Cooperative Purchasing: What is It, and Why is It Useful to Your Business?
With an ongoing challenge of meeting tight budgets, while maintaining an overall quality of service; both government and education officials are relying on cooperative purchasing programs to ensure they receive the best product, at the lowest price.
In simple terms, a “purchasing cooperative” is an arranged agreement between two or more businesses. Cooperative purchasing is a plan that agrees to aggregate demand in order to obtain the lowest prices from selected suppliers. It is often used by government agencies to reduce the costs of procurement, and provides the best resources and solutions for a business or organization.
Why They Are Useful
Cooperative purchasing programs help educational and government entities to save money. Because there is strength in numbers, cooperative purchasing is a competitive program where these organizations and businesses can select a supplier in a more convenient, controlled service. With the reliability of cooperative contract schedules, organizations can have peace of mind, because they know that they are receiving a fair price for the good or service that they requested.
If you are part of an organization, nonprofit, school, healthcare institution, or local government entity, then you may be eligible for the Cooperative Purchasing Program. Here is a list of groups that most likely qualify to be a part of a cooperative purchasing program:
Are you unsure if you qualify, but would like to find out? This eligibility request can help you determine if you are.
How to Pick a Cooperate Purchasing Program
For starters, you will need to conduct your own research and review the list of suppliers/vendors that belong to the purchasing program of your interest; make sure that their services and products coincide with the potential needs of your organization. What will your expected requests be in the future? Does the cooperative purchasing program that you are interested in offer the products or services that you will want? Do they service your local area or state? These are important aspects to consider before joining a cooperative purchasing program.
The Cooperative Bid Process
Cooperative purchasing organizations create a network of members and pre-qualified vendors to leverage contractor bids, while virtually eliminating the administrative work needed from your team.
The purchasing cooperative organizes bids from contractors in a competitive solicitation process to determine those that meet the requirements of the program. Once the cooperative has awarded a contract with the successful contractor, the agency allows participating members of the organization to make purchases utilizing the negotiated contract through the cooperative purchasing organization. This saves your agency time and significant money for additional projects, because the pricing will be based on the original contract. West Roofing Systems
“When an agency is required to go through a bid process to secure a vendor for their project, there may be an emphasis on choosing the low-bid contractor which runs the risk of a low quality contractor. Cooperative purchasing allows agencies the flexibility to select the contractor that best fits their needs, from price to quality and contractor qualifications.”- West Roofing Systems.
Cooperative purchasing leverages competitive bidding of pre-qualified vendors to provide you with a streamlined purchasing option, all while staying in compliance. You can have peace of mind knowing that you are getting a respectable price from a trusted supplier.
A qualified vendor of several cooperative programs, Vanguard Modular provides temporary and permanent building space that is constructed using the methodology of off-site modular construction. Cooperative purchasing coupled with Vanguard Modular’s turnkey service makes purchasing and leasing of classrooms, offices, and specialty buildings a simple solution for complex space needs.
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