What Are The Benefits Of Joining A Catering Equipment Buying Consortium?

If you’re a catering equipment supplier or distributor, you may have spoken to other people in your industry about joining a buying group — and you may have a lot of trepidation or scepticism about doing so. 

This is understandable. Becoming a food service equipment buying consortium member requires a wholehearted investment in your business, both in terms of time and money. 

But as you’re about to discover, this investment reaps massive rewards in the long run.

Our article will explore these rewards in more detail, and features exclusive insights from ENSE members.


In this article

    1. Relationship-building opportunities
    2. More market share and turnover
    3. Less competition for suppliers
    4. Increased profitability for distributors
    5. Greater time and cost efficiency


More relationship-building opportunities

It’s not rocket science — the more relationships you build, the more business somebody can funnel to you and vice versa. 

If you’re a member of a catering equipment buying consortium, people will be pointed in your direction through a variety of means, including:

  • Social media marketing
  • Conferences (such as our exclusive Summit & Awards, which we host each year — we liken this event to speed dating for suppliers and distributors!)
  • Webinars
  • Supplier-focused marketing

The above examples not only increase your networking opportunities but also open up far more revenue streams than you likely have at present. 

Josh Tordoff, Head of Group Supply Chain at The Airedale Group:

“We joined ENSE as it’s a partner-focused buying consortium that prides itself on creating a collaborative environment. This core value aligns with our in-house ethos.

The biggest benefits we’ve recognised from joining ENSE include competitive commercial terms, various networking opportunities (be it summits or webinars), and the ability to forge and strengthen new and existing supply chain relationships.”


Increased market share and turnover for suppliers

If you’re a supplier, you’ll gain more market share and build more revenue by working closely with distributors. 

For example, one of the most common questions we get from suppliers is: “Why should I join ENSE?”

The answer we give is simple. You’re not currently a member of a buying group, and what are the distributors you’re in contact with telling you? They’ll usually say they only work with ENSE suppliers, so that’s your answer. 

And here’s the icing on the cake — in many cases, we’ll double your turnover within the first two years of you joining our group and triple it within five years.

If this isn’t an incentive, we’re not sure what is. 

David Chesshire, National Accounts Manager at Blue Seal:

“Having been ENSE members for over ten years, we’ve had exclusive access to directors and key members of sales teams who are up to speed on our products and any of our new releases. We always have direct contact with the right people.

If you give someone loyalty, they’ll reciprocate. It’s to the members’ advantage to sell more ENSE products, and doing so safeguards future business. You know you’re a distributor’s first port of call if they need certain types of equipment. 

We initially had reservations about joining because of the cost and time commitment involved. But as a supplier, ENSE pays for itself for one simple reason — you can get in front of sales teams and make them more confident in selling your product. 

If you commit the time to help a distributor understand your product, they’ll be more inclined to sell it because you’ve made it easy for them to do.”


Less competition for suppliers

You’re gaining a major advantage over your competitors when you join a catering equipment buying group. For example, if you sell a specific type of product that no other supplier sells within the consortium, you can join and then this seat is yours.

In a crowded space, you need to separate yourself from the competition, which a buying group enables you to do.

When you’re not part of a consortium, the amount of attention you generate for your business is obviously more limited. But by joining a community, you can gain attention through individualised meetings and additional focus from the distributors. 

You have unrivalled access to a huge network of distributors — the kind of network your competitors could only dream of.

Ultimately, this increased attention and reduction of competition should lead to market share gains.


Increased profitability for distributors

If you’re a distributor, you’ll quickly discover that the more business you do with suppliers within a buying consortium, the more exponentially your profitability will grow. 

Even if you join a catering equipment buying group and change nothing about your business, you’ll receive a retrospective payment at the end of the year.

To put this payment into context, you could feasibly double your bottom-line profitability for the year upon receipt of it. This kind of increase is game-changing for most distributors.

To reiterate our above point — you have the opportunity to make this sort of money by simply buying into the group. By this we mean committing to the process and looking for ways to improve your profitability.


Time and cost efficiency for suppliers and distributors

Your diary is undoubtedly looking full at the moment, and this is likely causing one or two lucrative deals to stall. 

Even trying to find a convenient time to arrange a meeting with a prospect can feel like an impossible task.

Joining a catering equipment buying consortium will help you overcome this challenge.

If you attend a conference (virtually or face-to-face), you can address all your buying requirements and strategies in one place over a few days. Everyone is going there with specific points of action to fulfil, which speeds up and streamlines the buying process. 

Whether you’re a supplier or distributor, you’re able to speak to your ideal clients without needing to set aside time in your calendar across several months or worrying about sudden cancellations after you’ve put in the groundwork. If you’re a distributor, being part of a buying consortium means you’ve got the voice of many distributors together.

It may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. It’s one of the main reasons suppliers and distributors join a buying group, and it’ll save you an incredible amount of time and money.


Enquire about joining our buying consortium today

ENSE has over £700m worth of buying power and around a 30% share of the UK catering equipment market at the time of writing. 

These statistics confirm our position as the UK’s premier catering equipment buying consortium and highlight the scale of opportunities available to you if you join us.  

You’ll unlock bigger margins, more business collaborations among members, and a streamlined supply chain with our cutting-edge network. 

Here are a final few words from Josh Tordoff, whom we quoted above:

“Our advice to anybody sitting on the fence about joining ENSE would be to holistically examine your supply chain and procurement strategy. 

You should then consider how a professional buying consortium can help take some of that pain away from the negotiation process and present profitable opportunities you may not currently benefit from.”

Join us today to propel your organisation to new heights.


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We’d love to meet up and tell you how our dynamic organisation could work for you.