Episode 4: Mythbusting GPOs

By Katherine McCleery | August 31, 2020

In this episode of The Sourcing Hero, you’ll hear from our fearless leader, Anthony Clervi, and the one person every procurement professional needs to know – Cindy Rittel. Cindy is Una’s Senior Sourcing Advisor, and every Sourcing Hero’s best friend. She spends her days educating, coaching, and delivering solutions, value, and savings to our members. 

Cindy and Anthony discuss everything from the first questions you should ask when considering a GPO to how to pitch a GPO partnership to gain executive buy-in. This episode is packed full of answers to common questions, actionable takeaways, and overall value you won’t want to miss.

Get ready to take notes!

Listening Guide

[01:00] What a Sourcing Hero wants. Find out some of the first questions procurement professionals ask when they’re considering a GPO, and what they are motivated by.

[03:04] Class is in session. There is a gap in knowledge when it comes to understanding the opportunity that exists in using a GPO as part of your procurement strategy.

[04:41] We love new hires! Find out why newcomers to a procurement role are sometimes our favorite clients.

[05:51] Quote me on this. Cindy and Anthony share the perfect responses for Sourcing Heroes who are facing opposition from the C-suite regarding using a GPO.

[08:14] Time is money. Did you know how much time small to midsize businesses can save by partnering with a GPO?

[12:32] A Sourcing Hero’s best friend. A GPO is the perfect partner to supplement your efforts. 

[13:32] Back to the beginning. Learn what a GPO is, how GPOs got started, and how they can change your organization for the better.

[16:03] How much money and time can you save, and how quickly? A GPO can help you no matter the size of your business. Cindy breaks down what the transformation can look like for both large and small procurement teams.

[23:30] The proof is in the honey hole. Find out what Cindy would say to Sourcing Heroes who don’t know how to pitch group purchasing to gain executive buy-in.

[27:26] The Una difference. We love each other and we love our members. 


“What is a GPO and how can you help me?” 

These are the burning questions that kick off every first call to a GPO from a procurement or sourcing professional, or a Sourcing Hero, as we like to call them. The answer is simple. A GPO comes alongside a procurement department to provide savings, leveraging their group buying power to attain discounts at a level usually reserved for “the big guys.” Any business, no matter the size, can join a GPO and benefit from the same savings. But savings doesn’t just mean a reduction in cost. GPOs can reduce the time you spend, the level of effort needed, and even your workload. How? Listen in for the full details.

“My C-suite doesn’t want to work with third parties.”

This is a common obstacle within procurement and it’s usually rooted in misconceptions surrounding what a GPO does. Cindy and Anthony deliver tried-and-true responses for procurement professionals facing the challenge of winning over the C-suite. The bottom line is, you were hired to find savings and partnering with a GPO is a key way to accomplish that goal. We’ll help you prepare for difficult conversations, and we’ll even join in if you’d like.

“The things I hate most about procurement are…”

A GPO works with you as an extension of your procurement team. We’ll ask you, “What do you hate doing every day? Do you hate managing tail spend? Is that a pain for you?” and for your emphatic “yes” answers, we’ll reply, “I can do that for you! That’s what our team is here to do, and we’re really good at it.” 

“Can you really give me a better deal than what I have negotiated today?” 

Yes! Most conversations typically begin with how much money you can save, but they always turn towards value. Apart from discounts and rebates, there is also a price-locking value in many of our contracts. Suppliers won’t increase prices for some time, and it can even be years. That means you don’t have to revisit this any time soon and you can focus on larger priorities.

“Where do I begin?”

You don’t have to have it all figured out before you reach out to a GPO. We’re here to help you figure out what success looks like and what you can accomplish. Larger members usually come in with one category they’d like to save in, such as travel. Smaller members usually start with several categories like office supplies, shipping, and IT. Start with what is top-of-mind, and we’ll deliver some quick wins. Once we check those boxes, we can go to phase two. Success can happen in iterations so you don’t have to do everything at once and it won’t be overwhelming. 


Host: Katherine McCleery, Head of Marketing

Special Guest: Cindy Rittel, Senior Sourcing Advisor

Special Guest: Anthony Clervi, CEO

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