Founding of pro Großverbraucher Einkaufsgesellschaft mbH (pro bulk consumer purchasing company – “progros” for short). progros emerged from a department of the unitels hotel cooperation, which was created in the 70s. The idea at that time: the more hotels join forces in purchasing, the better the purchasing conditions for all. And if there is then also a purchasing centre to advise the hotels on product comparisons and purchasing queries, then these hotels will also save valuable time.
The new project management division is developed. In addition to the “purchasing pool”, progros specialises in individual procurement planning and implementation for fixed and movable fittings (FF&E, OS&E) in new hotels.
progros is the the first purchasing company in the hotel industry to introduce a password-protected online portal (intranet) with a web-based supplier and product database as well as an online information area.
progros changes its name to progros Einkaufsgesellschaft mbH and highlights even more clearly the corporate objective, task and content: purchasing!
progros introduces “progros Plus” and is therefore the first purchasing company to introduce a binding volume bundling system: the hotels in the purchasing pool have the opportunity to participate in progros Plus by guaranteeing binding acceptance of certain product ranges. The larger the binding acceptance quantity, the greater the negotiating power of progros and the better the prices are for the participating hotels.
The third division, “Strategic Purchasing Advice” (now called Consulting), is launched: progros now also offers completely individualised advice to hotels and hotel chains. This ranges from bespoke design of a customised purchasing strategy to optimisation of the 100% neutral and independent supplier and range structure (F&B, non-food).
Consulting and project management see growth above average. The “major progros study on purchasing in the hotel industry” appears under the academic direction of the Supply Chain Management Institute (SMI) of the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel. This is the first ever study in the hotel industry to specifically address purchasing. The “major progros study on purchasing in the hotel industry” is presented at “Top Supply”, the conference open to the hotel industry. Top Supply is the first conference focusing on “purchasing and cost management in the hotel industry”. “Top Supply” is organised by progros every 2 – 4 years in loose succession, at a range of locations, as an exclusive invitation event.
progros is the first purchasing company in the German hotel industry to introduce a digital online ordering system. The technology of FutureLog (Switzerland) is used here. The online ordering system is free of charge for all hotels in the progros purchasing pool. With this tool, the key feature is that ordering across suppliers can be performed with one click. Product prices updated every day, product images as well as delivery and order time specifications are already standard “buy” progros at this time. The team is trained to be able to provide first-level support to customers, right from the first minutes.
Even more digital revolution “buy” progros: In pro-CHECK, Germany’s first online supplier evaluation portal is activated. VIPER (virtual paper) is launched and is the first system across suppliers and purchasing companies for sending and receiving invoices electronically in the hotel industry. allinvos GmbH is founded. “allinvos” stands for “all invoices solutions”. progros and Lindner Hotel Beteiligungs GmbH each have a 50% share in allinvos. allinvos provides a complete, web-based creditor management system with 100% online invoice workflow, archive and evaluation tools as well as interfaces to all leading financial accounting systems.
The progros academy is started. This is the first purchasing academy for the German hotel industry.
With Scandic Hotel Berlin, the 30th hotel project overseen by progros in the last five years in the area of project management is completed.
It appears with progros “BUY-Werk” – the first purchasing magazine for the German hotel industry.
With “Web: Tools” progros launches its fourth division, alongside the “Purchasing Pool”, “Consulting” and “Project Management“ (FF&E / OS&E). “Web: Tools” includes all online tools and electronic solutions that result in simple optimisation of purchasing processes and costs as well as greater transparency – from e-procurement to the web-based creditor management system with price change notices and product statistics.
progros becomes a strategy partner of Gastro Vision and organises the “Competence Lounge”. Prominent speakers (Christian Rach, Nelson Müller etc.), food and trend scouts from the scene, appear in the “Competence Lounge “buy” progros” every day during Gastro Vision to exclusively share their knowledge. The highlight is the “BUYERS Talk” panel discussion with the most widely known and best purchasing decision-makers from the German hotel industry. The “Competence Lounge” is now presented under the new name “Out of the Box” and regards itself as the absolute hotspot & “the place to be” to discover the latest trends and innovations.
Top Supply, the largest conference on the subject of purchasing management, takes place for the fourth time in April – now with over 400 decision-makers from the hotel & catering industry. progros is the first purchasing company in the hotel industry to complete the procure-to-pay process – i.e. the cycle from order to invoice – completely online, of course. The ordering, inventory and creditor management systems are interconnected.
As the first purchasing company in the German hotel industry, progros invents “Buying unlimited”. “Buying unlimited” means complete outsourcing of strategic purchasing to progros. So, just as advertising, payroll accounting, housekeeping, facility management, online marketing and other things in the hotel industry are already outsourced, strategic purchasing can now also be 100% outsourced for the first time, in a way that is entirely supplier-neutral. The first hotel group that dares to do this in Germany is Welcome Hotels. Since the start of the year, progros has therefore undertaken all procurement management for the hotel group – 100% supplier-neutral tendering, contract negotiations, condition monitoring, supplier management, new listings, range optimisations and more.
progros is the first purchasing company in the German hotel industry to introduce “Triple Match”. Fully automated comparison takes place here between order (product, price, quantity), delivery note (product, quantity) and invoice (product, price, quantity). The invoice is compared with the delivery at item level! This means that not only is the procure-to-pay cycle complete; the first step is also taken towards meaningful automation of invoice checking. In September, progros organises “Top Supply” for the fifth time in a row. “Top Supply” is the no. 1 conference for modern purchasing strategies & management, attended by over 550 top decision-makers from the upmarket hospitality segment. The “Grand Market“, which accompanies Top Supply, includes over 100 supply and service partners. “Top Supply” is opened by robot “Friedolin”. “Friedolin” also serves as a service robot at the Grand Market and guides visitors to the various themed islands.
The four areas of competence – Purchasing Pool, Project Management, Web: Tools & Consulting – become increasingly established on the market. 15 hotel new build projects are developed in parallel.
In addition to B.W. Betriebs Gesellschaft and the WELCOME group, the ADINA group also decides to outsource its strategic central purchasing to progros. Purchasing turnover rises to a total of around 200 million EUR. Almost 900 hotels and hotel chains in eight European countries use the supply chain management solutions of progros for better purchasing conditions and processes.
The book “POWER PURCHASING” is published. This is the first basic work on purchasing management in the hotel industry. The publisher is Matthaes Verlag, Stuttgart. The idea and concept came from authors Jochen Oehler, Managing Director of progros, and Christian Buer, Professor of Business Management specialising in Hotel Management at Heilbronn University.
Nearly 50 employees now work for progros. The negotiating and purchasing team alone is 20 strong. progros is a patron of “Fair Job Hotels”, an initiative of the hotel industry that fits very well with the values of progros and which progros therefore supports wholeheartedly. The same is true of Hotelents, the new conference that progros is likewise supporting from now on.
And the story will continue. That much is certain.