In any business venture, managing resources and budgets can prove to be a challenge. It’s always a battle to balance cost savings while also maintaining service levels and overall excellence.
Nonprofits, public agencies, government entities, and school districts often bear the brunt of this issue because, in most cases, they don’t generate much income. As such, it’s imperative that the decision-makers within these organizations perform their due diligence and exercise the strategic sourcing of supplies, materials and services.
A cooperative purchasing program is often the solution, because it’s a valuable resource that helps deliver top-notch results while staying within the constraints of a budget.
Today, we will look at the biggest benefits of utilizing regional or national cooperative purchasing. With this information, you’ll be better prepared to make optimal decisions for your organization.
How Cooperative Purchasing Helps Your Organization
Cooperative purchasing essentially provides buyers with a means to negotiate lower prices on materials and services for various projects. (This is achieved by organizations joining forces to create a cooperative procurement process.)
When organizations aggregate their purchasing power, it grants them access to competitive pricing on a wide range of trusted products and services, from office supplies to new commercial roofing systems. This competitive process helps to better manage budgets and allocate appropriate resources in every critical aspect of your operations.
Another advantage to a cooperative purchase is the ability to access better contract terms by using previously negotiated contracts as a benchmark (and essentially piggybacking off of that initial agreement).
1. It’s Convenient, Flexible and Transparent
Since no two cooperative purchasing organizations are the same, it’s important to do as much research as possible on their backgrounds, track records and capabilities. This will help your organization meet goals in regard to purchasing and procurement.
Most procurement professionals find that cooperative purchasing is both convenient and flexible. Many note that it’s also a transparent process—there are few surprises when it comes to the use of cooperative contracts!
Find a partner that has clear and open communication so that questions are answered promptly and concerns are addressed efficiently.
Often, the biggest benefit of cooperative purchasing is that it circumvents the request for proposals time lag that is so common when seeking out services and materials—it ultimately saves a lot of time, administrative costs, and (most importantly) money!
2. It Gives You Competitive Access to Negotiated Pricing
One of the benefits of cooperative purchasing is that it provides an easier means to procure well-priced resources and reduces the time and effort needed for projects.
(While cooperative purchasing takes much of the oversight and groundwork out of a project or purchase, keep in mind that it’s still important to maintain a watchful eye when reviewing the awarding and solicitation processes of each cooperative contract. Ensure that all vendors deliver with competence and excellence.)
Remember, some cooperative organizations are more competitive than others, especially the larger national cooperative groups that consist of public sector entities and government agencies. Negotiating power and discounts are always impacted by overall group size, and large purchasing cooperatives can help entities of all types across the United States leverage their purchasing power. (Two large, well-known purchasing cooperatives are TIPS and OMNIA Partners.)
3. It Helps to Ensure Compliance
Since cooperative purchasing groups work with a variety of organizations, including federal and state governments and other public entities, compliance is key and ultimately helps you manage expenses and increase efficiency.
Cooperative contracts solicited by a lead agency can assist in satisfying competitive bid requirements. However, keep in mind that it’s still good practice to review contracts, check state statutes, and fully understand the guidelines and protocols you need to follow (which is important for all transactions and dealings).
4. Cooperative Purchasing Keeps Crucial Needs in Focus
Cooperative purchasing agreements provide value by focusing members’ needs. Contracted services and goods have already been vetted and have earned the trust of the cooperative, which provides a level of reassurance to members.
Larger purchasing cooperatives act as a resource to members, as well: often providing contact lines to answer questions or giving assistance in various situations. They can also act as a liaison to a supplier when needed.
Once you’re a member, use your cooperative purchasing group to leverage resources. Keep your requirements in mind and work with the cooperative to get the best results for your project’s needs.
Part of this process includes checking the terms and conditions of the cooperative contract, looking at supplier contract details, and evaluating the requirements behind each procurement.
5. It Helps Manage Fiscal Responsibility
Successful organizations pay attention to the distribution and management of funds with periodic audits and reviews, because having a system of checks and balances ensures consistency and compliance.
Cooperative purchasing organizations give members a clear understanding of each contract’s spend (which results in the complete transparency of where resources go). That type of knowledge is especially important for public sector organizations, because they often handle government funds. But, fiscal responsibility is important, no matter the industry and ensures that resources are properly invested throughout various stages of the project.
Push for the Best with Cooperative Purchasing
Cooperative purchasing offers solutions to maximize both budget and resources. With it, you can ensure competitive bidding on products and services while avoiding common headaches like managing the RFP process and negotiating rates. (And, let’s not forget the frustration of having to find a trustworthy supplier or contractor all on your own without insight from other organizations who have recently used that same company or product!)
At TEMA Roofing Services, we are proud to partner with two great cooperative purchasing organizations—TIPS and OMNIA Partners. Our participation with these groups allows various businesses, municipalities and nonprofit organizations to take full advantage of the increased speed at which they can receive goods and services (including commercial roofing and commercial roofing construction services).
Interested in seeing whether or not your organization can benefit from our cooperative purchasing options? Contact TEMA Roofing Services today to see how we can help you get started.