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Comparing?shopping different vendors on the same products

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Perhaps this has been discussed, but a search yields nothing. I'm interested in any system anyone has developed to keep your vendors honest and to ensure you're getting the best deal. My primary vendors are Sysco and Perkins (GFS) and I also have a few locals; dairy, veg, and fish monger. The little guys have small order lists so I can keep most of it straight in my head. My most used ingredients are also not an issue. It's the other hundreds of items where pricing varies greatly. Just take Helman's HD Mayo for instance, Sysco is 40% higher than Perkins. I have separate order sheets with pricing from both vendors, and I've even gotten them to provide it in excel spreadsheets, but they both claim that they cannot do that AND have the prices on it as 'the system doesn't do that". I suspect it's just because they 'd rather keep me in the dark and fear me being able to look up items on a spreadsheet that would show both of their costs, along with my last cost and who I ordered it from.

 

What do you all do?

post #2 of 14

Put your orders together a day in advance. Then call the reps and ask them prices. It certainly doesn't hurt to let them know that you are comparative shopping. Amazing what can happen with prices if you do that.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 14
Can you place orders online? I order online for my main vendors and can search any product or use my order guide and see real time pricing.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Perkins/GFS says I will be able to once I'm set up in a week or so. Sysco says no. I need to sign an exclusivity contract and guarantee a level of business. (which will happen over my dead body)

post #5 of 14
Interesting...all I have to do for Sysco Sacramento to use eSysco is to sign a confidentiality agreement, no contract. The agreement says that I won't share proprietary information. The minimum for a drop is $500 per week already.
post #6 of 14

There is an easy way to do this..  Figure what you will need get prices  then add up the list of each vendor, based on the total list. The one with the total least expensive price on the total list gets the order. This way you dont have to do ltem by itemher way is put one against the  other line by  line.

SYSCO 'S prices vary its whatever salesman thinks he can get..  You have to watch them all. When you sign up with them a % is put on your account based on your credit history and how long ity takes you topay bills.

   Another gimmick sysco uses is if you order hellmans mayo they may try to  send their imperial brand at a couple of cents difference,  but cost them dollars less

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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeabeeCook View Post

Interesting...all I have to do for Sysco Sacramento to use eSysco is to sign a confidentiality agreement, no contract. The agreement says that I won't share proprietary information. The minimum for a drop is $500 per week already.


Also interesting, my Sysco min is 14 items, with no dollar requirement. Perkins/GFS has a $400 min.

post #8 of 14

I used to work at a place where I gave my 2 large suppliers (Sysco & US Foods) a list of what I needed that week.  Each Rep got a copy and they wrote in their pricing.  They didn't like it but that's what they needed to do to try and keep my business.  I then went through each pricing sheet line by line and ordered from whichever company had the lower price for each item.  It was time consuming, but in the first 2 months, I saw a dramatic drop in my prices and was able to save the resort lots of money in food cost.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeCodChef View Post
 


Also interesting, my Sysco min is 14 items, with no dollar requirement. Perkins/GFS has a $400 min.


Same in this neck of the woods. I think it has a lot do with location. Small town America can get away with the small minimums.

Sysco pricing also depends on how much you purchase on a regular basis. Their sales people are quite slick.

post #10 of 14

Cheflane is 100% correct.  And I ALWAYS ask the price of a couple of items first.

post #11 of 14

In many cases Costco and Sams club are the cheapest pls you dont have to tie up alll your money on the shelf.  Example if you have a function or running a meny that needs 5 pounds or 4 quarts of something you don't have to order a case, therefore freeing your money from laying on the storeroom or freezer shelf for a long time. You must have the time however to go or send someone.

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post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

In many cases Costco and Sams club are the cheapest pls you dont have to tie up alll your money on the shelf.  Example if you have a function or running a meny that needs 5 pounds or 4 quarts of something you don't have to order a case, therefore freeing your money from laying on the storeroom or freezer shelf for a long time. You must have the time however to go or send someone.


 


I would use the two big-box stores if I could. Those of us in the camp world are often relegated to the Syscos of the world because of our distance from the rest of civilization.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post
 

In many cases Costco and Sams club are the cheapest pls you dont have to tie up alll your money on the shelf.  Example if you have a function or running a meny that needs 5 pounds or 4 quarts of something you don't have to order a case, therefore freeing your money from laying on the storeroom or freezer shelf for a long time. You must have the time however to go or send someone.


We do use retail options on occasion. Locally we have the Demoulas Market Basket chain where I can usually buy many, many items far cheaper than my distributors and always cheaper than the wholesale clubs. And as you say, it's often a better practice to buy for a need rather than case loads. Last week I ran a swordfish special that I could never do with my suppliers as they had fresh Atlantic sword for only 7.99 pound. We also have a Restaurant Depot within an hours drive that's great for the occassional field trip. But like you, there's only so many hours in the day and in the end we need the convenience of the goods rolling through the back door. Our time is worth $$$ so there's real value in delivery. I just have to formalize a systme that doesn't involve a line by line shopping trip between vendor every week.

post #14 of 14

What I have done in the past was divvy up the old shopping list.

 

 

-The big boys got the staples like fries, fryer oil, canned goods, salad dressings etc, maybe bacon if they played nice.

 

-The local poultry got all the poultry and he delivered.  He also threw in a free case of bones with every order

 

-Local butcher would deliver beef, pork, and lamb.  I did my own trimming and portioning.

 

-Didn't do much seafood, but I would get a seafood delivery when I needed it.

 

-The local fruit and veg guy would deliver.  He was just down the street, and I would trot down, pick out my cases, and he would deliver in the late afternoons

 

-Coffee guy would deliver coffee, tea, syrups, cups/straws, etc. about once a month

 

-Bakery supplier would deliver once every two weeks.  I used a lot of frozen dough and had staff trained up to pan, proof and bake off bread, buns, and breakfast stuff.

 

-And of course the Costco run, I would do that maybe once a week.  All dairy, canned pop, some meats, and some disposable stuff. But at almost 2 bucks difference for a gallon of milk and a buck and half for whipping cream compared to the big boys, it was worth the trip.

 

With the exception of costco and the big boys, everyone else was a small supplier and was grateful for the business, no one ever pulled a fast one on me.

 

Every time the big boys came down and saw local supplier's stuff in my kitchen and wanted me to buy their stuff, I asked them for their best price.

They never came close to the indie guys...

 

Like everything else, purchasing is a never ending process, it takes effort.  But it also pays off big time.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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