For UCC-related Every Child’s Hope, a children and family services agency that serves the St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., communities, help with vendor relationships is important. That’s where Natalia Hernandez of Care Purchase Services (CPS) — the partner behind the CHHSM Store — steps in.
“We have a great relationship with Every Child’s Hope,” Hernandez says. “We’ve been able to assist the organization with several programs, including medical supplies, technology, and plant operations.”
The CHHSM Store is a group purchasing organization (GPO) that helps CHHSM member ministries and employees buy supplies, food, equipment services, appliances, technology and other items for better prices than they could get on their own. Care Purchasing Services negotiates with hundreds of vendors across the country to provide those competitive prices. In 2019 alone, CHHSM members spent more than $500,000 with CPS vendors, providing a savings of about $45,000.
“We’ve worked with Natalia and her team for several years now,” says Brandi Behne, chief financial officer for Every Child’s Hope. “It’s been a good process to ensure and show our stakeholders that we actively seek the most responsible pricing.”
CPS offers many opportunities for CHHSM members to save money. Hernandez and her team will do free cost analyses for CHHSM members. The analyses looks at current vendors, comparing their pricing to the rates CPS vendors can offer. Sometimes CPS vendors are cheaper, sometimes not. Favored vendors also can be added to the CPS negotiated rate. The end result is savings, which benefits the CHHSM member.
While Behne was able to use CPS vendor pricing, she also found that working with CPS enabled Every Child’s Hope to review their current vendor contracts. She found that several offered prices and services that couldn’t be beat, “which gives us great peace of mind,” she says.
One of the reasons CHHSM chose CPS to run the CHHSM Store is because of its core values, which include Corporate Social Responsibility, says Michael J. Readinger, CHHSM president and CEO. Another benefit of the arrangement is that all CHHSM members and employees have access to the free service.
“Many group purchasing groups have membership fees, or require that a certain percentage of purchases be from the GPO’s vendors,” Readinger says. “The CHHSM Store has neither requirement. So whether you just need a one-off single purchase, or ongoing equipment and supply fulfillment, the Store can provide it. The CHHSM Store not only provides cost savings, it provides solutions for CHHSM members.”
For Hernandez, the reward is in helping CHHSM members in their ministries. “At CPS, we are always happy to help our members find the best deal and vendor relationships,” Hernandez says. “I understand the importance of their business, their relationships, and their dedication to the community they serve, and this motivates me every day to give my best. By helping my clients with their purchasing needs or vendor issues, we are also helping those community members that depend on these organizations and services.”