Working With a GPO Makes You More Effective in Your Role

Explore how working with a GPO will not only make your job easier, but help elevate you to become truly great at your profession.

By Hugo Britt | November 2, 2023


A “capo” is a small device that clamps onto the neck of a guitar to raise the pitch, allowing the guitarist to play a song in different keys with the same set of open-string chords.

Is this cheating or considered a shortcut? Does bypassing the need to learn different chord shapes across different keys make someone a less effective guitarist? No. Many of the world’s most famous rock and pop guitarists have used capos, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ry Cooder, and Noel Gallagher.

If you have aspirations to become the Clapton of procurement, you will need to use every tool at your disposal. One such readily available tool is (you guessed it): group purchasing.

Working with a GPO

In our many conversations with procurement professionals, we’ve often encountered a concern that partnering with a group purchasing organization (GPO) will somehow make the individual less effective at their job. It’s difficult to pinpoint the nature of their concern; perhaps they believe outsourcing some parts of the procurement process is cheating, or maybe they worry that a GPO will alter their sourcing strategy.

For many, the age-old concern is that of somehow being replaced or being made obsolete by a more efficient way of doing things.

Don’t fret (guitar pun intended). Think of a GPO as your capo – a tool that will not only make your job easier, but help elevate you to become truly great at your profession.

Here’s how.

The fear of being replaced is a main concern for procurement when it comes to working with a GPO. Instead, a GPO should be viewed as a tool that's designed to empower and elevate procurement.

A GPO will not replace you

A GPO is a powerful tool that can greatly benefit your organization’s procurement efforts, but it won’t replace the critical role you play in the process. Instead, a GPO complements your skills and expertise by providing access to a network of suppliers and negotiated discounts. It enables you to be more efficient and effective.

Playbook: How to Improve the Procurement Process and Increase Cost Savings

Working with a GPO frees up your time

What could you achieve if you had more time to concentrate on strategic tasks? Instead of being bogged down by the minutiae of procurement such as supplier negotiations and contract management, a GPO takes on these responsibilities, allowing you to allocate your time and resources where they matter most. 

With the administrative burden reduced, you can dedicate your efforts to strategic procurement planning, supplier relationship management, and other critical aspects of your role.

In short, GPOs are your trusted allies in achieving procurement efficiency and enabling you to become a more strategic contributor to your organization’s success.

GPOs work within your procurement strategy

A misconception about GPOs is that they might disrupt your existing procurement strategy. On the contrary, GPOs are designed to align with your strategy, not replace it.

Whether your focus is on cost reduction, quality improvement, or sustainability, a GPO collaborates with you to achieve your strategic goals. They leverage their extensive supplier network and contract negotiations to complement your existing strategies, providing an additional layer of support and cost savings while ensuring alignment with your core procurement objectives.

Guide: Complete Guide to Group Purchasing

GPOs act as an extension of your team

GPOs are more than just service providers; they act as an extension of your procurement team. By working closely with your organization, GPOs become intimately familiar with your specific needs, challenges, and goals. The result is a dynamic partnership that empowers your procurement team to operate with greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and strategic focus.

Playbook: How to Get the Most Value Out of Your GPO Membership

Working with a GPO allows procurement professionals to tap into additional resources to help build a cohesive sourcing strategy that saves more money, time, and effort.

GPOs will make you more effective at generating cost savings

One of the most significant benefits of partnering with a GPO is their ability to enhance your cost-saving initiatives. GPOs are experts at negotiating favorable contracts with a vast network of suppliers. By leveraging the collective buying power of their member organizations, they secure competitive prices and terms that you might not achieve independently.

Free Tool: GPO Cost Savings Calculator

GPOs can provide instant access to pre-negotiated contracts with top suppliers

GPOs provide a valuable shortcut to procurement efficiency by offering instant access to a portfolio of pre-negotiated contracts with top-tier suppliers. These contracts come with established terms, pricing, and service levels that have been carefully negotiated and optimized by the GPO. This means that you don’t have to invest the time and resources required for extensive negotiations on your own.

This instant access to top suppliers and their favorable terms not only saves you time but also enables your organization to start benefiting from better pricing and service right away.

Become a Procurement Rockstar

We’re here to simplify procurement and empower organizations through increased buying power, comprehensive savings solutions, and superior service. Get in touch with Una to learn more about how partnering with a GPO can help you become a procurement rockstar!

Download Una’s playbook for practical step-by-step instructions on how working with a GPO can jumpstart your efforts to facilitate sourcing efficiency and increase profitability:

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