Cooperative purchasing programs have helped government agencies and nonprofits afford a variety of services over the years and have allowed these entities to purchase everything from IT and security to law enforcement products and repair services. But, who exactly is eligible for a cooperative purchasing contract?
In this article, we’ll take a look at what your organization needs to do to qualify to participate and what these contracts can provide. Let’s get started!
What Are Cooperative Purchasing Contracts?
Cooperative purchasing contracts are part of a procurement service for approved businesses and companies, ranging across a variety of different industries. Purchases are made through scheduled contracts (hence the term cooperative purchasing contracts) and offer a variety of benefits to the buyers.
For one thing, the pricing is often lower, as opposed to not going through a co-op, and as a result, there’s less time spent in the competitive bidding process. It also gives the organization more buying power and favorable contract terms and conditions for whatever product or services they purchase.
On top of that, jobs often get done more quickly, thanks to fewer administration costs and setbacks. For a full list of the different benefits that come with cooperative contracts, make sure to check out our guide here.
Who Qualifies For the Program?
A variety of cooperative purchasing organizations exist across the United States. And, while certain ones through the government are designed specifically to support state and local government agencies (like counties and municipalities), others work with educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and small businesses. In fact, school districts at all levels can take advantage of cooperative purchasing contracts, including higher education institutions such as public colleges, technical colleges and community colleges.
What Types of Things Can You Get With a Cooperative Purchasing Contract?
Early cooperative purchasing contracts typically dealt with items that companies needed in bulk. This included things like gasoline, cleaning supplies, and pick-up of hazardous material.
It’s important to note that today’s contracts aren’t confined to physical items, though. Cooperative purchasing can include a variety of services. For example, some programs like TIPS and OMNIA align with roofing services and installation. Other covered services can include things like carpet installations, security services and window repair companies.
Different Types of Cooperative Practice
On a purely fundamental level, a cooperative practice typically takes one of two forms. The first is known as piggybacking, while the other is called joint solicitation. In this section, we’ll be diving into both of these so that you know which one appeals to your qualifying entity.
Piggybacking Contract Terms
Piggybacking is a term used to describe another agency taking advantage of a contract that’s already in place. The new agency that joins the contract doesn’t need to be present during the original solicitation of the contract. And as such, they’re not subject to any changes in terms, conditions, or the price that’s set in the original contract.
The biggest pro of piggybacking is administration savings. Since a contract is already in place, less time is spent hashing out the details. As a result, these types of contracts typically favor smaller government organizations since they typically appeal to the widest variety of participants. Unfortunately, they come with some drawbacks, too.
Since participation can’t be predicted, it usually means that the savings aren’t as great. Some local vendors might also view the contracts as unfair. And, since they’re already set in stone, they won’t be able to change them until the contract has been utilized multiple times.
Joint Solicitation Contract Terms
A joint solicitation cooperative contract occurs when at least two (but typically more) agencies pool together their service or product need into a single solicitation. A joint solicitation is typically more forward-thinking than piggybacking, since it provides the supplier or contractor with a clear understanding of the requirements.
This type of cooperative purchasing procurement process is also more collaborative. As such, it often presents as a valuable networking opportunity for many of the entities involved in the cooperative procurement process. If the agencies set a specific quantity or service schedule, then these types of cooperative practices typically result in better purchasing power and more cost savings.
The only downside is that these joint solicitations often require a good deal of planning and negotiating. As such, they’re not always great for smaller organizations that don’t have the budget for the administration costs that are needed.
Need Help With Roof Installation or Repair? Contact TEMA Roofing Services
If you’re interested in learning more about cooperative contracts and whether or not your organization qualifies to participate in cooperative purchasing for commercial roofing, we encourage you to visit the two organizations that TEMA Roofing belongs to: TIPS-USA and OMNIA Partners. As you can see, there are a variety of ways that these types of contracts can help, from better bargaining power to lower prices.
If you’re currently in need of roof installation or repair options, then look no further than TEMA Roofing Services. Our alignment with TIPS and OMNIA allows us to streamline service requests while offering affordable prices. Our 50+ years of experience also ensures that you receive top-quality work every time. We let our work speak for itself!