Unitas has introduced a new procurement service to help its members save on operating costs.

The service will offer members centrally negotiated rates on overhead purchases, including energy supply and agency staff.

The buying group is partnering with procurement specialist Auditel to manage the outsourced service.

Unitas Procurement Service is free for members, and there is no obligation to accept the deals offered.

After a six-month trial, Unitas members achieved average savings of 43% on packaging and 42% on stationery, with one member reporting saving over £20,000 a month.

Potential additional savings will result from Auditel’s individual cost review for each business, identifying “optimal volumes and specification for the products purchased”.

“We joined Unitas to buy better. It’s no different if it’s the products we sell on to our customers, or the energy, fuel or paper clips we use ourselves”, said Chris Gallacher of United Wholesale (Scotland), which participated in the trial.

“The group benefits from much better pricing from suppliers. For us, it’s a big plus plus. Since partnering with Auditel, we’ve been saving over £20,000 a month.”

Unitas MD John Kinney said: “Helping our members reduce operating costs is one of Unitas’ strategic pillars, and working in partnership with Auditel has shown just how effective this collaborative approach can be for them.”

Auditel works with suppliers in over 100 categories including energy supply and management, packaging, open banking, logistics and agency staff.