In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, few companies can survive by simply doing what they have always traditionally done.  Retailers and consumers are demanding change and innovation more than ever and at a faster pace than ever before.  In spite of this challenging environment, QCS Purchasing continues to grow due to the fact that it recognized the need to adapt and redefine its business model from a traditional buying organization to one that is focused on becoming more of a solutions provider to the companies it serves.

Maximizing value by leveraging the buying scale represented in its community continues to be “job one” when it comes to the group, while new and innovative programs are paving the way for the future. In doing so, QCS provides the best returns possible in the form of low pricing and high service and quality in the goods they negotiate for on behalf of their owners.  Supply items which are commonly sourced include: packaging materials, resin, OJ concentrate (through futures hedging), ingredients, corn sweeteners (tolling program), MRO supplies, cleaners and sanitizers, GM vehicles and many others.

The focus on being a complete solutions provider has spawned several new and innovative programs such as:  a captive insurance company, development of key strategic alliances to supplement its core in-house capabilities and an incentive model that encourages volume commitments from its participants. Each of these innovations has made a significant contribution leading to the 30+% growth QCS has enjoyed over the past few years.

Being organized as a not-for-profit also ensures that all earnings (after expenses) are returned to its owners in the form of discounts, rebates and patronage.  These amounts can be substantial as the expenses of the organization are just a fraction of a percent of its overall spend.

Through its affiliation with Quality Chekd Dairies, a full complement of training programs is also available including CIP, HACCP, GMP, route-driver and employee safety.  All are in English and Spanish and are available online as well. A major announcement was made recently as Quality Chekd joined forces with The Ohio State University to offer an extensive selection of training programs targeted at the food and beverage industries.  

QCS continues to “set the bar” while expanding beyond the usual programs that competitors offer.  Although dairy continues to be the largest business that it serves, the group also represents companies in organic and natural foods, bottled and office water services, carbonated beverages, fruit and vegetables, as well as craft beer producers. 

Company overview

QCS Purchasing LLC is the largest solutions provider of its kind serving over 500 buying locations in the United States alone.  The company is owned by SECO (Southeast Cooperative Organization), Quality Chekd Dairies and Allied Purchasing, each of which has been in business dating back to the early 1940s.

The small, dedicated staff of professionals at QCS Purchasing has over 115 years of dairy and food industry experience among them.  President/CEO Peter Horvath said, “Each of our staff members has years of specialized experience in the area of their responsibility. When we find a need that we can’t or chose not to manage in-house, we move to identify strategic partners who can deliver high-value opportunities. This helps us keep our costs low and also helps us deliver programs and solutions that have successful track records and fit into our business model.” 

This article was prepared by QCS Purchasing. For more information about QCS Purchasing, go to

QCS operating  objectives:

  • Maximize value through pricing, quality and service
  • Continue as the low-cost provider in our space
  • Develop innovative system solutions which go beyond the normal