While group purchasing organizations (GPOs) serve many industry sectors, in the professional cleaning industry they are few and far between. Because of this, maybe we should first define exactly what a GPO is.

According to Terry Sambrowski, executive director of the National Service Alliance (NSA), the leading GPO for the professional cleaning and related service industries, “a group purchasing organization negotiates agreements with manufacturers for their members to purchase cleaning solutions, tools, and equipment at reduced rates.”

So can GPOs really help their members? The best way to answer this, according to Sambrowski, specifically in the professional cleaning industry, is to let some of NSA’s contract cleaning members do the talking. For instance:

 • Tim Murch, 4M Building Solutions, St. Louis, MO says: “NSA members realize significant value regardless of the size of their business. The combined purchasing power of the group is amazing and you recoup your investment in membership many times over. I encourage all of my peers to join.”

 • Arlo Luke, Varsity Facility Services, Pocatello, ID: “NSA has been a major benefit to Varsity over the years, helping us be more competitive and enabling us to become a major player in the industry. NSA leads the industry with the strongest product and services partners and the collective purchasing power of the group is second to none.”

 • Paul Senecal, United Services of America, Milford, CT: “The cost savings I receive as an NSA member is one of the strategic advantages I have in my market. Also, sharing best practices with other members helps us improve productivity and profitability, enhancing our bottom line.

 • Jordan Tong, Frantz Building Services, Owensboro, KY: “Having access to a national supply network with significant discounts has given us a competitive advantage. We’ve streamlined operations, increased revenues and increased profit margin on supplies. NSA also provides a valuable network of companies that promotes learning, friendship and business partnerships.”

 • George Mahoney, Janitronics, Inc., Albany, NY: “NSA membership gives us substantial savings over what we previously paid for the products and services we use every day. And, we didn’t have to disrupt our supply chain to take advantage of the discounts -- all our favorite distributors honor the contract pricing. This made membership a no-brainer for my company.”

 • Bob Weintraub, Service Management Group, Shelton, CT: “Joining NSA and getting started was easy. Our NSA rep took us step-by- step through the process on how to maximize the savings and other benefits offered to NSA members. Joining NSA was a smart move for SMG and we look forward to the savings we will realize every year

 • Kirk VanderVlucht, Holland Inc., Toledo, OH: “NSA provides me with great pricing on a broad range of chemicals and equipment, making my business more competitive. I also feel like I'm part of an elite group of building service contractors and appreciate the opportunity to share best practices with my peers across the United States.”

 • Brad Klein, Building Professionals of Texas, Houston, TX: “Being a member of NSA gives me access to a plethora of training sessions relevant to my industry. Although I have a PhD in results, I’m still working on my MS in cleaning – I take advantage of these learning opportunities whenever possible.”