Letters to the Editor: July

Buying Groups Endorsed As Formula for Success

Dear Eliot,

I read with keen interest your March editorial discussing the need for industry partnerships. I couldn’t agree with you more that now, more than ever before, partnership is a critical component to the well-being of both the kitchen/bath dealer and manufacturer.

As we continue to face the challenges brought on our industry by the economy, all of us seek to find better ways to keep and increase market share. This is no easy task with the saturation of product available from domestic and foreign sources, all chasing the same fewer dollars.

If increased sales are the result of successful partnerships and partnerships come from relationships, there is a means – a shortcut, if you will – to those relationships. Buying groups are all about building relationships and economies of scale.

Having been involved in buying groups for more than 30 years, I know they can be part of the answer for challenges. Long a source of questions and suspicion to those who don’t take the time to understand their true goals and operation, buying groups can be one of the most effective sources of stability available in our industry today.

Buying groups are not about extracting the last dime out of supplying vendors. Nor are they about dictating how to run one’s business. Rather, their mission is to provide an organized format to create and maintain relationships that facilitate and encourage doing business between the members and the vendors.

Competition has never been keener for fewer dollars being spent than what we’re experiencing now. It has never been more important to utilize every tool, every opportunity and every advantage to gain and hold on to your share of the market.

No one knows what the future of the industry holds. What I do know is, like in so many other industries, buying groups can be part of the answer to success even in the most challenging times.

Eddie Schukar
V.P./Vendor Relations & Development
Buying Group Services
Bath & Kitchen Buying Group
PremierDPH Buying Group
LeisureLiving Buying Group