Following nearly a five-year push to arrange collective buying arrangements with hoteliers, a consortium of 12 midmarket companies including Tokyo Electron America, International Sematech and Bose Corp. this month secured rate quotes for chainwide deals from such chains as Hyatt and Best Western.

The business travel consortium this year sent requests for proposals to five hotel companies to fill roughly 250,000 aggregate room nights in 25 markets, and several hotel chains for the first time said they would honor a chainwide arrangement with the travel-buying collective.

"We have responses from Hyatt and Best Western and from New Otani in the Pacific area. Hilton is not back yet but they're responding," said Kevin Maguire, Tokyo Electron U.S. Holdings' manager of corporate travel and fleet services. "Marriott is the only one that—although they didn't give us a total no—said they don't work with consortia. The rest seem to be willing to approach it and formulate a program."

A major reason for their success is the modified pricing structure the buyer consortium employed. While consortium buying conjures up perceptions of a one-size-fits-all approach that delivers the same rate to all parties involved, that was not at all the approach.

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