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Sun 1 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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The step-by-step procurement guide

Mohammed Awad, purchasing manager, Zad Industries & Supplies in Jordan, explains the purchasing process from request to procurement, and the key components when searching for the right product

Kitchen staff must understand the complete purchasing process in order for the successful running of an outlet. For the purchasing team, there are three main factors that need to be kept in mind when searching for products: cost, quality, and delivery time.

There are a number of simple guidelines though that must be noted when it comes to purchasing. Firstly, if you are looking for a high-quality product, you should expect to pay a higher price for the goods. Secondly, a long waiting time for a product generally means a lower cost than next-day delivery. Where it is sourced from and its availability will also impact delivery times.

But a purchaser should not consider budgets and costs when initiating a search for an item, the initial emphasis is on finding the item and getting quotations. A good purchasing officer can then quickly source quality items with a minimum delivery time.

But this is just half the challenge. The purchasing team are always surrounded with requests from various departments within the catering facility, so it has to prioritise these requests by working closely with members of the catering team. To do this effectively, the team needs an understanding of the ingredients needed, and have good supplier relationships.

For purchasing managers that handle requests from a number of different outlets, it is important to know the levels of food each individual outlet offers its diners. For example, a company may request a daily lunch meal for US $10, while another company may want to provide the same meal for just $7. The quantity of food on offer is not necessarily any less, but the quality of ingredients will be different.

In such a case, it can be hard for a purchaser to decide what is required, and what they should prioritise. Therefore, the executive chef has to work closely with the purchasing team.

After all this, once the request has been authorised by the manager of the department, and the warehouse manager has placed the order, the procurement can be considered a success.

"The executive chef has to work closely with the puchasers"

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