In my experience, many operators are very weak at managing their vendors and their supply chain. As success in our industry is so dependent on volume, there are alot of gains to be made on the purchasing side of operations.

One simple idea, is to create a VIP (Vendor Information Package) for your operations. This is essentially a "rules of engagement" document for your vendors to do business with you.

I have found that if you clearly layout the expectations to your vendors, set strict but fair rules and measure against it, you can make fantastic gains in managing that side of your operations. After all, it is control that you are after. The only way to do that, is to improve expectations and communications.

In these days of market volatility, controlling costs is not only difficult, but frustrating. By managing your supply chain with some very simple procedures and a well written VIP, you may not be able to prevent raw material increases, but you can be notified in time to be able to make adjustments to your menus and also pass on this information to your customers.

Curious to know what others are doing about this part of their operations. Purchase orders? Contract negotiations with manufacturers? Negotiations with Distributors? Receiving processes?

Looking forward to your thoughts. If anyone wants to discuss how to create a simple VIP, let me know.

Tags: cost, food, inventory, management, purchasing, vendor

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Thanks Debra.... I have an example of a VIP kicking around in my files. I'll see if i can find it and post it up here for people to grab.... Thanks for the feedback.
Thanks FohBoh GPO. Just Fyi, many people commonly see my name as Eric, but it is Erle. Maybe I should change it to "Earl". lol...

In any event, the idea of a buying group is very powerful. No doubt. One comment on that; does the buying group have a VIP package? If not, I would love to help you set one up. Also, Software for supply chain management will be key in managing these relationships. I wonder if we could implement an application of our software to help your membership manage these relationships... just putting it out there... thanks for the feedback...

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