What is Praestino and what makes it unique?
Praestino came about out of a desire to provide a more effective purchasing system for all project participants — from owners, project managers, FF&E vendors and internal purchasing and project management staff — to access critical project information whenever they need it.
We had outgrown our previous software and the big guys couldn’t, or wouldn’t, speak our language. Thankfully we found Sigma Sourcing. Their founder and chief engineer Ben Gripka had a long and successful history with maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) purchasing systems across multiple industries. Their software had good ‘bones’ on which to build. That, combined with our expertise in hospitality procurement, and a whole lot of back and forth and brainstorming and lessons learned, brought us full circle to Praestino. Now in place, this interactive proprietary hospitality purchasing software brings valuable insight and efficiency to our hospitality projects.
What makes Praestino the best hospitality purchasing software?
Certainly, the combined purchasing/hospitality expertise I’ve already mentioned makes Praestino pretty spectacular. I would also say its scalability. Our previous experience taught us that our needs would change over time so we needed a system that would change with us. Who wants 2014 in 2018? Ben reminds us that “software isn’t a product, it’s a service,” which we’ve seen firsthand. It is a service we are delighted to pass on to our clients and vendors.
We’ve seen huge efficiencies in having a cloud-based service as well as instant results in our speed to market. It is difficult to put a price tag on communication with vendors, clients, freight or warehouse personnel but those of us in the industry know efficiencies in this area can have a huge impact on a project.
What do vendors like about using Praestino?
We know our vendors like having all the information in one portal. With easy access to this information, they can check on all of their business with us, look at history, monitor a bid process, see every spec, etc. It not only strengthens our business relationship, but it also improves their sales operation.
And I should mention that being in our database makes it easier, and more frequent, to be added to a bid list. We’re talking more opportunities to do business together.
What about customers, what is the added-value to them?
The number one benefit to customers is speed to market. The bidding process is faster. The purchasing process is faster. The project is done faster. As just one example, where inputting specs could take several days on our old system, we can now do it in a day or less.
Customers also tell us it has allowed us to be more fee competitive. We’re in a labor business, and Praestino brings so much efficiency to our business that we’re often able to adjust our hours or project costs.
They also like having real-time, 24/7 access. For those clients, and we have quite a few, that wake up and wonder about the particulars of a project, they can easily do so with Praestino. They are always welcome to check in with our project teams, but they don’t have to if they simply want to check in to make sure we are still on track with the timeline and budget.
What about employees?
Praestino was designed to bring efficiencies to our clients and vendors, but we’ve found our staff sees just as much value. It is incredibly straightforward to use, so navigation is easy. Real-time access helps them be more service-oriented and paperless. And as we grow, new employees are quickly brought up to speed.
What can we expect from Praestino in the future?
That is the wonderful thing about this hospitality purchasing software platform. As our needs evolve, so will the software. As an example, we’re already working on increasing functionality such as freight forwarders and warehouses for our manufacturers and service providers, and are streamlining the online approval process for designers, owners and project managers.