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Apr 21, 2023

Which group purchasing organization fits your needs?

Business owner researching group purchasing organizations

One of the best ways a business can save on expenses is by joining a group purchasing organization (GPO). These programs leverage the collective buying power of many businesses to negotiate better prices with vendors. But with so many programs available, how do you choose the right one for you? Let’s explore how to compare and contrast different group purchasing organizations to find the one that best fits your needs.

Start by identifying your needs

The first step in finding the right group purchasing organization is to identify your needs. What products or services do you purchase most frequently? Do you prefer to work with specific vendors? Knowing your needs will help you narrow down your options and find the program that offers the best fit.

Compare prices and discounts

One of the most important factors to consider when evaluating group purchasing organizations is the discounted pricing they offer. Take the time to compare pricing across multiple programs and see how they stack up against each other. Keep in mind that some programs may offer volume discounts for larger purchases, so be sure to factor this in when comparing prices.

Also, consider any additional discounts or perks available through the program. For example, some programs offer free shipping or access to exclusive vendor deals. These extras can add up to significant savings over time. 

Check the vendor network

Vendor network is another key factor to consider. Make sure the group purchasing organization you choose works with vendors that offer the products or services you need. These vendors should be reputable and reliable, so you can trust that you'll receive quality products and services.

Evaluate the membership requirements

Different group purchasing organizations have different membership requirements. Some require an annual fee or a minimum purchase commitment, while others are free to join. Consider the membership requirements and whether they align with your budget and purchasing needs.

Look at customer support

When evaluating group purchasing organizations, don't overlook customer support. A good buying program should offer excellent customer support to help you with any questions or concerns that may arise. This is especially important if you're new to group buying and need guidance on how to get started.

Consider the program's reputation

Finally, it's important to consider the program's reputation. How long has the GPO been around? Do they have any historical metrics to consider in relation to how much they have helped their members save? Look for reviews and testimonials from other businesses that have used the program to gauge their experience. You may also want to check if the program has any awards or industry recognition that can give you confidence in their service.

Questions to ask yourself

Finding the right group purchasing organization can help you save money on your business expenses and free up resources to invest in growth. Remember to also factor in your own budget and purchasing needs, as well as any specific products or services you require. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself as you consider signing up with a group purchasing organization: 

  • What products or services do I purchase most frequently?

  • Do I prefer to work with specific vendors?

  • How do the prices and discounts offered by different group purchasing organizations compare?

  • Are there any additional discounts or perks available through the program?

  • Does the GPO’s vendor network include the products or services I need?

  • Are the vendors reputable and reliable?

  • What are the membership requirements, and do they align with my budget and purchasing needs?

  • What level of customer support does the group purchasing organization offer?

  • What is the program's reputation, based on reviews and testimonials from other businesses?

Enjoy up to 55% off office essentials with Excelerate America

At Excelerate America we helped our members save over $21 million (yes, million!) in 2022 by shopping through our buying program. Our most popular offerings include discounts of up to 55% at Office Depot, up to 40% copy and print services (also at Office Depot), and free shipping on orders $20 and up. But we’ve also expanded our vendor network to include Dell, Morgan Stanley (401K), Quickbooks, ZipRecruiter, Constant Contact and more. 

When you join the 40,000+ businesses who are part of our Collective, you access the strength of group purchasing with our Business Essentials service. Our Collective spends roughly $60 million a year through our program and we use that buying power to negotiate corporate-size deals and secure aggressive pricing. So you can shop confident, save time and money, and run a smarter business.

If you're ready to join our Collective, you can sign up for free.

Learn more about our group buying program.

Want to learn more about how to save money with a GPO?
⁠Download The Power of Many: Guide to Group Purchasing for Office Supplies.
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Heidi Wilcox

Group buying guru and market dev master.