OMNIA Partners Blog

The Scientific Process to CU Sourcing

Posted by Dustin Cochran on August 30, 2015


When looking at a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO), you might think that finding a new supplier to deliver value to the membership would be an easy undertaking. All you have to do is find a product or service that isn’t offered, then simply begin a traditional sourcing process, right? Not so fast, the process is far more detailed than that if you are doing it right.

At Corporate United, there are six steps that our sourcing team follows to successfully introduce a new supplier to our membership. The first step, and the focus here, is data collection and validation of demand. Like anything else, if you don’t have a solid foundation, you put the rest of the project at risk.

DISCOVERY PHASE

The feedback we receive from members is a huge part of how we decide the next best step for our category model and what we should offer. We rely on many types of data collection during this process, including:

  • Networking
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Surveys

Member involvement in this part of the process is more influential than in any other sourcing step. In fact, the member insight we receive guides future business decisions and helps us to understand whether or not a particular endeavor is worth pursuing.

CONTINUING TO GROW

We really want our members to do a thorough evaluation of everything that is available to them through their CU membership. They can count on us to investigate new categories, select best-in-class suppliers, craft new agreements, and negotiate improvements to existing agreements.

With our members' help, we hope to increase the pace of adding new suppliers, as well as individual categories, each year. However, decisions like these aren’t taken lightly. We want to be sure that we have the necessary bandwidth to sustain a strong relationship. The amount of face-time, the onboarding process, and our commitment to category lifecycle management are all factors to be considered when bringing on a new supplier.

As we continue to grow, it is important to add the necessary resources to the company in order to adequately identify the right categories in which to invest. To understand the market and execute the strategy well is a very unique skill set. That being said, we are proud to welcome Gaston Alvarado to Corporate United. With years of sourcing expertise, including international experience across several countries, Gaston is the perfect addition to our sourcing team.

COMING SOON

The future looks bright at CU as our sourcing team continues to work hard with members to determine which new categories to pursue. Currently, we have some exciting projects in progress, such as:

  • Language translation services
  • Third-party maintenance

A few others, such as travel management, are in the discovery phase to ensure it is a good fit for our business and membership.

Interested in learning more about what Corporate United offers, or have questions about becoming a member? Then be sure to read more about our category offerings, or contact one of our member developmentrepresentatives.

Topics: Group Purchasing Organization, Procurement

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