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NARTA: Delivering Value through Collaboration
Companies within the same sector are usually natural competitors. They are willing to go the extra mile to gain an advantage over each other. However, when they come across similar issues, it makes sense to unite as a group and tackle those situations.
On a similar note, the National Associated Retail Traders of Australia’s (NARTA) foundation was laid 55 years ago to bring all the retailers in Australia and New Zealand under the same roof. The retailers, as a whole, were finding it difficult to obtain competitive prices from international suppliers due to their size and remoteness. NARTA was designed to address this particular problem, using the combined buying power of its members to leverage deals from global markets.
“With traditional buying models, you are limited to your individual, organizational spend; through collective sourcing, you have greater opportunities to deliver value for your organization, leveraging off entire group spend and be a larger customer in the market. Essentially you go from being the little fish in the pond to the big fish in the ocean,” states Jen Barclay, head of procurement at NARTA.
The organization is made up of more than 20 retailers across Australia and New Zealand, and it is a not-for-profit company that is owned by its shareholding members. The firm’s primary objective is to deliver value via retail services including leveraged group buying. NARTA also offers additional member support services such as procurement, group consumer finance, data analytics/forecasting, and marketing.
Initially, the company’s historic scope focused solely on “Goods for Resale,” but four years ago, the strategic decision was made to extend NARTA’s leverage buying model to ‘Goods Not for Resale.’ NARTA’s proven ability to deliver value for both buyers and efficiencies for preferred suppliers is the only reason behind the success and longevity of its group-buying model.
The firm acts as an end-to-end managed procurement service provider.
NARTA Procurement ensures all members of our team are supporting your business delivering ongoing value through collaboration
“We share with our members what we have available off the shelf and then discuss what their needs are and how we can support them to achieve their goals,” says Michael Jackson, CEO of NARTA. The company’s engagement is tailored to each customer individually, focusing on providing the best structure for their needs, whether that be the frequency of or mode of communication and what sort of information would create the most substantial value.
NARTA offers its members a range of different preferred deals within indirect categories such as marketing, print, and facilities management, among others. “We also run custom tenders and negotiation services with members’ current providers to assist with new value opportunities on current deals,” adds Jackson. Members continue to own the day-to-day relationships with suppliers, with NARTA providing support as required. The company acts as a central procurement function, maximizing value across the group while ensuring member specific data is kept confidential. The organization works with suppliers to manage performance across the group and to identify new opportunities to deliver value.
Also, through its Ethical Sourcing Program, NARTA supports businesses with regulatory reporting and helps them to achieve new goals that can contribute to an organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility plans. For instance, NARTA has worked closely with JMP, its preferred packaging supplier, to proactively create solutions in response to the recent regulatory changes regarding the use of single-use plastic bags in Australia. NARTA members were well informed through an online campaign and e-flyer, and it facilitated discussions between members, suppliers, and NARTA regarding the changes. These solutions were delivered to members throughout Australia and addressed both current, and future scheduled changes as NARTA incorporated its process of long-term category management through collaboration.
NARTA’s focus has always been on providing sustainability for its members, efficiencies for all partners, promoting product and technology, and increasing choice for consumers. In 2012, NARTA launched indirect PaaS to its members and the broader marketplace, leveraging the same principles of group buying to deliver value across twelve indirect categories, with another nine launchings over 2020-21. This will allow for diversification across all markets, not just retail. “We understand the need to deliver diverse solutions across NARTA’s member base and through our leadership and role modelling culture, NARTA Procurement ensures all members of our team are supporting your business delivering ongoing value through collaboration,” concludes Jackson.