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theatre restaurant reopening

HQ Theatres & Hospitality – a Real Procurement Story

The primary objective of a Pelican Procurement Manager is to ensure that you, as a Pelican client, pay the best value for the products you buy – and receive the right quality and service levels from your suppliers for the whole duration of your contract. 

As every organisation is different in the way it operates, with varying in-house resources and expertise, the Pelican team work as extension of your existing team, providing you with the level of support you need.

This example demonstrates the extent of support and value our team has provided during these difficult and challenging times.

The recent pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on most business sectors, and forced business owners and partners to make rapid and devastating decisions to enable them to respond to lockdown measures and temporary closures. In many cases this has included placing the majority of employees on furlough and relying on skeleton staff who have then faced a challenging and demanding time, covering for their peers and responding to situations that they have never previously faced. 

This was the case for HQ Theatres & Hospitality (HQT&H), a leading regional theatre, venue and hospitality/conference operator with 12 venues including theatres, cafes and pubs/restaurants across UK.

Mia Westwood, dedicated Pelican Procurement Manager for HQ Theatres & Hospitality (HQT&H), supports the HQT&H team and has day-to-day contact with Mark Hollington, their Hospitality Director. 

This is Mia’s story of her journey, supporting HQT&H during the lockdown – resolving challenges that enabled the HQ team to focus on their future planning and strategy for recovery. Later, she prepared them to emerge post-lockdown – putting processes in place and providing solutions that add real value to the client’s business in the future. 

Dealing with Supplier payments

On 16 March 2020, HQT&H locked down all their venues following government guidelines. All suppliers were personally telephoned to advise them of the closures, and to ensure lines of communication were kept open. Mia then followed up with every supplier to discuss payment terms, ensuring accounts were not put on hold.  

Mia communicated and worked closely with HQ Theatres finance team and all suppliers to ensure a plan was in place which was acceptable and supportive to all concerned.

Controlling spend

HQT&H are using the Pi system to place orders with suppliers online. However, after the closure HQT&H wanted to restrict spend, so Mia liaised with the Pelican Pi team to put measures in place to stop sites placing orders.

Managing the supply chain relationship

On 30 March, Mark was furloughed, and HQT&H was managed by a small head office team who were very busy dealing with many aspects of the business. Mia has picked up day-to-day supplier issues, ensuring the relationships remained on good terms ahead of HQT&H returning after the lockdown.  

One of the tasks that Mia undertook was that she arranged for the nominated supplier to collect unopened alcohol and soft drink stock from sites, and credit this back to HQT&H.

Getting ready for re-opening

Mark returned on 1 June, primarily to focus on event business, and HQ were also working towards opening their pubs in line with Government approval. Mia worked with the team to ensure all supplier accounts were opened, so all the pubs were able to trade, liaising directly with each supplier to ensure any outstanding balance was cleared in time for the first orders. Subsequently, we have re-instated all the sites to place orders with suppliers and pay via Pelican’s Pi supplier system.

One of the HQT&H café sites was buying items from Costco/Bookers (outside of the Pelican contract) but they were struggling to find stock and the time to go to the shops. So, Mia has obtained their purchasing requirements, re-negotiated prices with suppliers and added those to the contract list, ensuring the site can receive all their goods on time and benefit from the best value. 

September theatre café reopening

Mia ensured all required suppliers accounts were open and ready for trade. She worked with the HQT&H team and their contracted wholesaler to create a one-stop shopping basket, enabling sites to order all products they need from one supplier, reducing the number of deliveries. This process involved adding more products to the contract price file, ensuring the pricing is competitive, and opening up the range to ensure a site can order all products it needs.

Finding additional savings

Mia has put together a proactive proposal to identify additional savings across product categories including Wine, Spirits & Soft drinks, Wholesale and Butchery. 

Furthermore, Mia discussed other product category areas (not currently managed by Pelican) that can be reviewed to identify potential additional savings to HQT&H, including waste, utilities and lighting.

Automatic tracking of budget spend

Mia introduced other modules of the Pi system to help the HQT&H team control their spend across the whole business. Piggybank, for example, has been specifically developed to help track spend against budgets. 

Mark Hollington

Mark comments: “Through the Covid times, HQT&H and I have realised how much easier it was to manage our supply chain with the support from Mia and the wider Pelican team. We see Pelican as a valuable asset to our business, a strategic partner and part of the HQT&H team.”

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