Increasing Your Company’s Buying Power by Leveraging GPOs

What is collective buying power?

Collective or group buying is a concept that has recently gained a lot of popularity among both individuals and businesses — and for good reason. Most individuals and small or medium companies can’t purchase products and services at the volume necessary to start seeing cost savings. On an individual scale, this is where facilitators like Groupon and LivingSocial come in. But what about the small businesses scale? The ability for smaller companies to pool their resources to get the benefits that buying in bulk from suppliers can provide collective buying power.

How do you increase your buying power?

What is collective buying power? Collective buying power is achieved when businesses join together to form bigger orders from suppliers. Suppliers benefit from bulk purchases in a number of ways, which, in turn, allows them to sell to customers for cheaper. Example 1: Collective buying decreases supplier's overhead. Scenario: It takes 5 minutes for a cashier to process an order. 1,000 single-item orders requires 5,000 minutes of labor, whereas a single order of 1,000 items requires 5 minutes of labor. You can guess which scenario a supplier would rather be investing their employees' labor. Example 2: Collective buying helps eliminate markup from certain flat costs of manufacturing. Scenario: Your neighbor orders a pizza for $10. The pizza company tacks on a delivery fee of $5, making the total cost of the pizza $15. You and some friends order 10 pizzas. The delivery fee is still $5. The total cost is $105, making the cost per pizza $10.50. As more buyers pitch in, the price goes down. But who's got the ability to pool together so many companies? GPOs like UNA.Whether you are a large business or private equity firm, there are ways to streamline and maximize your purchasing operations, which will save you money and increase efficiency. Oftentimes, companies aren’t even aware of the resources available to them that can provide discounts on products they already purchase regularly. Several industries and types of organizations can specifically benefit from participating in a Group Purchasing Organization, or GPO. Joining a GPO combines your purchasing needs with the collective needs of thousands of other businesses to increase your buying power.

Corporate Business

Small and large businesses alike commonly require products and services such as office supplies, small parcel shipping, copying equipment and computers, among other things. These categories are where most GPOs have secured their biggest discount programs that can provide the most value. Learn more about GPOs for small businesses.

Private Equity Firms

By leveraging the aggregated spend of the group, GPOs enhance member profitability by negotiating and offering contracts with competitive pricing for indirect supplies and services. This provides needed spend control and supply chain management to drive unique savings for each of the private equity firms’ portfolio companies. Learn more about GPOs for private equity firms.


Associations are uniquely designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for businesses or organizations coming together for a common purpose. But the value doesn’t have to stop there. We have found that a lot of associations want to provide membership discounts with efficient and standardized purchasing options for all their members. GPOs can provide easy and lower-cost access to products and services while helping the association increase its value proposition and membership retention. Learn more about our GPO benefits for associations.

Hospitality & Foodservice Management Companies

Hospitality groups commonly procure products and services for food purchasing, housekeeping/MRO supplies, office supplies and more. GPOs like UNA have relationships with suppliers in these areas already and can help procure and negotiate up-front savings and help take care of the contract direct and indirect spend management. Learn more about our GPO benefits for hospitality companies.

Leveraging GPOs to Save Your Company Money

Whatever your industry or market, chances are there are several areas of your business where you are spending more money than you need to be in your procurement process.  It’s always a good idea to take a step back from your procurement routine and assess where improvements can be made. Joining a GPO can help you strategically approach purchasing to save your company time and money.

Cost Comparison Analysis

Whether you leverage this service from your GPO or use an internal procurement resource, compare your company’s current pricing and the savings generated by purchasing through a GPO to understand your areas of opportunity. Some GPOs, such as UNA Purchasing, provide cost comparison analysis as a part of their membership benefits to identify savings potential.

Streamline Purchases

Use a GPO to streamline your purchasing process, eliminating unnecessary time and money spent negotiating contracts with multiple suppliers. GPOs have our pre-negotiated member discount programs that you can simply tap into.

Skip the Middleman

Order direct from suppliers. Skip the middleman’s cumbersome process and order directly from your GPO’s leading supplier partners to quickly start accessing cost savings for your company.


Why settle for one-size-fits-all? Ask for customization. Many GPOs are able to tailor suppliers’ programs to meet the specific needs of their member companies.