Having a viable purchasing program requires skillful efforts on two fronts, almost simultaneously. The first front is with the members of the group. Simply put, the group will need to get them rowing in the same direction in order to effectively negotiate with its vendors, the second front. In order for a purchasing program to be effective as to any given product line, several key elements must be present. 

These include:

  • At least two or three strong competitors offering a comparable product.
  • The product line offered by each of these competitors must be of a high quality and reasonably interchangeable with those offered by the other competitors.
  • The vendor must be able to service the entire group with a high rate of shipping performance.
  • The vendor must be willing to sell to all of the members of the group upon the same terms and conditions.
  • he members must have the ability and willingness to drop one vendor’s line and go with the line of another vendor in order to support the group’s program.

If a group cannot put most, if not all, of these elements together as to any given product line, the program will have a difficult time in succeeding.