What is a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO)?

GPO stands for “group purchasing organization.” By definition, it’s a membership-based group that buys similar products. By all GPO members coming together as one, they have more purchasing power. This collective power allows them to get lower prices from suppliers. The concept is much like receiving discounts for buying in bulk or belonging to a wholesale club.

The Synergy Concept

There are more than 160,000 independent dental practices in the United States, and Synergy Dental Partners is modeled on the idea that these smaller operators can maintain their independent practice and leverage their combined purchasing power to achieve pricing standards similar to what larger group dental practices obtain from suppliers. The Synergy team structures cost savings agreements with dental suppliers on behalf of the independent practice. This approach helps the independent practice improve its margins with dental savings when better pricing might not otherwise be available.

As a GPO, Synergy remains committed to representing the interests of and reflecting the voice of the independent dental practices to suppliers. The goal is to provide savings to dentists with sales on dental products and supplies. Members subsequently have peace of mind knowing that Synergy is helping them procure dental supplies as profitably as possible.

Types of GPOs

GPOs typically fall into one of three market categories:

  1. Horizontal: Members may operate in various industries under a horizontal organization yet need similar products and services. For example, an independent investment broker and a self-employed attorney both use standard office supplies like paper and file folders. They can join a horizontally structured GPO to pay less for these items.
  2. Vertical: The vertical GPO centers on one industry and the products or services businesses within it need to operate. While these GPOs may offer better pricing on general supplies, the primary benefit of a vertical organization is deep discounts on industry-specific goods and services. Synergy Dental Partners is a vertical-market GPO and the nation’s leader among dental GPOs.
  3. Master buyer: Under a master buyer arrangement, one primary organization enters into sizable contracts with providers and lets others buy from it at the specified price. This structure is typical within the automotive industry, allowing smaller companies to access the favorable pricing of larger manufacturers.

How Does a GPO Work?

In a GPO, a program administrator — like Synergy — develops and manages supplier agreements for the organization. The administrator identifies and assesses potential suppliers based on their ability to meet members’ needs and negotiates the price structure. As a result, they build and coordinate the relationships between members, suppliers and the group.

First, the GPOs build a base of member companies that want to control spending by buying at the group prices. The collective purchasing power and a supplier’s ability to gain many customers at once generate leverage. In turn, suppliers are more willing to offer the GPO members substantial discounts and superior service.

As membership grows, suppliers make more sales, and it costs them less to acquire new customers. That allows the GPO to seek even lower prices or more favorable terms on the various products and services members need and use. Larger GPOs like Synergy wield more influence over more partners. Our agreements continue to advance across a wide range of practice needs, including dental equipmentsupplieslab services and administrative solutions.

Synergy continually seeks ways to grow and improve our supplier network, prices and performance. Doing so allows us to provide our members with more partners, savings and value. Plus, it helps our member dental practices remain profitable, independent and competitive.

Benefits of Dental GPOs

Being a member of a GPO has many advantages, including:

  • More favorable pricing: Our members’ combined leverage translates directly into savings at the item level, leading to higher profitability.
  • Increased time savings: With a GPO administrator managing cost agreements, you’re free to focus on your core business — patient care.
  • Exceptional customer service: Service and supply partners understand providing a superior customer experience is essential to an ongoing relationship with members.
  • Additional customer support: While you work directly with the suppliers, the GPO manager is available to help resolve any issues.

Why Choose Synergy?

As a Synergy member, you benefit from our:

  • Size: Synergy is the nation’s biggest dental GPO with over 4,500 members and growing. That means increased leverage and better discounts and deals.
  • Expertise: We’re a GPO founded by dentists. We know firsthand the solutions independent practices want and need.
  • Quality: Our clinical experience forms the foundation for vetting our supply partners. You access high-quality products and services with less purchasing risk.
  • Variety: Synergy doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all-practices approach. We partner with suppliers that offer a broad range of solutions.
  • Flexibility: With Synergy, you choose the network suppliers and services that meet your practice needs best. There’s no obligation on the number of partners you work with nor minimum spending amounts.
  • Value: The Synergy Preferred Brands Program adds even more ways to save on the services, supplies and equipment you depend on every day. We also provide access to Method Procurement at no additional charge to help you better manage inventories and purchasing.

Synergy offers a free personalized cost comparison for your practice, too. You can see upfront how much membership will save you based on your unique supply, administrative and equipment needs.

Learn more about our membership and meet the Synergy Dental Founders.

Contact us to learn how to get dental savings with discount prices and product sales.

Join Synergy Dental Partners Today

Are you considering picking a dental GPO? Check our website or contact us to learn about the services we provide. We make onboarding easy if you’re ready to join.

Read what our members have to say about Synergy in our Dental Product Shopper Evaluation

“These are the same brand name dental supplies at a discounted price.”

Thomas Farley,
DMD, Charlotte, NC

“I can order from one vendor with confidence that the products are at a good price point.”

Gregory Camp,
DDS, Mansfield, TX

“Synergy allowed me to leverage the power of group buying, saving money and lower overhead.”

Levy Do,
DDS, Charlotte, NC