We interviewed: Allen Gingrich, Atlanta District Manager
Having a clear, up-to-the-minute understanding of the financial health of small, standalone business can be a challenge – especially if there is no formal purchasing process in place. Emails, receipts, credit card statements, all can easily get lost in the shuffle of the daily grind and cause costly bottlenecks for managers and executives.
Just ask Stablegold Hospitality. Before Stablegold – owners and operators of numerous hotels, residential properties and convention centers Vancouver, Atlanta and London – implemented Procurify, the company was wasting time with an inefficient approval chain. Stablegold also struggled getting real-time visibility in its spending. No longer. Because of Procurify, Stablegold is now saving admin time and increasing its margins. Not bad.
Read on for more on how Procurify is helping Stablegold.
We’d like to start off with a discussion about your company. Can you describe what Stablegold Hospitality does?
Stablegold Hospitality is a real estate venture firm. We deal in everything from residential properties to commercial properties. As well, we have started to expand into areas such as public storage, parking – basically anything that involves property. We acquire properties and manage them.
Can you give us a sense of the history of the company, as well as the properties it runs? For instance, where is the company based and where are its properties located? How are those properties different (size, price point?)
We’re based in Vancouver, Canada. We have five bed and breakfasts in Vancouver and a portfolio of residential properties. We have five hotels in London, England and several residential locations there as well. In London, are properties are similar to hostel lodging – travelers who rent a room because they need a place to lay their head for a month.
In Atlanta, on the other hand, we started with our first big hotel with 110 rooms. From there, we have organically grown to six hotels. The race has been on to acquire and grow the business. Our model property in Atlanta ranges from 110 room to 200 rooms in the budget price, extended stay model. Recently, we have added an event center to our Atlanta portfolio. We acquired 25,000 square-feet of events center. The complex has three facilities. What we’ve done is geared it toward birthdays, catering events and weddings. On Sundays, church services use the top two floors. The facility can really be catered to anyone’s needs.
Now for a two-part question about your organization’s purchasing process: Can you describe the size and scope size of your purchasing process? What do you order? How much do you order? And, who oversees it all?
In Atlanta, we have nearly 1,000 rooms, and we are in the budget price range, so our rooms get abused quite often. That goes for furniture and linens and so forth. All of the purchasing related used to be funneled through me and Ali Jamal, the owner of Stablegold. So, our managers would reach out to us, give us a list of everything they need and I would reach out to the vendors and oversee the negotiation and delivery. After that is done, I would run all of that up to Ali. It was a serious bottleneck.
Our spend is between $100,000 and $150,000 per month, when it comes to purchasing items. If you can imagine trying to coordinate that and filter that through all of those steps it was becoming a serious bottleneck for our organization. And for approvals, to track what’s going out, we were using Excel spreadsheets and emails and writing personal cheques. It was so time consuming that it became difficult to focus on expanding our organization. We were spending too much time on organizational bottlenecks.
Why did you choose Procurify? For instance, how else did Procurify help? Has it stabilized or improved your purchasing process?
We have been able to put in budgets and oversee all of our managers in a macro sense. Those budgets have been extremely helpful – we have separated them into labor, housekeeping, office supplies etc. That allowed us to see how much we were spending on each section and also create a threshold for spending. Because of the control Procurify has provided, we have seen budgets go down, margins go up and get our critical supplies quicker. And the whole process is very transparent. Our owner travels a lot, but he can access Procurify from wherever he is and see what is going on.
Procurify allows everything to be very streamlined and very quick, without having to engage in multiple conversations and track things manually. Procurify has been a real stabilizing factor – it has given us the power to set parameters and know right away whether we are over or under the parameters we have set.
Finally, Procurify is reasonably priced. We are a budget hotel chain and, at the end of the day, numbers are what drive us. A few dollars here and there allows us to do other things that help our hotels and that can have a big impact on us. Procurify is tremendous value for us.
Can you comment on Procurify’s user experience? We value our ease-of-use and clean design – has that been an important aspect of the software for you? And, how about Procurify’s customer success? Along with our dedication to design and user experience, we never waver in our dedication to customer success. How have your interactions with our customer success team been?
The platform has been very easy to use. And Procurify’s staff has been very helpful. Tech support has always been available to give me answers. Also, Procurify staff has been very helpful advising us how to establish practices and advise us on a better way to do things. Procurify has been very personable and attentive to our needs.
The responsiveness from Procurify’s customer success team has been incredible. I have dealt with numerous vendors over my tenure at Stablegold and Procurify’s tech support is infinitely responsive and always there. They have always solved my problems. It has truly made a world of difference for us.
How important is having remote access to Procurify for your company?
My boss, Ali Jamal, is overseeing our financials on a daily basis. He like to know every dollar and every penny going in and out of his account. But he is not based in just one location – he is working in the United States, he is working in Canada and London. He also travels extensively to look at new properties. By being able to work remotely and approve things on the fly with Procurify, productivity has increased tenfold.
Procurify has made his life, simply, a lot easier. He has more control than he did before. He is enabled to be anywhere and see what is coming in, what is going out and see where people are at within the budget makes him feel very comfortable and, ultimately, makes the guest feel more comfortable because we are able to ensure we have everything we need on hand.
If you were the star of the next Procurify commercial and you had to deliver a final message on why Stablegold uses Procurify – what would that message be?
Increased productivity, increased profit margins and transparency of our finances and inventory. And I must reference Procurify’s tech support – being there 24 hours per day with help and quick response times has been great. Lastly, the remote access – being able to access Procurify on your phone from anywhere in the world and understand what is happening in your business when it comes to your financials, that is what Procurify has meant to us.