Cooperative contracts offer many benefits for public agencies. They provide volume discounts, unprecedented value, better delivery terms and supply chain advantages while reducing administrative time and expense.
Agencies that choose cooperative purchasing programs will see increased operating efficiencies and save valuable resources like taxpayer dollars, which can help enhance relationships between public agencies and the communities they serve.
Cooperative purchasing agreements add significant value when used appropriately, but they add significant value when used appropriately. Here are important insights for public agencies considering cooperative purchasing programs.
1. Improved Competitive Solicitation Process
Cooperatives have expertise in running competitive solicitations, which allows agencies to benefit from a reliable process while allowing them to focus on core agency purposes. The cooperative will provide all documentation related to the contract, ensuring you have it when you need it.
2. Careful Evaluation of Solicitation Responses
When an agency performs due diligence on a cooperative contract, the agency should be sure that the awarding entity goes through an evaluation process of the responses received. To ensure the contract will fit the needs of agencies across different segments and localities, lead agencies use an evaluation committee that includes end users that are experts in the product or service being solicited. Many lead agencies also use key purchasing officials from other agencies to evaluate RFP responses, questions suppliers and ensures all RFP specifications are met. Additionally, the lead agency should negotiate with suppliers to ensure the best possible value for agencies that may use the contract.
3. Reassurance Against Supplier Problems
Agencies and educational institutions that enter supplier agreements on their own will also be alone in resolving any problems that may arise. With a cooperative purchasing organization, if contacting the supplier directly does not work, the cooperative can help quickly resolve the problem.
4. Contract Flexibility
Most cooperative purchasing programs only require you to register. Agencies are free to buy supplies elsewhere because there is no contract with the cooperative and cooperative purchasing organizations don’t have a minimum spend or commitment.
To learn even more about the value of cooperative purchasing, visit OMNIA Partners to see how we’re striving to improve the purchasing process.