Technology has had a huge impact on the way hoteliers and others in the hospitality industry approach supply chain management. Thanks to new innovations in customer data and inventory tracking, purchasing specialists are able to create better systems for procuring their hospitality supplies. A more streamlined supply chain translates into lower operating costs that requires less time to manage. Further, having an efficient and more stable supply chain directly effects customer experiences in a positive way, leading to an increase in overall customer satisfaction and, ultimately, an increase in repeat business.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a system of tracking inventory movement throughout its lifecycle. RFID labels can be placed on virtually anything and do not require manual hand-scanning for inventory to be tracked. This allows procurement officers to accurately track everything from customer consumables to maintenance supplies in real time. Utilizing RFID for asset tracking gives businesses greater control over their inventory, helps cut down on waste, and allows for more efficient purchasing. Because the flow of inventory is tracked digitally, there is less need for “hands-on” inventory management, freeing up employees to focus on other tasks.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the multitude of devices we use every day that send and receive data via an internet connection. The IoT is set to completely revolutionize the way the hospitality industry manages their operations and supply chain. Hotels already use these smart devices in a number of ways. Internet-enabled thermostats, for example, can be signaled to turn on air conditioners at the time a guest checks in. Guests arrive at an air-conditioned room, but HVAC systems aren’t running unnecessarily when the room is unoccupied. In the near future, it may even be possible for these types of devices to intuitively trigger purchase orders or notify management when equipment requires maintenance.

Big Data

The biggest asset technology has to offer businesses is data. Big Data gives hotels valuable insights into their customers’ behavior, allowing them to establish the lifetime value of a guest and offer them more individualized service. Many businesses already use Big Data for customer relationship management, but there are opportunities use data to improve operations as well. The wealth of information gathered from asset tracking systems and smart devices allows procurement managers to vastly improve their purchasing performance by way of streamlined supplier relationship management and inventory maintenance. Purchasing service organizations, like Source1 Purchasing, also use item tracking systems to help simplify client and supplier interactions, manage fixed pricing structures, and track manufacturer rebates.

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