Ways a Group Purchasing Organization Can Help Combat Rising Costs

The multifamily industry continues to face economic headwinds. On top of major trends like declining rent growth, worker shortages and vacancies driven up by skyrocketing supply, expenses remain high.


The multifamily industry continues to face economic headwinds. On top of major trends like declining rent growth, worker shortages and vacancies driven up by skyrocketing supply, expenses remain high.

With these trends keeping market performance below or at normal for the foreseeable future, now is the time to be smart about how you spend on the things needed to operate your properties. A simple solution for effective spend management is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO).

A GPO pools together the buying power of multiple property management companies to access pre-negotiated discounts with a strategically selected group of vendor partners. For example, the eSupply GPO from RealPage® serves hundreds of clients and more than 3.6 million units, who together have access to discounts from a diverse list of trusted vendors. This is especially valuable for smaller operators that don’t have a purchasing department or purchasing staff.

Let’s dig into the top three benefits of a GPO and how they can impact your company’s bottom line.

1. Cost savings

The primary function of a GPO is its biggest selling point: Saving your company money through group purchasing discounts. It provides enterprise-level purchasing power to all properties in your portfolio, resulting in immediate savings and increased NOI. With eSupply, for example, multifamily operators can save up to $13 per unit annually.


With eSupply, we’ve unlocked purchasing power and efficiency.

Drew Cohalla
Operations & Communications Coordinator, Yarco Property Management

2. Access & time savings

While it’s easy to see the results of great deals and discounts, finding them can be a different story.

Through eSupply, customers are introduced to major vendors like Staples, Lowe’s Pro Supply, HD Supply and Leslie’s Pool Supplies without having to lift a finger. “Staples is proud to be a facilities vendor partner with eSupply by providing best-in-class access to key manufacturers in total coffee and janitorial products,” says Michele Parzianello, Chief Sales Officer at Staples. “eSupply has a high-energy team that works well with Staples to identify facility solutions for their customers every day and we are proud to support their needs.”

While eSupply has an expanding list of vendors, customers can select vendors a la carte, choosing as many or as few as they’d like. This ensures property management companies get as much support as they need and allows operators to keep their discounts if they offer better savings.

Additionally, eSupply saves you time by doing the vetting for you, so you can rest easy knowing you’re choosing from well-qualified, reputable vendors.

“eSupply is a great resource because its buying power and industry knowledge give us the comfort of knowing we are getting great value in partnering with the best suppliers in the industry,” says Zach Baker, Director of Procurement at Harbor Group Management. This also encourages properties in your portfolio to buy from approved vendors, maintaining consistency and savings (not to mention peace of mind) across communities.

3. Support & education

In addition to a valuable vendor list, a good GPO should also provide the support your team needs to get the most out of it.

The eSupply GPO starts you off on the best foot possible with fast, easy implementation. With no software installation needed, companies can get up and running (and start saving) in just 10 days. “eSupply is ready to integrate right into Ops Technology,” says Kennedy O’Brien, Operations Manager at Corcoran Jennison Management, “so it’s easy for users to jump right in and start ordering once setup is taken care of.”

With a committed Account Management Team and ongoing customer support, eSupply also provides quarterly reports outlining spending and showing what you’re saving — perfect for sharing with leadership.

Finally, eSupply leverages its vendor partnerships to share important industry updates, education and training opportunities, and sales and special promotions notifications. From Certified Pool Operator courses to the latest smoke detector regulations, “We get that information out to customers,” explains Jennifer Lester, Director of Vendor Management at RealPage.


Start saving

If you lack a purchasing staff, question product purchases or want to close the gap between real and potential savings, a GPO like eSupply is an easy way to realize more profitable business results.

“With eSupply, we’ve unlocked purchasing power and efficiency,” says Drew Cohalla, Operations & Communications Coordinator at Yarco Property Management. “Whether it’s leveraging their vendor network for our typical supply needs or strategically accessing specific vendors for regional requirements, eSupply delivers incredible flexibility. They have streamlined the entire process, making procurement a breeze. In short, eSupply has been a game-changer for optimizing our supply chain and meeting diverse needs across our portfolio.”

Learn More about eSupply.

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