Food For Thought

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Entering into a new business relationship is a big deal and forming true partnerships that are mutually beneficial takes a lot of work. Managing the food program for one or more locations is no easy task, and finding the time to fully vet a supplier and negotiating contracts seems impossible at times.

A group purchasing organization is designed to do the heavy lifting when it comes to gaining access to the best suppliers and contracts, and there are GPOs out there that can help you be successful when it comes to saving money, time and effort. Selecting the right GPO to work with is an essential step in securing those discounts you’re after and ensuring your food program is running as smoothly as possible.

When looking to participate in a food cost reduction program, here are a few things to consider:

Free Membership

We suggest always looking for a program that offers free membership. There’s no sense in paying money to save money. Look for a GPO that has a pricing structure set up that collects administrative fees from their suppliers, and in turn, uses those fees to fund their services.

Also look for a GPO that does not require members to purchase from certain suppliers or commit to a specified purchase volume. Members should be free to pick and choose the suppliers that best meet their needs. You want to remain in control and allow your GPO to provide support when and where you need it.

Cost Analysis & Savings

Saving money is likely one of your top priorities and when working with a food cost reduction program, they should be able to provide you with some sort of cost analysis so you’re able to see what type of savings are there for you. Understanding your company’s current purchasing and procurement status can be challenging and time-consuming. Your GPO should be able to help sort through the data and analyze your savings quickly and efficiently.

A cost analysis will serve as a way to benchmark your current pricing and assess the value of your contract with a supplier. Comparing spend information and costs directly to suppliers will identify potential savings opportunities.


Understanding the GPO relationship is of utmost importance. Above all else, find a GPO that offers complete transparency when it comes to membership, pricing or fees associated with joining, purchasing expectations, and the supplier partners they work with.

Although the direct point of a GPO is to deliver instant value, a GPO focused on members will allow for flexibility and autonomy around contracting specific SKU’s that may be unique to the member, whether it’s with the distributor or the manufacturer.

Make sure you’re comfortable with the details of how everything works upfront so there are no surprises on the backend after purchasing begins.

Customer Service

Working with a GPO should mean you have access to the support of a team if and when you need it. When issues arise with vendors and suppliers, or if you’re faced with distribution challenges, your contacts at your GPO should be approachable and responsive. Look for a food cost reduction program that offers things like website training to help with budgets, guides, reporting, and staying up-to-date on new technology features that your food distributors have to offer, along with a seamless set up of your new customer account so you’re able to start saving right away.

The CCPA Difference

CCPA is on a mission to leverage the combined purchasing power of our members to secure unprecedented cost savings on food purchases. In addition to savings, our program adds value to your food program while fostering growth for your organization. Our services bring value and create a streamlined approach to managing your food program and ensuring it is operating as efficiently as possible.

We offer free membership and provide each of our members the opportunity to customize and streamline their operation needs regardless of location. Upon joining, you’re provided with a single, national point of contact that goes to bat for you to fix any delivery, product or invoicing issues and offer the technology to resolve issues within 24-48 hours.

For more information on how to save on food costs, contact Culinary Consultants Purchasing Alliance or join for free today.