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Maximizing Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Procurement: GPOs vs. Purchasing Cooperatives

Maximizing Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Procurement
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In the landscape of sourcing strategies, understanding which procurement solutions suit your needs is essential. With increasing complexities in supply chain management, both GPOs and purchasing cooperatives have emerged as pivotal tools.

Understanding GPOs in Plant Maintenance and Facilities Management


  • Diverse Range: GPOs usually offer a vast range of product categories, allowing organizations to access diverse markets under one umbrella.
  • Cost Savings: The pooled buying power of members typically ensures better pricing.
  • Streamlined Purchasing: With contracts already in place, procurement processes can be smoother.


  • Less Specialization: GPOs cater to a broad audience, which sometimes means a lack of specialization for industry-specific needs.
  • Flexibility Issues: Some GPOs may lock members into specific contracts, limiting adaptability.

Purchasing Cooperatives: The MRO Sourcing Solution


  • Specialized Focus: Cooperatives, such as SDI’s Supply Chain Coop, often focus on niche markets or specific areas like FM spares and MRO, ensuring that products and services are tailored to precise needs.
  • Greater Flexibility: Members can typically start or stop purchasing at will, and they can select from a variety of categories without constraints.
  • Technological Integration: Modern cooperatives are integrating technology, offering insights and analytics to optimize buying behaviors.
  • Strategic Pricing & Benefits: The focused approach can sometimes translate into more advantageous pricing, free freight options, and other benefits.


  • Narrower Product Range: A specialized focus might mean a more limited range of products when compared to some GPOs.
  • Learning Curve: Integrating new technologies and platforms might require training and time for members to adapt.

Making the Choice: GPO or Cooperative for Plant Maintenance Managers?

While both models provide distinct benefits, it’s essential to understand their nuances to optimize your sourcing strategy effectively, especially in realms like facilities management and plant maintenance.

Optimizing Your Sourcing Strategy:

For those keen on refining their approach to MRO procurement and indirect supply chain management, further knowledge is crucial. Delve deeper to understand the pivotal role of purchasing cooperatives in modern sourcing strategies.

Download the SDI Whitepaper or visit SDI’s Supply Chain Cooperative website page to understand how a cooperative might revolutionize your procurement process.

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