Spend Management Helping Prometheus Get More for Their Money, From Reliable Vendors
As a procurement specialist, Kristina Loeza has a singular view of the spending taking place at Prometheus Real Estate Group’s west coast properties.
Left to the discretion and whims of individual site managers, buying the products and services needed to run their multifamily properties can quickly become riddled with overspending, untrustworthy vendors, poor service, shoddy products, inefficient invoicing, and other problems.
But in adopting RealPage’s Spend Management solutions, Prometheus has injected consistency, security, cost control and efficient invoicing into a function that can otherwise chip away at a property’s bottom line.
“The RealPage Spend and Vendor Management platforms eliminate the sort of haphazard purchasing and invoicing that can really hurt your NOI,” Loeza says.
Spend management starts with spending less
At the core of managing spend, is the ability to leverage approved vendors with pre-negotiated volume discounts. By combining the purchasing power of member properties across the nation, RealPage has been able to gain competitive pricing for a host of products and services. This arrangement is often referred to as a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO), or RealPage eSupply GPO.
“A property management company that manages, say, 20 properties have only so much negotiating power,” says (RealPage professional). “But if you combine the buying power of 1.4M+ units, vendors are incentivized to really get their prices down to capture part of that business. So even the smaller property managers can take advantage of very competitive pricing.” Property managers know that when they order from an eSupply GPO vendor, they’re benefiting from this negotiated pricing.
And Kristina Loeza mentions a benefit Prometheus didn’t think about until COVID and broken supply lines created shortages in products important for running multifamily properties. “There were products such as chlorine that were in short supply,” she says. “But when you have access to a GPO at hand, you enjoy a priority that helps you get the things you need when other properties can’t.”
Property management vendors you can trust
Access to vendor discounts in managed catalogs as well as GPO sets a strong foundation for Spend Management, but Vendor Management and the careful vetting of each vendor is equally important. Properties need visibility into the compliance status of their vendors. Did the vendor pass a background check? Does the vendor meet insurance requirements at the company level, or at the property level? And other important trust factors.
“When you hire a contractor or buy products from vendors who have been credentialed, you don’t have to go through the process of making sure they’re trustworthy,” says Loeza. “That really shouldn’t be a job for front office staff in the first place.”
Specialized RealPage staff who understand the ins and outs of qualifying vendors are dedicated to this task, taking the burden away from rental properties. They interface directly with vendors to get their current insurance documents and get the vendor approved for work at specific properties.
Streamlined, paperless invoicing
Creating purchase orders, routing them for approval, getting them to vendors, receiving invoices and getting them paid is one of the messiest processes at most multifamily properties. But at Prometheus, it’s a paperless, streamlined process that dramatically reduces staff busy work and keeps vendors happy at the same time.
“We work really hard at trying to get our invoices submitted electronically,” Loeza says. “Right now, about 80% of our vendors do it online. I’m trying to get that to 90% by the end of the year.” She says that when they move from paper, vendors become huge fans. “They love the visibility that lets them check the status of their invoices and payment information.” And Prometheus’ electronic invoicing system means vendors get paid faster and more reliably, boosting their loyalty and dedication.
Giving property managers and owners a lens on spending
Since all information related to purchasing is being captured online, in using the platform you’re creating the perfect tool for monitoring and reporting on spending from the property to the portfolio level, helping in oversight, budgeting, and reporting to owners.
“The system has a great reporting tool,” Loeza says. “And I love that you can customize the reports to show whatever data you want to help tell your story.”
Loeza explains that properties where purchasing is still handled with paper are at a huge disadvantage in not being able to see what’s going on with purchasing in real time. Compiling spreadsheets without access to current data means reporting is often long after the fact. With the data being collected online in real time, managers have an up-to-the-minute view of purchasing, enhancing their decision-making agility.
Spend Management and Vendor Credentialing are part of the RealPage Property Management Suite, designed to bring “peak performance” to every aspect of the day-to-day management of multifamily properties. “We would certainly agree that RealPage’s Spend and Vendor Management platforms are helping us achieve the peak performance RealPage has been talking about lately,” concludes Loeza. “Purchasing and invoicing are a core part of what properties do every day, so when you bring cost-effectiveness to these disciplines you are making a powerful difference on your bottom line.”
Please click the following link to learn more about RealPage Spend Management.