Procurement can help fill Rugby World Cup's empty seats

The Rugby World Cup is upon us – though let’s not mention England’s display at the weekend – and yet there is a surprisingly large number of empty seats at the matches.

And it's not because they are obscure or B-list games, but because the ticket (asset) management process at corporations is all wrong. In many cases assets are wasted because companies are afraid to say yes to invitations due to bribery risks, which is understandable, but an intelligent, procurement led process to the purchase of the assets in the first place could save millions. And with the Rio Olympics only a year away now is the time to start considering such a system.

Tickets for major events and quality hospitality are sought after by many individuals but when these opportunities end up in the wrong hands, or not used at all, it is not just a waste but a major headache for businesses who appear to be spending money needlessly. And sadly it reflects poorly on the world of corporate hospitality which is in fact a scientific, measurable and viable business tool rather than the “jolly” it is so often made out to be. Through the use of tighter controls and stricter measurement, then these problems can be solved – and this is where procurement departments can make a big difference.

One absolute way of ensuring waste is decreased or halted is the use of an appropriate system to track each and every hospitality asset. Such systems can help ensure assets don’t end up with the sales manager’s best friend but instead with the people that matter such as potential prospects, influencers and stakeholders. These are the people that need to be attracted and impressed so a system ensuring they are targeted fairly makes perfect sense. This tighter control of how, where and what the hospitality assets are used for can be easily implemented and gives procurement departments the opportunity to manage them and subsequently monitor relationships and ultimately a return on investment and objectives.

The ability to measure and report such asset use paints a full picture of what really is happening – assets don’t end up sitting in a team member’s top draw for six months before being given out at the last minute because they were forgotten about. Instead the right people are treated to the right experience for the right reasons.

And then there are the logistics involved with booking and then fulfilling assets – a task that can be controlled using hospitality management services. In truth, centralising the whole process under one unique system can solve many of the problems businesses face on a day-to-day basis when it comes to the murky world of hospitality assets.

The fact is that a centralised management system for hospitality assets can have a significant impact on business resources leading to improved returns. These systems give procurement professionals the chance to stop waste and maximise assets – a lesson England need to learn for the future and I hope Wales bear it in mind as they move onto the quarter finals.

Giselle Ripken is a director at Grass Roots Meetings & Events

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