There is strength—and buying power—in numbers. It’s one of the key benefits of our cooperative system as we work to compete in an ag environment ripe with consolidation. Whether it’s negotiations with suppliers, marketing member production or advocating on key industry issues, our strength comes from our collective size.
In 2014, we launched the BuyPoint™ program to harness this strength and help save our members money on a variety of products and services needed to run their businesses. For the more than 300 member-owners—both producers and cooperatives—that have taken advantage of the program, that means significant savings on items such as tires, hardware, skid loaders and office supplies.
“Since the inception of the program we have helped BuyPoint members save more than $2 million,” says Tyler Polacek, BuyPoint™ program manager. “What we’re trying to do really speaks to the cooperative message of everybody banding together to be stronger as a whole.”
Over the last three years, we’ve more than doubled the number of suppliers in the program and are regularly looking to improve BuyPoint™ through new suppliers or product offerings. Today, our product categories include:
- Fleet Products: trucks—all sizes, trailers, feed transport equipment, cars, tires
- Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO): parts and supplies including safety, janitorial, sanitation, electrical, mechanical, fasteners, abrasives and adhesives
- Information Technology: equipment, solutions and services
- Office Products and Supplies: paper, toner, office equipment and furniture
- Payloaders: loaders and other construction equipment
- Promotional Products: branded to your business including hats, jackets, shirts and a large variety of merchandise
Savings range from 3 percent on larger items such as machinery and construction equipment, up to 40 percent on items such as nuts and bolts. One of the most one popular vendors among our members is Fastenal—the largest fastener distributer in North America. Craig Meyers co-owns Meyersland Dairy LLC in Pennsylvania with his father and brother and began using BuyPoint™ in the fall of last year.
“I have mainly used Fastenal to order bolts and things like that,” Craig says. “Not long ago I did a price comparison and we saved quite a bit of money ordering through BuyPoint.”
Craig also recently began making purchases at Grainger using BuyPoint™ and says they’ve seen savings on those purchases as well. One of the best parts of the program is its evolving nature. You never know where you might find significant savings.
“Right now we’re seeing a lot of people making purchases for hardware from Fastenal and skid loaders from Caterpillar,” says Justin Potts, Land O’Lakes Developmental Service Advisor. “When you buy a skid loader you might not buy again for five or 10 years so that doesn’t generate a lot of repeat usage for that member but there is a significant savings there.”
The more users we have on BuyPoint™, the more negotiating power we have with our suppliers, which means more potential savings for members. To begin the registration process, email BuyPoint@landolakes.com and request an Onboarding Checklist.
“The checklist is a simple signup form,” Tyler says. “There is no cost, contract, or minimum purchases required. The savings and pricing begin at day one and dollar zero.” After completing registration, visit the BuyPoint website to browse the online product catalog. Users can browse the online product catalog, place an order or request a product quote. Craig advises that people allow themselves a little time to become familiar with ordering through the BuyPoint™ website.
“You do have to take some time to get used to it,” he says. “I just went to the site and looked at the different vendors to see who has what and then went through the categories to see what they had to offer. After using it for a bit you get used to it—and the savings are really good so it’s worth it.”
Because many of the suppliers have store locations in member communities, BuyPoint™ purchases may also be made through participating suppliers’ local representatives or store locations. That way you can still take advantage of the discounts even if you prefer to support your local businesses.
If you have questions or need help getting set up, members may contact their local field staff representative, email BuyPoint@landolakes.com or call 855-595-1363.