint.
Accor’s One-Stop Shop for Procurement
Looking beyond cost optimization, Accor’s team of more than 260 procurement experts is invaluable in helping streamline operations through Astore, the Group’s “one-stop procurement shop” offering best-in-class and sustainable products and services for customers worldwide. Maintaining stringent processes and third-party controls that help mitigate supply chain risks, the team works with more than 5,000 global and local suppliers.
“All of our hotels can have access to offers sourced, co-designed, and negotiated by Astore experts and covering most of their needs, Tissot said. “From construction and pre-opening needs to renovations and daily operations, the platform supports over 8,000 clients globally, including Accor hotels and external establishments.”
This process is streamlined through a custom-built digital ecosystem incorporating advanced data management tools.
“Astore has revolutionized the hospitality industry by consolidating offers for guest technology, food and beverage, supplies, furniture, fixtures, and equipment into a single digital tool,” Tissot said. “This innovative approach allows us to comprehensively address most hospitality needs while simultaneously providing access to competitive prices in the market. We make sure to buy products and services that respect each hotel’s brand standards and align with Accor’s values, including our extensive sustainability commitments,” Tissot said.
Why Procurement Is Central to Accor’s Sustainability Commitments
In addition to easing operations, optimizing costs, and maximizing performance, procurement helps animate Accor’s sustainability commitments and contributes to embedding sustainability across the Group’s activities — sourcing plastic-free products, engaging with local food suppliers, delivering low-carbon and food waste solutions, and stepping up supply chain compliance with high sustainability standards.
“Procurement is an essential component of Accor’s sustainability transformation, helping the company deliver on its commitment to protect the planet and support and empower the communities in which we live and work,” Tissot said. “Accor’s commitment to sustainability is so strong that it impacts everything we do, especially as we progress toward our goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050. While informed strategy and bold aspirations are no doubt crucial to meeting these commitments, procurement is vital to transforming this vision into reality, while also preserving the quality of the guest experience and optimizing costs.”
To further this ambitious goal, Astore’s procurement team has activated a progress plan to measure and track the carbon maturity of each supplier over time.
“Procurement is essential to Accor’s carbon roadmap by sourcing green energy in liberalized markets and developing energy-saving solutions to help reduce consumption and decarbonize the supply chain,” Tissot said. “As we progress toward our 2050 goal, an increasing percentage of the energy needed for our hotels will come from wind and solar sources.”
In addition, Accor recently co-founded the Hospitality Alliance for Responsible Procurement (HARP), a new alliance between the world’s leading hospitality companies and group purchasing organizations. Through this initiative, Accor has mobilized its procurement expertise to help positively shape the wider industry through close collaboration and knowledge sharing.
As Accor’s portfolio continues to grow, its mandate to be a responsible steward of the planet will only become more important. “It’s going to be a tough road, but the strength and willingness of the procurement team provides confidence that we can be up to the challenge. The next time you stay in one of our hotels, remember to look around and consider where everything came from.”
For more information about Astore, Accor’s global procurement organization, click here.
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