Public entities like state and local government agencies, educational institutions and nonprofits all face ever-tightening budgets and constant expense pressures. Cooperative purchasing is a well-known strategy for reducing costs and adding efficiencies.
Here are five ways cooperative purchasing improves the public procurement process.
1. Saves Time
The public procurement process is complex, and conducting a comprehensive solicitation requires staff resources that may already be at capacity. Partnering with a cooperative purchasing organization eases that burden and delivers peace of mind. Top purchasing organizations will deliver a comprehensive cooperative purchasing program while doing the heavy lifting for you. They will lead the way in researching and sourcing while partnering with a lead public agency that handles the competitive solicitation, specifications and awarding process. The cooperative will also assist in contract management, saving you considerable time while adding expertise.
2. Reduces Costs
One of the most powerful benefits of cooperative purchasing agreements is significant cost savings. Aggregating requirements and standardizing product and service specifications give different agencies the purchasing power of larger government consumers. And cooperative purchasing programs generally offer contracts that are broad in scope so the product or service you need is included. Contracts are discretionary and non-exclusive, so agencies can choose the best contracts for their needs.
3. Connects Agencies with Top Suppliers
Cooperative purchasing ensures you receive bids from larger suppliers who might offer lower prices and better products. An effective purchasing cooperative will connect you with high-quality products and services while offering negotiating power that gives you the best value. This improves public procurement processes by handling the toughest elements for you, providing the best contracts for the best products at the most competitive prices.
4. Delivers Ongoing Value
Good cooperative purchasing organizations build strong relationships with the suppliers to better support public agencies. If a challenge or question comes up, the cooperative purchasing organization can step in to assist. Most cooperative programs have a team that works directly with public agencies to help them utilize the contracts.
5. Improving the Public Procurement Process
A high-quality cooperative purchasing partner brings many benefits. There are many factors affecting the procurement process in public institutions, but a good process should include detailed, consistent steps in the awarding of contracts. Look to partner with a cooperative that aligns with public procurement procedures and has a lead agency that awards the contract rather than the cooperative. This makes the process easier when looking to utilize a cooperative contract.For more cooperative purchasing information, visit OMNIA Partners, Public Sector.