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3 Ways to ‘Level Up’ Your Savings

Our team is always looking for ways to help our members increase savings and utilize all we have to offer at Source1 Purchasing. Here are 3 ways to maximize your membership:

1. Utilize your Program Development Manager

Each member has access to a Source1 Purchasing Program Development Manager (PDM) who serves as the point of contact to a one-stop-shop for supply chain-related solutions. Discuss your goals and needs for the month, quarter, or year, and collaborate with him/her to develop a strategy that works.

Discuss your goals and needs for the month, quarter, or year, and collaborate with him/her to develop a strategy that works.

A Descending Dollar Report is one of the tools your PDM uses to ensure you identify the items or suppliers with which you’re spending the most amount of money. For instance, the program development manager can help you select different toilet paper and sugar packet options. Although your choice of toilet paper outspends sugar packets 20 to one, the impact you see on the bottom line may not be as significant from a return on investment (ROI) perspective. In that case, it could be more beneficial to align on contracted items that offer leveraged pricing and/or rebates for this category.

Another way your PDM can help is by connecting you to suppliers and partners to leverage their expertise.
Suppliers possess invaluable product knowledge that can result in cost savings or in better-quality options. Recently for example, a supplier for trash bags/can liners shared with us that 40 percent of the trash liners purchased today are too heavy or big.

If you look at kitchen trash bags (with the most common sizes being 55 and 33 gallons), there are about 40 different SKUs being purchased of all different sizes just to fill these trash cans. Working with those experts can ensure appropriate choice of bag size and density to deal with the type of waste you’re putting in the can. Purchasing the right one can result in cost savings.

2. Leverage Your Data

Evaluate the second or third distributors that you’ve consistently been using. By sharing your purchasing data with us, we can utilize analytics that will identify where there are contracted opportunities. The data will show whether to buy that exact product from a different truck or to identify a new supplier to handle the same category and quality of the item you’re already buying. Thanks to the Source1 Purchasing program suppliers and distributors, the cost will be at a leveraged rate.

Additionally, for members interested in learning more about our program after regular business hours, visit the Source1 Purchasing online community. All of our supplier programs can be found there along with the categories they cover, overall program benefits, and ways to access those programs — either through your broadline distribution or a supplier you buy from directly.

By sharing your purchasing data with us, we can utilize analytics that will identify where there are
contracted opportunities.

3. Leverage Supplier Relationships

While product quality and price are important, safety is something that may not be at the forefront of members’ minds. There are a lot of programs that certify safety. One of the top ones is Safe Quality Food (SQF) and it has different levels. We work with suppliers by asking them what kind of food safety or product safety certifications they have to ensure the product reaching the end user every day is safe; and, what product recall procedures they have in place, should something happen.

One of Source1 Purchasing’s alliance partners, Fresh Concepts, is able to activate on produce recalls within 45 minutes of getting the first notification and communicating it to the distributors and end users. This quick product recall procedure response shows how Fresh Concepts takes consumer safety seriously.

Take maximum advantage of contracted programs to reduce your costs and add those cost savings straight to the bottom line to improve your margin. Evaluate your products so you have the right mix and quality of ingredients. By raising the quality, sales going through the pipeline increase as does your overall revenue.

At Source1 Purchasing, many of our members are management groups for which we provide custom analytics. We can customize dashboards and update them monthly for management companies that have their own direct deals in place or MDAs with their distributors that allow for incentives like drop size or house brand usage. If you’re an existing member, inquire with your Program Development Manager or, for prospective members, speak with a sales manager.

Take maximum advantage of contracted programs to reduce your costs and add those cost savings straight to the bottom line.

If you’d like to find out more about your Source1 Purchasing solution or maximize your participation, contact us at 888-411-9987.

How are you going to maximize your Source1 Purchasing membership in 2019? Please let us know by commenting, below.

Steve Larkin possesses 15 years of experience in hospitality including the restaurant and food services industries. His culinary background as a chef brings a unique perspective and approach to the business. Currently, he serves as the Director of Purchasing for Source1 Purchasing.


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How to Increase Margins and Revenue Growth

Do you have the desire to increase the bottom line? Or maybe you need to decrease expenses, but don’t know where to start? Here to tell us how to increase margins and revenue growth is Steve Larkin.

Steve possesses 15 years of experience in hospitality including the restaurant and food services industries. His culinary background as a chef brings a unique perspective and approach to the concept of business profitability. Currently, he serves as the Senior Director of Purchasing for Source1 Purchasing.

We talked to Steve about how to increase profit margins and revenue growth and he shared these three tips with us:

1) Reduce Costs

Decreasing costs on items you are already buying directly impacts the bottom line. However, when you increase revenue, there are items such as labor, product, and service costs to consider. Therefore, not all of the revenue influences the bottom line.

In the hotel industry, if you raise room rates $10 to $20, there are other charges, amenities, and disposables to account for in that rate increase. As a result, those costs would not be realized in the bottom line. For restaurants, while it may be tempting to offer a flat menu price reduction, you have to stay consistent to your brand. Customers may get the impression that the food quality has been sacrificed or isn’t worth the price you’re offering it for during regular hours and decide to come instead during a slower time when a discounted price is available.

Earlier in his career as a chef, Steve created seasonal and special menus rather than discounting the entire regular menu. By utilizing these special menus to pique customers’ interests they began to recognize each one had a story to tell. Then, they came back to try other menu items. The identity and branding of each of these menus was consistent without compromising the quality of the food offerings the brand provided.

A few months ago, Source1 Purchasing helped one of its customers increase margins through a cost reduction of thirty-thousand dollars per year by switching from what they were buying to offering a consistent product across all locations.

Steve and the team met with a management group in Ohio and chefs from the company who were conducting a product cutting exercise. They analyzed the top three costly items the group was purchasing, which were bacon, sausage, and French fries. Then, they included the supplier in the discussions about the product to obtain the client’s feedback for each of the different options that would be a fit. They selected three new options that would work for them and a significant cost savings resulted.

2) Utilize Built-in Incentives with Suppliers and Distributors

Take advantage of drop-size discounts, private label incentives, or quick-pay discounts. Inquire with someone in the accounting department about the feasibility of adjusting payment due dates. Instead of having invoices held in a ready-to-pay mode until the due date, during his days as a chef, Steve arranged to pay all invoices with a produce vendor weekly and was able to capture a 1.5 percent discount. These are some viable options to consider for increasing margins.

Rebates worked for Source1 Purchasing customer Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel & Waterpark Resort. Steve explained how the team also conducted vendor price comparisons and the resort could save money on items he was already purchasing from vendors he was already using. Between Q3 and Q4 of 2017, the resort increased overall savings by over 7 percent.

3) Raise the Quality of What You’re Providing to Justify a Price Increase

Stay true to your brand yet don’t be afraid of quality and value. When Steve worked as a chef at the family-friendly restaurant, Crayola Café, health and wellness was increasing in popularity. The team conducted a great deal of research to determine ways they could involve kids more into food selection at the restaurant.

He led the menu revision process which went from traditional American fare (chicken nuggets and French fries) to one that incorporated a healthier, build-your-own-salad component. Kids were engaged in the experience and had fun being a part of the decision-making process. Since a higher quality product was being offered, they were able to raise prices on the entire menu 5 to 10 percent. This is one way to increase revenue.

The Source1 Purchasing Solution

At Source1 Purchasing, we can help you in your quest to increase margins and grow revenue. With no charge for membership, we can supply everything from the parking lot to the roof top. Being a part of our group purchasing program means you’re eligible for pre-negotiated, national account pricing with suppliers.

You can realize discounts on nearly every category that hotels and restaurants already purchase from for food items, operating supplies, equipment, small wares, and services. There’s no long-term contract required and our supply partners collaborate with you to ensure your product mix is the best while maximizing returns.

Are you already a member? If so, make sure you’re optimizing your purchasing program with the tools available within the community Marketplace,, such as the Contract Product Match Report. Steve pointed out the likelihood of items that are available at contract prices that you are currently buying at a higher cost.

There are items you were buying yesterday that you can make better purchasing decisions on today to increase your margins tomorrow. Another valuable resource is the Performance Report. It shows how much you’re spending on contracted items versus your total spend. The idea is to be able to grow that metric. In order to do that, Steve suggested capturing as many discounts, savings and rebate opportunities from the Source1 Purchasing program as possible.

If you are not a member of the Source1 Purchasing Program, let us work with our supplier partners to determine if you’re utilizing the top items and obtaining them at an ideal price. Signing up allows you to tap into our suppliers. Steve reminded us that it often requires a small change from you to venture out and order with someone new. With the possibility of a 7 to 12 percent savings, you have everything to gain including increases in margin and revenue growth.

Contact Us today and get a free purchasing analysis.

Are there any other ways you’ve increased margins and revenue to meet your goals?  How are you going to utilize the tips we’ve shared to help you in 2019? Please let us know by commenting, below.


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Purchasing–You Don’t Have To Do It Alone

Owners and operators are hampered by being “small fish” in a big purchasing pond, lacking the collective buying clout required to be able to negotiate the best prices. They’re discovering that “do-it-yourself” procurement is not as simple as they had hoped and are now realizing that they don’t have to do it alone.

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A Fresh Take on Purchasing

This combination of unpredictable external factors and evolving customer demands are creating problems for hospitality professionals. Food service operators need to stay aware of consumer preferences and try to source the trending and popular ingredients from local suppliers, all while managing their food budgets in a volatile market with ever-changing commodity prices.

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The Benefits of Supply Chain Management for the Food Service Industry

In order to have a competitive advantage over other restaurants, you need to offer high quality goods at the lowest price possible. Supply chain management is necessary to restaurant operators because of this need to minimize product costs and bring order to what too often can be a chaotic business. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that all of the costs of the product life cycle are kept low so the company can offer reduced prices to their customers, resulting in profits. The following are the benefits you can reap by partnering with a strategic supply chain management group focused on cost management.

Reduced Costs. Food service supply chain management requires identifying the processes that increase cost without increasing the value of the final product. These processes do not add value and should therefore be eliminated.

Increased Efficiency. Resource consumption leads to increased production costs, which is more often than not the result of improper planning. A company that uses supply chain management can achieve efficiency of its operations since only those value adding actions are encouraged. This ensures that the organization’s processes flow smoothly and output keeps inline with the needs of the company.

Increased Output. A company that employs supply chain management can develop stronger close relationships with both its suppliers and customers. You will have better alignment of your needs with your selected suppliers, more options, better pricing and timely completion of orders. A company with a well –stocked variety of popular menu options will deliver on their brand promise to their customers, and will grow as a result.

Increased Profits. One of the best ways to increase a company’s profits is by making sure that costs are kept as low as possible. By embracing and applying strategic restaurant supply chain management to your operations, you are able to reduce costs because you are getting rid of wasteful processes. Since these are operating costs for the company, the savings on these costs reflect increased profits for the company.

Food service supply chain management can help you transform a traditional linear supply chain into an adaptive network, providing you with increased visibility into the supply chain so you can sense and respond quickly to changes and quickly capitalize on new opportunities. Moreover, you can lower operational expenses with opportune planning for procurement, manufacturing and transportation. Better product, ordering process, and execution tracking can lead to improvements in performance and quality, resulting in lower costs.

Source1 Purchasing is a leading strategic sourcing group focused on cost management, savings and operational efficiency for the lodging, restaurant and food service industries.


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Considering a Hotel Pantry? Find out what Procurement Solutions can Do for You

Hotel pantries stocked with the items guests frequently request are gaining popularity across all hotel brands. Guests enjoy the convenience, and hotel operators discovered a few of the benefits.

Independently owned hotels are also developing their own unique market to meet the needs of their guests. With an experienced procurement company like Source1 Purchasing, any hotel can install and operate a pantry easily.

Source1 Purchasing recognizes that every dollar matters. In order to effectively develop this part of your business quickly and cost-effectively, you need to consider the specific items your guest request most often and learn how procurement solutions can make it easy to manage.

Source1 provides access to a complete pantry solution from installation to pricing, reports and automatic inventory shipments. Establishing a pantry for your guests is easier than you might think. Keep these three steps in mind as you consider starting yours:

1) Start simple. You do not have to carry a lot of products in your hotel pantry. While some variety is good, you can focus on the top items your guests have asked for in the past.  Just ask the front desk staff.

2) If you’re inclined to be cautious, you can start small with one movable rack. Have select items that a guest would ordinarily use to learn how the concept works with your guests.

3) Start with a few of the most-requested products: aspirin or acetaminophen, packaged snacks and beverages.

By stocking these most-requested items, you build awareness and repeat visits for other items from toiletries to snack and beverages. . Guests who leave the hotel to buy something as small as acetaminophen are more likely to add other purchases while they’re out including quick meals.  Consider offering enough variety to keep your guest happy with a selection they can buy from you. As hotel operators, you have more options to open a new revenue stream with a conservative out –of-pocket expense. .

Having a market in your hotel provides convenience for guests. Most travelers prefer the ease of getting what they want in your facility.  Nobody wants to be spend time trying to find the drug store or diner in a strange city. It easier to simply walk downstairs, and purchase snacks in the lobby.

If you are looking to expand your current hotel pantry, consider setting up a small electronics section. This is another way to meet a guest’s need and capture more revenue. Today’s guests are well-connected — they cannot function long if they forgot batteries, electronics plugs and chargers.

Ready-made meals are another key area for pantries. You can find clues to the more popular food items in your local grocery and convenience stores that are seeing a growing demand for ready-made and shelf-stable meals.

Sometimes guests want something they can pick up and eat quickly. But occasionally there may in interest in a new, exciting flavors. With this in mind, look beyond typical food selections to grab their attention. Make use of Source1’s expertise to help you locate these ingredients. highlighted DoubleTree’s new “Made Market” which provides a good example of how you can design a market specifically for your hotel. Instead of packaged cereal, boxes of milk and microwaveable meals, they are serving freshly made foods that are packaged for quick consumption.

Some of the menu options include omelets, frittatas, soufflés, flatbreads, salads and burgers on brioche buns. A guest may purchase coffee in the morning, and then enjoy a glass of wine or draft beer in the evening. These markets also have favorite snack items that guests can purchase.

Meeting guest expectations with items they need and delicious ready-made food can also benefit the bottom line. Hotel markets are quickly becoming a new source of revenue. Customers are proving that they will pay a bit more if they can get what they want right in the hotel lobby.

A hotel pantry is a great amenity for hotel operators to offer because it doesn’t require a lot of inventory or capital to get started. You can always test the concept and easily expand it to include ready-made food, additional snacks, and health and beauty products.

This allows you to provide an amenity that also brings in revenue, meaning it’s a win-win for your guests and your bottom line.

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3 Ways to Embrace Technology and Improve Hotel Operations

Technology impacts every facet of the hotel industry.  Large operators embraced solutions early on.  Today, hotel operations of all sizes can benefit by considering theses three hallmarks:

1.            Social Media to drive reservations and guest satisfactions

2.            Mobile devices to address guest requests on the spot

3.            Integration on the cloud to ensure cross departmental collaboration

While at first these changes seemed a bit daunting, most successful operations have integrated the ideas.  If your operation is new to the three hallmarks, break them into manageable parts.  Consider a college intern for your social media presence.  Invite your department heads to assess the best way to use mobile devises in their departments.  And consider a purchasing expert like Source1 Purchasing to offer procurement solutions that translate to savings of time, resources and money.

Now that hotel operators are embracing technology in the hospitality industry, they are experiencing higher guest satisfaction and profitability. Today’s guests want a highly personalized hotel experience that includes using their personal technology devices during their stay. Chances are they booked a room directly from their smartphone, so it makes sense to use technology tools in rooms and throughout the hotel because guests are familiar with these and use them every day.

Technology is also revolutionizing how hotel operators manage their business. Sales departments have been restructured to strongly focus on social media and e-commerce. Other departments are using updated software to better communicate and quickly meet guest needs.

An article on the Hotel Interactive website addresses technology issues facing the hotel industry today and shares opinions from hotel leaders attending this year’s BITAC Tech and Operations conference.

When attendees were asked if they are leveraging technology to lower operational costs at their hotel, 11.3 percent said “no,” 18.8 percent said “yes” and a whopping 56.3 percent said “yes” but admitted they “could do better.” This suggests that although hotels are embracing technology in the hospitality industry to improve guest satisfaction, they are still looking for efficient ways to manage their hotel business.

One way hotel operators can improve accountability and harness maverick spending is by updating their procurement process. This can become a serious issue for your budget if overlooked. You need to know what you’re receiving, what vendor you’re buying it from and what you’re paying.

Hotel operators are also looking to online ordering for their food-and-beverage programs. Distributors wanting to make the procurement process as simple as possible are embracing this model and are providing the service at no charge to the hotel operator. Operators have at their fingertips new tools for online ordering, monitoring prices by category, identifying quality products and reducing wasteful spending.

Larger multi-unit operators are also tying their purchasing platform into their back office administrative software, which helps create an even more efficient procurement process.

Regain control over your purchasing. Identify products that meet your brand standards and work with a supplier that can consistently deliver high-quality products at a set price. This way you’re able to monitor prices by category. Your hotel’s procurement process can create a cost savings when you analyze your spending and identify ways to leverage it.

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How Procurement Solutions can Help Rejuvenate your Hotel

With the recession in the rear-view mirror, now is the time to explore procurement solutions that can help rejuvenate and add value to your hotel.

The transaction volume for 2013 is forecast to reach $18.5 billion, a 5.7 percent increase over 2012 levels, according to an article on the 4Hoteliers website. Analysts have a bullish outlook as the economy continues to improve.

For hotel owners, that means there’s no better time to consider ways to enhance your property and benefit from the projected growth in travel spending.

When considering renovations, look at what provides the highest ROI, adds value and gives you an edge over your competition.

  1. Wi Fi  |  A great place to start is by adding Wi-Fi to your property. Hotels with Wi-Fi use it as a selling point and experience high customer satisfaction ratings. Many guests have come to expect Wi-Fi when they stay in a hotel.
  2. Business Center   |  Business centers are also great additions for hotels that cater to corporate travelers. They can add value by providing business travelers with a place to print business documents or boarding passes.
  3. Restaurant Refresh  |  Renovating restaurant facilities is another key area to focus on. Technology is an integral part of travelers’ lives these days, and they expect to be able to connect wherever they are. Make the dining areas tech-friendly by putting outlets near tables so guests can multitask — charge their phone, check their email, etc. — while they enjoy their meals.
  4. Audit Resources  |  Another easy way to add value and cut costs is to comparison shop your phone and Internet plans. Compare service providers and see who’s offering the best plan in your area. Just like consumers, this can also save operators money.

Source1 Purchasing has access to extensive procurement solutions for all of your food and beverage, operating supplies, maintenance and renovation needs. From flooring and fixtures to equipment and supplies, Source1 can help you bring guests the latest comforts and conveniences, and rejuvenate your hotel so that it thrives in the improving economy.

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How a Hotel’s Supply Chain can affect Guest Satisfaction

You may or may not be aware of exactly where your food comes from, but you need to know if you are actually getting the best results from your supply chain.

Managing your supply chain can be somewhat difficult because food and supplies are being purchased and packaged both domestically and abroad. In the event food suppliers see the impact of bad weather, food contamination or even government fines, they revisit their pricing strategy and make adjustments, upward, that are passed along to the hotel and restaurant operators.

According to an article on the Food Safety Magazine website, the FDA continues to place strict regulations on companies exporting and importing food to stem instances of food contamination. There have also been cases reported of food fraud and misrepresentation of ingredients on food packaging. In fact, new U.S. agencies have been created to meet the need for tougher inspections.

You cannot possibly know about all the different variables that could affect your order, including recalls. But these factors signal a need for you to be more involved in your hotel’s procurement process.

It is important to have a good relationship with your suppliers so you can be more informed about changes that might influence your products, and ultimately your service. You obviously can’t control some of the factors in your supply chain, but you are responsible for what is served in your facility. As such, it’s best to question whether you are receiving the best products at the best prices with adherence to current safety rules and guidelines. Given the size of that task, some companies engage a purchasing company like Source1 Purchasing who can offers immediate product updates.

To ensure the best quality and pricing, it’s also important for operators to periodically evaluate their product line. Start by focusing on the top items in your hotel supply chain: Do the products meet the needs, standards and expectations of you and your guest?

With Source1 Purchasing, you can identify the products that are contracted. That translates to additional cost savings realized when these items are added to the order. Operators should also review these items to see if it’s time to upgrade them for quality or change the serving size to serve customer trends. Are you buying the right products to satisfy guests and are you leveraging your spending to get the best price? Be aware of your purchasing patterns using your data to ensure you’re getting the best results.

Purchasing data can also help target areas of possible concern at your property. For example, at some hotels and restaurants, the purchasing staff may choose products based on their individual preferences instead of the brand standards. Relationships can sometimes influence a decision.  To successfully manage procurements for a hotel or restaurant, buyers must be knowledgeable of the food industry as a whole and be proactive in obtaining the best products at the best price.

As an operator, all it takes is a focused approach and visibility into your purchasing data to be confident that you’re making the best choices. You know where you are in the industry and you know the factors that impact your buying decisions. By reviewing your purchasing records and making a few key changes, you can experience wins in your operations and in your hotel supply chain.

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5 Ways a Sourcing and Procurement Solution helps Operators

Every hotel requires products and services.

Small operations purchase a smaller volume and have historically paid a higher price.  Today, operators have the choice to join a group to access sourcing and procurement solutions that are tailored to meet their hotel’s purchasing needs.

When hotels opt to purchase on their own, they may invest a great deal of time to realize short term benefits.   Consider the alternative of joining with many other operators via a purchasing company and access better prices immediately and longer term, additional rebates which can annually be a significant amount.

There is great value in cultivating loyal customers. An article on recently shared results from a Deloitte research project regarding loyal guests. The report, conducted recently, found that only 8 %of travelers are loyal to a single hotel brand. This elusive group is savvy with online research.  You want to be sure that when they arrive on your front desk, every aspect of their hotel experience delights them.

Gaining loyal customers is critical for your hotel because they help generate consistent revenue flow. There is less overhead involved in repeat guest. Additionally, they serve as your goodwill ambassadors to their friends and family.  The most authentic of marketing at no cost.

Food and beverage (F&B) can be an important feature in some hotels. By placing an emphasis on the right kind of theme and food quality, operations can capture the attention of local residents as well as their hotel guests. A purchasing company like Source1 Purchasing can help you access high quality, national brands, and sourcing and procurement solutions.

Keith Spinden, Hyatt Regency Chicago’s senior director of F&B, says in an article on the Hotel Management website that both owners and operators need to have a long-term commitment to serving quality F&B. It has to be more than a current trend for your hotel.

“We really need to maintain our focus on top-line sales and get a steady stream of customers walking through the door and coming back,” Spinden says. “We must maintain a certain level of revenue, but if we play around with quality, our top line will decline as well and that’s a downward spiral we try to avoid.”

A sourcing and procurement strategy helps hoteliers work smarter in five ways:

1) Save time.  Reaching out to suppliers is often time-consuming. When you use the services of a procurement organization, the experts conduct the research to ensure the best solution.

2) Save money in two ways. The procurement solution provides contracted, pre-negotiated savings on specific items. Pre-negotiated prices typically cover a longer period of time so operations can be protected from inflation and other short-term fluctuations in the market. Plus, you gain access to rebate on a quarterly basis.

3) Become more powerful. Sourcing and procurement solutions merge your volume purchasing with the purchasing of other customers, which increases your savings: Larger hotels that buy huge quantities of food and supplies qualify for volume discounts. Adopting sourcing and procurement solutions enables smaller hotel operations to enjoy the same benefits and the same high quality, name brand products.

4) Protect the promise.  It is important for you to deliver on your promise to every guest. If you are able to purchase a higher-quality product with a higher volume of discounts, then you can use the savings to improve other facets of your operation.  Aside from F&B, you can also purchase linens, in-room amenities, appliances, TVs and even MRO, FF&S and OS&E. Your guests will be delighted with the consistency and quality of their experience.

5) Get options.  You can spend your precious time securing two or three quotes or you can work with the buyers at a procurement organization that can take your need, research options and present you with details.  You can focus on making the decision that meets your needs. While taking advantage of discounts and lower prices.

Source1 works with virtually every hotel company and understand the brand standards of each we work with your team to deliver the best products to your guest at the very best price.