Buying group lowers manufacturer’s costs
When Wichita (Kan.) Public Schools needed more than 200 transport utility cabinets to safely transport and store meals throughout the school district, they contracted with Cres Cor, Mentor, Ohio, manufacturer of mobile commercial food service equipment, including a line of hot food holding cabinets.
“This order required us to create a custom specification for these transport utility cabinets, yet we were able to keep our costs competitive and provide a five-year warranty,” said Rio DeGennaro, vice president of Cres Cor.
DeGennaro cites Cres Cor’s membership in the Chicago-based manufacturer’s buying group, Prime Advantage, for helping the company realize a “good, better, best” strategy to control costs and remain competitive in project bid opportunities in the education market. Cres Cor purchases most of its key materials from Prime Advantage supplier members. Prime Advantage is a buying group that provides clients savings on raw materials, components, supplies and services by combining the purchasing power of more than 750 industrial manufacturers. Prime Advantage negotiates volume rebates and discounts with suppliers.
For example, Cres Cor can continue to offer two inches of insulation in its hot holding cabinets, double the industry standard, because of a relationship with Fabrication Specialities inc., a Prime Advantage supplier based in Bridgeview, Ill. A relationship with another Prime Advantage supplier, electric control company Renau Electronic Laboratories, Chatsworth, Calif., enables Cres Cor to replace the analog electric controls in its hot holding cabinets with more reliable solid-state LED displays, without increasing product prices. Two metal suppliers, Main Steel and Kloeckner and Co. (formerly Macsteel Service Centers USA) enable Cres Cor to adjust the thickness and grades to create more economical versions of its metal cabinets.