Brand consistency is an important factor to success in the hospitality industry.  Customers will continue to return to an establishment if they know they can rely on a consistent experience each time they visit.  Striving for consistency can make many purchasing professionals sticklers for brand loyalty. However, there are times when product substitutions can not only be acceptable, but beneficial to your business. Subbing a brand name product can often be done without compromising quality. In addition, using a substitute supplier may offer both price advantages and increased stability to your supply chain.

Hotels, restaurants, and casinos put a lot of work into identifying suppliers that meet their quality standards. Suppliers of everything from food to linens must align perfectly with a company’s brand. The need for brand consistency is so imperative that many purchasing departments are reluctant to consider any substitute products once they’ve found a supplier they like. They are often unaware that there are alternative suppliers that can offer them a nearly identical product, often at a lower price. Once you’ve identified a company that offers products comparable to your current inventory, request a sample so you can thoroughly assess whether the supplier can meet your quality standards.

While cost savings is the main appeal of subbing a product, the substitute supplier may be able to offer values in other areas as well. For example, the company may carry a variety of products that your company currently purchases from multiple suppliers. Consolidating the number of suppliers you work with makes purchasing more efficient and can lower the costs of your hospitality supplies and services. If the alternate supplier is part of a large purchasing network, you can increase your cost savings even more by opting into their program to take advantage of discounts on items like food, linens, and maintenance supplies.

Even if you’re happy with your current supplier and pricing structure, it could still be beneficial to vet substitute suppliers. If you ever find yourself in a position where your current supplier experiences an inventory shortage or a significant price increase, having an alternate source for your essential products can help you avoid costly inventory shortages.

Identifying new strategic suppliers can be a difficult task, however, the purchasing specialists at Source1 Purchasing can help you identify the best suppliers for your business. Get to know our network of quality suppliers by contacting Source1 Purchasing today.


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