A commercial roof is a large investment. Whether you’re looking for roof replacement, roof repair or roof installation services, there’s a lot of time and money involved.
With that said, there’s one major way for you to save both time and a lot of money, and that’s through a purchasing cooperative. Not sure what a purchasing cooperative is and how it could benefit you? Read on to find out.
What Is A Purchasing Cooperative?
A purchasing cooperative allows entities of different sizes to pool buying power for negotiating contracts. Cooperatives can have different degrees of scope and oversight, depending on the industry and number of members and can put in place varying standards for membership and participation.
Purchasing cooperatives are most impactful on big purchases, such as installing a commercial roofing system. These are situations where a single business would normally be at the mercy of the market, in regard to cost. But, a cooperative can go much further in negotiating a lower price while requiring high standards for vendors.
The number of purchasing cooperatives operating in all industries has increased in recent years. Today, there are more than 300 cooperatives that serve 50,000 independent businesses, schools, and government agencies.
Cooperatives have become particularly popular among local government agencies, including schools, and states themselves are using purchasing cooperatives more than ever. According to a recent report, 28 percent of all state contracts involved purchasing cooperatives. (That is the highest rate ever recorded!)
What Is The TIPS Purchasing Cooperative?
The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) is a national cooperative that offers its members access to competitively procured purchasing contracts. Members span multiple industries:
- Municipal government agencies
- County government agencies
- Public school systems
- Private schools and universities
- Non-profit organizations
There are many advantages to membership in TIPS. These include saving time and money, as well as gaining confidence that the goods or services you receive will be of the highest standards. For a new commercial roof, for instance, you’ll be more likely to work with a roofer that utilizes quality roofing materials and conducts regular inspections.
Negotiating contracts puts a huge burden on administrative staff. According to a 2018 survey, almost half of all procurement personnel feel overwhelmed. This is due to budget reductions and increased work.
Let’s consider a small- or medium-sized school district or non-profit that needs to contract for a new roof. Without cooperative purchasing, the staff at these organizations need to devote a lot of time to researching and doing outreach to local roofing businesses. After receiving bids, they then sift through all proposals to determine the best value for their roofing project.
They also need to determine which roofing contractor is right for their building’s needs. For instance, if you’re looking to get a new flat roof, you should be looking for a contractor that’s going to come out and conduct a proper roof inspection, as well as provide any necessary roof maintenance if something goes wrong.
Depending on the type of industry, this process can take weeks or even months per bid.
The TIPS purchasing cooperative helps streamline this process by relying on work that has already been done. Through a purchasing cooperative, you do not have to prepare a request for proposal (RFP), work to advertise the solicitation, look at proposals or negotiate a contract. That is all done for you and can save large amounts of time for your staff or board of directors.
You can expect the purchasing process for a roof system to be expedited, as well. Vendors already know what goods or services they will be offering to different businesses in the cooperative and can be ready to go once the contract is finalized.
Since “time is money,” TIPS’s streamlined contracting process reduces administrative overhead. RFPs can cost thousands of dollars to produce and advertise. But the money-saving aspect of goods or services is one of the biggest advantages of purchasing cooperatives.
If you’re a small business or non-profit, you have little purchasing power, even at a local level. TIPS aggregates the buy-in from many entities to level the playing field. It helps organizations save millions of dollars a year through collective bargaining.
The key is that the cooperative is able to guarantee a vendor relative to what amount of goods or services each member will be receiving. School districts, for instance, have reported saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on calculators alone.
This is because the price negotiated by the cooperative was far below any bid that could have been achieved by the school district on its own. Imagine what kind of cost savings you could incur by finding a roofer through a purchasing cooperative!
Get Higher Quality
Vendors participating in the TIPS program have a proven track record of delivering quality goods or services. You can be assured that a roofer through TIPS is going to conduct a roofing inspection and provide commercial roof maintenance whenever roof damage may occur (which is extremely important and often overlooked).
Also, because of the wide variety in member organizations, TIPS contractors expect to meet the needs of large and small projects alike. This means you can have the confidence that a TIPS commercial roofing service can meet your demands, whether you need a roof replacement or a new construction metal roof (and anything in between).
Compliance is another benefit with cooperative purchasing. The process of ensuring that vendors meet regulatory requirements is done for you so that you don’t have to worry about whether a contractor is licensed, insured or meets other government regulatory standards.
TIPS can help find a contractor for roof repair or replacement or one that provides additional services, like preventative maintenance, 24/7 emergency leak response or roof asset management.
Final Considerations for Cooperative Purchasing
A common concern about purchasing cooperatives is the one-size-fits-all approach to a contract. Can there be flexibility in negotiations?
While this limitation may apply to “piggybacking” companies coming into an already secured contract, the goal of cooperatives like TIPS is to meet the various needs of each member. They want you to be an active participant in what the contract looks like so that you can be confident that it meets your needs for the lowest possible price.
Some cooperatives charge membership fees or place restrictions on members, and many prohibit members from joining other cooperatives. This is not the case with TIPS. There is no fee for membership and there are no minimums that your organization must spend. Also, there are no restrictions on joining other cooperatives, and you are not obligated to use TIPS for all your contacts!
Why Wait? Join TIPS!
Leverage the advantages of the TIPS purchasing cooperative today for your commercial roofing needs. And, be sure to check out additional details about the program through their site.
A purchasing cooperative like TIPS can go a long way to save you money and time while also improving the quality of work. Connect with a commercial roofing company that will provide professional service and meet your ongoing project needs through cooperative purchasing.