Purchasing Power: Cluster Purchasing Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group Oman

Purchasing Power: Cluster Purchasing Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group Oman
Mohammad Al Wahaibi
Published: 16 December 2019 - 9:15 a.m.
By: Priyanka Praveen
How long have you been in this role?
I have been in this role for the last 18 years. I started as cost controller and then after a few years when the purchasing manager left the company, the management offered me that position. I was hesitant at that time and said that I will train as purchasing manager for three months and if the management is happy with my performance, I will take up the offer. It was a very challenging role. At the same time, everything that I know now, I owe it to that experience. After six months, the management officially offered me the job and I accepted it. The role has expanded through the years – I was also given the task to oversee other InterContinental Hotels Group hotels here in Oman including the Crowne Plaza Duqm and Crowne Plaza Oman Convention Exhibition Center.

What specific products are you on the lookout for?
We have always been supporting local products to be used in the day to day operations in the hotel. To further support this, we have participated in the ‘In Country Value’ programme – an initiative by OMRAN to support locally made and grown products. I took the initiative to lead our hotels here in IHG Oman to purchase Omani products as part of the Sultanate’s efforts to diversify the country’s economy. We have already started using main produce such as eggs, vegetables, chicken, and milk from country farms.

What challenges do you face at work?
As a purchasing manager, I worked in all departments and there are times that there will be last minute requests from the team. I understand the nature of our work, however, when these things happen I still need to provide them with the best quality of product in the shortest time possible. I guess, I am still lucky because I worked with really good suppliers here and in the region and I know that I can rely on them during these kinds of situations.

Tell us about one of your most successful deals?
What I can be really proud of is securing and implementing a single contractual rate for the four hotels under IHG Oman. With that I saved the company a total of $66,000 which include savings in consumable goods of about $23,000, chemical gas and waste management $6,000, contractual staffing and staff cafeteria cost $30,000, printing and stationery, $2,500, and new guest amenities $5,000. I was able to manage all these by limiting orders from purchasing out of Oman to awarding the contracts to local small medium enterprises in Oman through fruitful negotiation for bulk purchases for all current contract and effective dealings with the daily purchases for the group. This initiative has greatly supported as well local producers in showcasing their product to a wider market.

What does a supplier have to do to impress you?
Like any other purchasing manager or those in the procurement department, we all can agree that time is of the essence. For me, I greatly value professionalism and when they fulfil their promise – to provide the highest quality of the product and to deliver on time. I am also impressed when suppliers go out of their way to provide the product that we are looking for. This shows that he is committed to his job and at the same time he understands the demands of our industry.

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