12 December 2002
The Hilton hotel and leisure group is using online auctions to furnish a new hotel to ease the workload of a drastically reduced procurement department.
The group has saved a third on a £490,000 contract for wooden furnishings such as wardrobes and tables for its 254-room Newcastle Gateshead hotel.
The contract commits the winning bidder to maintain and refurbish the fittings over four years.
An auction for carpets takes place next week, and the group expects to conduct two to three per month for other goods ahead of the hotel’s opening in August next year.
The central procurement team was cut from 12 to just three earlier this year as part of a company-wide efficiency drive.
Paul Brimmer, procurement manager, said the restructuring put pressure on the team to introduce automated purchasing systems.
He said if the new hotel proved successful, Hilton would host two to three auctions per month from early next year to refurbish its 77 other hotels in the UK and Ireland.