It is crazy to see how much money a franchisor makes on the side by having “Preferred Vendors”. I put that in quotes for a reason. You do NOT have to use a preferred vendor. You do have to look for a better deal. I bet there was a list of vendors that your corporate office was so happy to give you to “make things easier” when you were starting out. They conveniently didn’t say it was the cheapest or the best. It was just easier for you to start with those companies.
If you ask about savings since you are part of a big brand and that grouping sales to all the franchisees would make sense since the vendor gets captive audience to sell to, you’ll get some nonsense about following the rules. The key to remember is that preferred vendors are not part of the rules you ahve to follow. In fact, there can be a fee paid to the corporate office for access to all their franchisees. You, my franchise friend, pay that fee.
Take the time to use the prices that the preferred vendor gave you and shop locally for a better deal. You may have thousands in savings every year just by not being a sheep and following the franchise leaders. Do just follow along with what you are told. YOU are CEO of your franchise business. Act like it and make moves that push more dollars to the bottom line.