Audiology buying groups are associations of businesses, typically small businesses, that purchase hearing healthcare products together. In other words, rather than submitting 70 separate orders, 70 businesses submit a single order covering all of their needs. Here are five benefits to membership in audiology buying groups such as OneSource Hearing:
More Efficient Buying and Fulfillment
Most hearing healthcare practices buy hearing aids from multiple suppliers and manufacturers. Each of these orders is submitted separately in normal practice. Each of these orders is tracked separately and delivered separately. Rather than submitting multiple orders, you submit a single order to a buying group. By placing a single order across all manufacturers to hearing aid buying groups, your purchasing process is made more efficient.
More importantly, the fulfillment process becomes more efficient for the manufacturers and suppliers when they can receive a single order from a buying group rather than individual orders from multiple separate hearing healthcare practices. Often these efficiencies result in savings that are passed on to you and your customers. For example, individual practices might be unable to reach the minimum order size for certain discounts. However, aggregating orders through a buying group may qualify you and the other members of the buying group for discounts on shipping and bulk orders.
Increased Negotiating Power
Negotiating power is increased as orders increase in size. While suppliers and manufacturers have little incentive to negotiate over many small orders, they do have the incentive to negotiate over a single large order, even though the total product sold may be exactly the same.
Thus, even if the supplier or manufacturer does not automatically offer discounts for exceeding minimum order sizes, a buying group may be able to negotiate a discount or other incentive using the size of its orders as leverage.
Leverage Existing Relationships
It takes time to cultivate relationships with suppliers and manufacturers. This can place a heavy burden on new practices or established practices seeking new products or new suppliers. A buying group with an existing relationship can smooth the road to establishing a relationship with manufacturers and suppliers. Moreover, as a member of a buying group, each member’s individual relationship with suppliers and manufacturers takes a back seat to the buying group’s collective relationship with suppliers and manufacturers.
This can take on particular relevance when dealing with foreign manufacturers and suppliers. Language barriers, customs rules and regulations, and tariffs are among the difficulties that a hearing healthcare practice may experience when trying to buy products manufactured outside the United States. Membership in a buying group, however, can smooth the way for acquiring imported products. Moreover, audiology buying groups like OneSource Hearing can provide hearing healthcare practice support to help you navigate foreign suppliers and the importing process.
Associating with other hearing healthcare practices brings the benefits of collective market data that is both broader and deeper than individual market data you might collect yourself. 36 million Americans experience hearing loss, but your practice will see only a fraction of those customers. However, if you associate with other hearing healthcare practices in audiology buying groups, the group can share market data thereby ensuring marketing expenditure optimization. Specifically, you are able to benefit from the market data collected by practices that may be larger than your own. These allies may have a different or broader market base than your practice, giving you more valuable data.
Nothing is more frustrating than having to track invoices from multiple different suppliers and manufacturers and writing multiple checks so you can pay each supplier separately. Moreover, payment terms will vary across the suppliers and manufacturers. Tracking due dates so as to avoid late fees and delays in later orders can create many problems.
When you receive your products from the buying group, the buying group provides consolidated billing that includes all your products, regardless of the manufacturer or supplier they were obtained from. This can smooth both your accounts payable process by making sure all your suppliers are paid, but also your billing process to make sure that the right charges are passed on to customers.
Audiology buying groups provide many benefits. Ready to learn more? Don’t hesitate to contact One Source Hearing today.