How GPOs Can Help Ensure Business Continuity and Protect Against Inflation

By Mackenzie Oakley | July 5, 2022

It’s no secret that businesses across the country are experiencing rising costs over the last several months. Companies are paying higher prices on everything from energy and fuel to shipping, labor, food, and more. Coupled with ongoing supply chain disruptions, organizations are needing to find solutions to these challenges to ensure their businesses remain up and running and without breaking the bank.

As a group purchasing organization, Una is in a unique position to help businesses solve these problems and tackle supply chain disruptions and inflation head-on. We’re equipped to help our member organizations find comprehensive savings solutions, access a diverse supplier portfolio (with contracts that have built-in price protections), and deliver unparalleled service to ensure business continuity in times of uncertainty.

Ensuring business continuity and protecting against inflation

Partnering with a GPO certainly isn’t the only option when it comes to keeping your business operational but working with the right GPO can help insulate companies against inflation and mitigate the risks associated with independent supply chain management.

Here’s how:

Better pricing

Group purchasing organizations use the collective buying power of their members to negotiate contracts with better prices. Independent businesses often have less purchasing power and, therefore, have to settle for less favorable pricing. This means they are at a competitive disadvantage when pitted against bigger corporations or GPOs.

Partnering with a GPO saves money and allows companies to pass savings on to consumers, improving both their value proposition and their bank balance.

Built-in price protections

GPO contracts often have built-in price protections, meaning suppliers can only raise prices by certain amounts at any given time. This feature is undoubtedly helpful when inflation is running rampant. Utilizing a GPO contract allows businesses to know up front and plan for the type of increase, if any, they’d expect to see.

Una, for example, has several discount shipping programs available to our members. These contracts allow members to save up to 20% on everything from ground, express, exporting, freight, and more from the world’s leading brands, while protecting against outrageous price hikes. So while some businesses outside of Una membership saw shipping and freight costs increase in excess of 9% at the beginning of 2022, our members were protected by contracts that capped increases before reaching that level.

Better payment terms

GPOs can negotiate better payment terms with sellers so members can save money to use for other parts of their business. Unfavorable payment terms — sometimes up to Net 60 or Net 90 — can amount to your business providing short-term loans to supplier companies. Businesses that partner with GPOs can get products quickly and without the hassle of poor payment terms.

Greater reliability

When a supplier is experiencing product shortages or disruptions, it can devastate a supply chain if there are no backup suppliers available. This is also a great threat to business continuity if you run out of essential goods that are required to run your business. While an independently managed supply chain might include one or two suppliers for a given product, many GPOs have dozens of redundant suppliers to guard against supply chain disruptions.

Improved selection

Product development is an ongoing task so its essential that businesses can obtain the resources needed for new products and services. The wide range of similar products available through GPOs allows your company to experiment with, build, and test new products without worrying about limited selection.

Work with a GPO to ensure business continuity

Businesses across numerous sectors can take advantage of the strength in numbers concept provided by a group purchasing organization to ensure business continuity and save money in the wake of inflation. Supply chain management is now more about guarding against economic uncertainties than ever before, and you don’t have to manage alone.

The right GPO partner will be with you every step of the way, providing countless procurement solutions and opportunities for better overall spend management. At Una, these services are complimentary as membership is always free. There are never any participation fees and no purchasing requirements or contract obligations. Our team stands ready to help you navigate supply chain disruptions, contract pricing, and supplier relationships in a way that promotes business continuity and profitability.

Ready to learn more? Contact the team at Una to learn how to take advantage of the power of group purchasing.

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