A six-year old Edinburgh business that has made procurement more efficient for leading names in the UK’s £84 billion* hospitality sector has been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.

Procure Wizard, which has received the award in recognition of its commercial innovation, has revolutionised many of the leading hotel chains and high street restaurant operators by providing a dynamic online purchasing portal that has helped modernise the procurement cycle, delivering improved efficiency and reduced costs.

The company, which was founded in 2009 by William Gorol, an award-winning hotelier with over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, now employs 25 people at offices in Loanhead, Edinburgh and Birkenhead, Liverpool with ambitious plans to double in size over the next two years.

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“Traditional telephone ordering and paper invoicing are still the norm in the hospitality industry,” explains Gorol, “this makes controlling live costs both challenging and time-consuming; to put it simply, keeping tabs on what has been ordered and spent should be straightforward. When we started up, it was clear that technology could add much needed profit improvement whilst simultaneously relieving labour intensive and manual processes. Just 0.05% of the 1.5 million hospitality businesses in the UK used online technology in 2009, so we knew the potential for Procure Wizard was huge.”

Since starting, the company has attracted an impressive, high profile client list including hotel groups such as QHotels, Macdonald Hotels, The Hotel Collection, Village Hotels and Principal Hayley. Across all sectors, Procure Wizard clients make up almost 10,000 active users who between them send over £12 million a week in purchase orders and invoices via the portal.

Simon Hocking, Group Financial Controller at QHotels commented: “Procure Wizard has allowed us to manage suppliers and food stocks but, most importantly, it has significantly streamlined our accounting systems and the simplicity of order creation to invoice matching and price comparison at the time of ordering is exceptional.

“William and his team are always more than happy to help with any further enhancements required. Procure Wizard provides instant management information including operational margins and spend versus budget, enabling us to make informed decisions that will improve our profit margins, very important in these very demanding of times!”

The Procure Wizard portal has extensive functionality, including streamlining price negotiations with suppliers, setting pre-defined authority limits for both spend and products available and eliminating off-contract spend. In addition, automatic price comparison can be provided at point of order, including the analysis of alternative brands & pack sizes, and splitting orders to the best value supplier. Procure Wizard can now deliver a comprehensive solution that streamlines accounts payable; provides expenditure controls in all departments; aids operational visibility; and provides the tools to improve user performance and company profitability. It can also be seamlessly integrated with existing accounting systems.

“The Queen’s Award is really exciting for a young business like us and a real recognition for our biggest asset – our employees who are the drivers of the innovation,” comments Gorol.

Since launching in 2010, the company has developed a suite of complementary modules including menu engineering, cellar management, laundry control and time and attendance.

“It has always been our strategy to recruit young innovative developers and support staff who have independence of mind and an ability to adapt and change in short time frames. Our developers are led by our clients and follow their strategic direction, which has resulted in game changing functionality that has pushed the boundaries of our industries technology. The fact that the core team who developed the initial system in 2010 are all still with us shows we are getting lots of things right and this is a reward for all of their hard work.

*Source: British Hospitality Association

See coverage placed by the Astute team on Hospitality & Catering News and Business Quarter.