11 Things You Can Do While Your GPO Works Behind the Scenes

Explore 11 things you could be doing while your GPO takes care of time-consuming procurement tasks behind the scenes.

By Hugo Britt | November 30, 2023

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What would Santa do without the ability to outsource key tasks to his elves? Imagine if he had to look after all the toy-making, gift-wrapping, and present-packing himself – he’d be overworked, stressed out, and would probably miss his all-important delivery deadline. 

But with the elves’ help, Santa is able to put his freed-up time to valuable use, with activities such as mapping out the most fuel-efficient route around the globe, analyzing the data on his naughty and nice lists, and spending some quality time with Mrs Claus.

Things you can do while a GPO works behind the scenes

And what about you? It’s easy to be swamped by day-to-day tasks as you race to get everything done before the holiday season begins. But with a group purchasing organization working behind the scenes to save you money, time, and effort, there’s a golden opportunity to put your valuable time to better use.

Below, we suggest 11 things you could be doing while your GPO takes care of time-consuming procurement tasks.

Day-to-day procurement tasks can bog you down. Utilizing a GPO to manage some of the more time-consuming activities can help save you more money, time, and effort.

1. Supplier relationship management

Dedicate time to nurturing and strengthening relationships with your key suppliers. This can include implementing a formal Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) program, sharing your strategy with key suppliers, collaborating on cost-saving initiatives, and ensuring a reliable and efficient supply chain.

2. Strategic sourcing

Invest in strategic sourcing by thoroughly analyzing your organization’s procurement needs and identifying opportunities for cost savings, quality improvements, and risk mitigation. This may involve seeking out new suppliers, optimizing supplier portfolios, and conducting competitive bids.

3. Risk management

Spend time assessing and mitigating procurement risks, such as supply chain disruptions, geopolitical issues, and changes in regulations. Develop contingency plans and strategies to safeguard your organization’s procurement operations.

4. Sustainability and compliance

Develop a sustainable procurement strategy and allocate resources to ensure that your procurement activities align with sustainability goals and industry regulations. Evaluate suppliers’ sustainability practices and ensure compliance with ethical and environmental standards.

5. Technology adoption and innovation

Stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in procurement technology and tools, such as e-procurement systems, supply chain management software, chatbots, data analytics platforms, and generative AI. Invest time in researching, evaluating, and implementing technology solutions that can streamline procurement processes, improve data analytics, and enhance overall efficiency.

By making time for innovation, you can gain a competitive edge, reduce manual workload, and optimize decision-making in procurement.

6. Internal stakeholder engagement

Dedicate time to building and enhancing relationships with internal stakeholders, such as department heads, finance teams, and end-users. Collaborate with these stakeholders to understand their needs, priorities, and expectations. Fostering better communication and cooperation will lead to more efficient procurement processes cost savings, and better outcomes for the entire organization.

7. Control maverick spend

Maverick spend is chipping away at your cost savings, but you’ve never had time to properly deal with it. With a GPO’s help, you can identify the key mavericks, find out why people are bypassing procurement policy, and make any changes or improvement needed.

8. Upgrade your skillset

Invest time in upgrading your own skillset and that of your procurement team. Stay current with industry best practices, trends, and certifications related to procurement, supply chain management, and contract negotiations.

This continual learning process will help you make more informed decisions, adapt to changing market dynamics, and drive innovation within your procurement processes.

Whether it happens behind the scenes or front and center, the beauty of group purchasing is that it can be used as you see fit to save more money, time, and effort.

9. Focus on your career

Allocate time to strategize and plan the next step in your procurement career. This may involve setting clear career goals, identifying the skills and experiences required for the next step, and networking with professionals in your industry. Invest in opportunities for professional development, such as attending conferences, seeking mentorship, and pursuing advanced degrees or certifications in procurement and supply chain management.

Proactively managing your career growth means you can position yourself for promotions, leadership roles, and increased responsibilities within your organization or elsewhere.

10. Visit your suppliers

Having time to step away from your desk is invaluable when it comes to visiting suppliers. Dedicating time to visiting key suppliers’ facilities and meeting with their teams in person will provide a firsthand understanding of their capabilities, quality control processes, and any potential challenges. It’s also great for the relationship, enhancing communication, trust, and collaboration.

11. Make time for staying informed

Allocate time for staying informed about the latest industry trends, market developments, and emerging technologies. This can involve regularly reading industry publications, research reports, and the latest insights from thought leaders. Additionally, consider listening to procurement-related podcasts like The Sourcing Hero, attending webinars, and participating in relevant forums or networking events.

Partner with the procurement elves at Una

Like Santa’s elves, we’re all about partnership and efficiency at Una. Get in touch to discover how to save money, time, and effort, and unlock the opportunity to focus on the tasks that really matter.

Whether it be behind the scenes or front and center, the beauty of group purchasing is that it can be used as you see fit. Learn how to get the most value out of your GPO relationship here:

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