Cara Schlarb, Director of Product Marketing at Tundra, is the go-to-person for vendor relationships and product standards. She’s responsible for ensuring that the more than 60,000 products we sell are the best products available for our customers. And, of course, she’s also responsible for staying atop of industry trends so that Tundra continues to offer the best new products available.
So, this made me wonder, how do we decide to bring in new product lines? And for that answer, I had to ask the person in charge, Cara.
How does Tundra decide to bring a new product line in?
Like most industries, new products are constantly being introduced to the market. I follow several factors when considering offering a new product line.
The good, better, best philosophy is how I navigate through new products. I want to make sure that every product that comes in is needed by our customers. Yes, we are in the business of selling restaurant supplies, parts and equipment, but to do this well we have to ensure we offer a product regardless of price point. Following the good, better, best science allows us to thoughtfully add products to categories.
How do you feel we successfully accomplish this?
Good partnerships and good value are vital. Tundra will only work with brands that support their product lines; this means that the ‘after purchase’ support needs to be top-notch. For example, if a customer purchases a $5,000 oven they can trust the brand to follow-through with its warranty. Good value is also significant – we’ve all heard the economy is starting to recover, but as a nation we’re still looking for value. Tundra strives to offer products that improve the customers’ business. Fair pricing and quick lead times play into good value as well. Improving efficiency and quality are the top attributes when sourcing new products.
Any secret weapons on discovering the best products?
You have to always be listening – customer feedback is huge. In an age where customers voice their opinions and concerns on social media outlets, you have to be there to listen to that. It’s important for our product team to see this feedback and make decisions based on what customers are saying, not just industry news.
However, we also have to research industry trends for innovation and uniqueness of new products. The restaurant industry is constantly evolving and Tundra has to make sure we offer the products the end user needs to stay up with customer requests.
And finally, my team and I attend industry trade shows to search for new products that could offer something different, unique, helpful and efficient for our customers.
Even with Tundra’s stringent guidelines, we offer an amazing selection of products for restaurant operations. We strive to offer the best of the best at every price point.