Increased competition, brought about by consolidation in the dairy industry and the resulting advent of national brands, has prompted regional dairies to embrace group purchasing.

Increased competition, brought about by consolidation in the dairy industry and the resulting advent of national brands, has prompted regional dairies to embrace group purchasing. Now in its 30th year of existence, the Masters Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of ecMarkets, is one of the most successful purchasing groups in the US. The activities of the Masters Group are managed by a team of seasoned managers from ecMarkets, a leader in the strategic sourcing industry. The team consists of Dave Laukat, CEO, Scott Peterson, VP, and Kyle Wulf, Director. All three individuals have extensive experience in the dairy industry, as well as strategic sourcing and supply chain management.

"We utilize our in-depth knowledge of the dairy industry, and of strategic sourcing and group purchasing, to meet the needs of our customers" says Dave Laukat, CEO, ecMarkets. "We recognize that every situation is unique, and therefore demands a unique solution. This is how we are able to add tremendous value. In addition, our experienced operational consultants are able to tailor every program we manage to meet the needs and demands of our clients."

The typical client is the CEO, CFO, or COO of a member dairy. Ultimately, it is the person responsible for reducing their companies' material costs and managing business processes more efficiently and effectively. By tapping the expertise and technology of ecMarkets, Masters Group members are able to routinely achieve significant savings. In addition to the proprietary procurement technology that ecMarkets uses to execute reverse online auctions, each member has access to a team of individuals who are well versed in writing effective requests for proposals, qualifying suppliers, and managing complex specifications requirements. To this end, ecMarkets enables Masters Group members to achieve great successes with multiple suppliers, unique specifications, and disparate geographical locations. When sourcing specific items that are not appropriate for ecMarket's proprietary web-based systems, ecMarket's leverages its deep relationships with respected national vendors to achieve economies of scale that drive benefits not only to the customer, but also to the vendor.

By bringing together a set of companies with unique synergies, such as the Masters Group, ecMarkets is able to negotiate the aggregated volume of multiple buyers in one supplier purchase agreement, and they do this directly with the relevant vendor community. Given the leverage that aggregated volume provides, Masters Group members regularly achieve 5% to 25% savings. The savings are then passed on to the members in the form of rebates and lower prices. As an added benefit, ecMarkets also invoices and manages the payments for the member companies of the Masters Group, as necessary. The Masters Group is particularly attractive to those companies that want to leverage their volumes with the others to affect meaningful discounts.

"ecMarket's technology enables Master Group members to get the best possible deals. Our decision to partner with ecMarkets has resulted in significant strengthening of our buying power in the dairy industry." There du Pont, CFO, Wawa, Inc.

ecMarket's industry expertise spans a broad spectrum and includes ingredients - sweeteners, orange juice, flavorings, extracts, oils, eggs and many more, packaging - milk crates, corrugated, paper board, cups, lids, caps, shrink film and stretch wrap, HDPE, and PET, and supplies and logistics -- uniforms, pallets, transportation, fuel, and truck components, parts, equipment and services. The list of programs that ecMarkets continues to develop for its client base grows on a daily basis.

"ecMarkets has intensified and greatly accelerated our buying program. I'm hoping we expand the number of product programs with more aggregated products. The more we utilize ecMarket's technology, the better." Mike Krueger, COO, Shamrock Foods.

Some of the member companies in the Masters Group include:
Anderson Dairy - Battleground, Wash.
Anderson Erickson Dairy - Des Moines, Iowa
Cloverland - Baltimore
Marcus Dairy - Danbury, Conn.
Shamrock Foods - Phoenix
Sunburst - Phoenix
Wawa Dairy - Wawa, Pa.
Wilcox Farms - Roy, Wash.

For more information about the Masters Group call 410/931-8100.