Boost Efficiency & Save With Smarter Cooperative Purchasing
The public sector procurement process can be confusing and time-consuming, but there are plenty of opportunities to boost efficiency and savings.
Government agencies tasked with purchasing the goods and services they need to function must be cognizant of local and federal regulations put in place to ensure transparency and compliance when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. Additionally, certain contracts within the public sector are subject to specific value thresholds, and keeping track of all of the information on top of regulatory requirements can be daunting.
Purchasing cooperatives allow for groups of businesses in the private sector to join together to buy the goods and services they need to run their businesses. Likewise, Government Purchasing Cooperatives were created to give public sector agencies the ability to share procurement contracts between entities. This means that various state and local governments could buy the goods and services they need from the same contracts.
Public sector procurement agencies use purchasing cooperatives to save time and money when it comes to the procurement process. Purchasing managers and contract buyers can bypass the competitive bid process and immediately access contracts that meet all of their state-specific requirements. Not only that, but buyers can rest assured they’re getting fair and affordable pricing thanks to the pre-negotiated contracts that are already in place
The use of purchasing cooperatives spans well over 100 years and there are now 29,000 cooperatives that operate within every aspect of the U.S. economy. From banking and insurance to the nation’s electrical distribution, cooperative purchasing has a pivotal role in how we procure the things we use every day.
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
Why government agencies need cooperative purchasing to assist with the public sector procurement process.
How public sector procurement organizations can get the most value out of cooperative purchasing.
How CompareCoops is leading the way to simplify how government agencies procure.
Why public sector procurement agencies need cooperative purchasing
Government procurement teams are continuously trying to procure the highest quality products and services for the best possible value. Purchases must stay within compliance and supplier information must remain organized, all while dealing with lengthy and expensive RFPs and slow internal processes. There is a need to simplify the procurement process and there are several benefits of utilizing cooperative purchasing.
Save time & reduce costs
Above all, the use of cooperative purchasing will save government agencies time and money. The amount of time and due diligence it takes to sift through the right number of suppliers, to find the best price, and make fair comparisons can be overwhelming. Not to mention, a lot of the time this is a manual process. Purchasing cooperatives offer contracts that have already been established. Buyers no longer need to solicit bids or review proposals, they can simply choose the contract that works best for them.
Likewise, the purchasing power of the cooperative has been leveraged to secure the fairest, most reasonable pricing, letting buyers feel confident knowing they’re getting the best deal available to them.
Alleviate resource pressure
A 2018 survey found that 42% of staffers in public sector procurement felt overworked. Demand is increasing, yet workers are already dealing with limited resources. With that, and the desire to move toward more efficient procurement processes, procurement leaders are pushing more spend toward cooperative contracts to piggyback off of other agencies.
The use of cooperative purchasing contracts allows for more variety when it comes to suppliers and vendors, and more product flexibility. This is especially beneficial in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic where supply chains all over the world have been disrupted. Cooperative purchasing ensures there are always alternative vendors and supplier options and products available to be delivered on time and on budget.
Secure superior contracts and better quality products
Since coops already have contracts in place that meet all local, state, and federal requirements, and the coop has completed the lengthy negotiation process, it’s easier for government agencies to secure access to superior contracts and better quality products by using cooperative purchasing.
How to best utilize cooperative purchasing to boost efficiency in the public sector
Anyone familiar with the public sector knows that traditional procurement methods are lengthy, oftentimes manual, and outdated. Thankfully, purchasing cooperatives give government agencies a way to improve upon some of those tedious processes. We’ve outlined some pro-tips below when it comes to utilizing cooperative purchasing to maximize efficiency when it comes to procuring in the public sector.
Tip #1: Utilize modern technology
It may not be realistic to think that every government agency is able and willing to update to the newest procurement technology system. Even if you’re up for the challenge, convincing stakeholders of the need for change will most likely happen at a snail’s pace. In the meantime, it’s helpful for procurement managers and buyers to be aware of the tools and resources that are available that allow them to be as efficient as possible.
CompareCoOps is a free-to-use digital platform that offers a faster and easier way to leverage the benefits of cooperative purchasing and helps save money on your purchases. It's a secure, independent technology platform that public agencies can use to access a range of cooperative contracts, identify suppliers, get competitive quotes, and report on contract usage.
Tip #2: Cut costs, not compliance
The pressure to find new ways to cut costs and reduce budget each fiscal year is real. Not only does cooperative purchasing allow you to find contracts that offer the best pricing, it significantly reduces the administrative costs and resources needed associated with traditional procurement processes. The previously long, drawn-out methods that normally took months are cut down to a matter of days or weeks thanks to cooperative purchasing, all without sacrificing compliance.
With CompareCoOps, you can easily compare different coop contracts and gain wider visibility over the contracts that are currently available. From sourcing to awarding the supplier, everything is done within the same platform, reducing the chance of missed opportunities.
Tip #3: Stay ahead of disruption
COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball, disrupting procurement and supply chain like never before. Cooperative purchasing ensures there are always alternative vendors and suppliers available when agencies find themselves needing to pivot thanks to shortages, lockdowns, closures, and transportation delays.
One of the main advantages of using CompareCoOps is that it allows public sector procurement agencies to diversify their supplier pools and makes it easier to connect to new contracts if and when your current vendors aren’t able to deliver.
Get the most out of cooperative purchasing with CompareCoOps
CompareCoOps isn’t a cooperative. Instead, it’s a digital platform that offers public sector procurement organizations a secure way to complete the purchasing process from start to finish. Compare cooperative contracts, notify suppliers of winning contracts, manage schedules and keep track of payments all in one place. It’s transparent and user-friendly. Best of all, CompareCoOps is completely free for government agencies to use.
CompareCoOps is hosted on the trusted VendorPanel platform with over 64,000 users worldwide. We’re backed by a group of investors with a proven track record in the B2B SaaS marketplace and a 10-year-old award-winning technology.