Organizations are re-evaluating their workplace strategies as we acclimate to a post-pandemic future. Office interiors, outdoor furniture, and classroom furniture designs continue to evolve to accommodate the changing needs of employees and students. Your agency or school may be embarking on a complex renovation or new project and as a procurement leader, you’re tasked with facilitating diverse requirements and working to source innovative design solutions and installation project management.
Your procurement department might have a large furniture budget, but have you considered that this purchasing power might not translate to furniture manufacturers as you buy for each individual project at lower values over the course of a year or two? Through cooperative purchasing, you have immediate access to already discounted contracts that have leveraged national scale.
Collaborating with a cooperative purchasing organization gives your agency, school, or university a competitive advantage by helping you better manage project budgets, multiple categories, and overall spend. In the furniture category, your team can drive time, cost, and resource savings through a cooperative partnership.
As you work to support and align with furniture stakeholders, let’s review how you can use a cooperative purchasing organization to make an impact on your bottom line and achieve project success.
Cooperative Purchasing Drives Value in Furniture Space
How much spend does your agency or school have as leverage? Maybe it’s a $3B furniture budget over the next three years. When leveraging the spend to ensure maximum value, it's important to consider that it's the individual project spend that drives the most value. This would be a subset of the total $3B furniture budget, as one project might be renovating a couple of classrooms. By using cooperative contracts in the renovation, you could consolidate and purchase products from fewer suppliers, increasing your savings. Tiered discounts are already built into cooperative contracts which maximizes the amount of money you save.
OMNIA Partners has a team of subject matter experts in every category that can help guide you through the purchasing process. We had an opportunity to discuss the value your procurement team can gain in the furniture space with two of OMNIA Partners’ furniture industry insiders: Senior Director, Supplier Relations, Vanessa Perutelli, and Vice President, Workspace Sales Solutions, Lisa Merder.
- Vanessa Perutelli, Senior Director, Supplier Relations, OMNIA Partners
"The value of using a cooperative in the furniture space is participating agencies, as well as their designers and contractors, can participate in the programs. Any agency may request that its designers and contractors provide products/solutions and purchase goods available through one of our large selection of furniture manufacturers. Services such as installation, design, project management, storage/asset management, etc. are provided at not-to-exceed rates, taking into consideration union versus nonunion rates."
- Lisa Merder, Vice President, Workspace Solutions, OMNIA Partners
Streamlined Procurement Process
You may be managing multiple projects at different locations along with various products and needs for each project. Utilizing a cooperative will simplify your process to alleviate some of the confusion. With the expertise and guidance of the cooperative’s subject matter experts, you have the knowledge and understanding to help your organization make the necessary workplace shifts to remain relevant. In the furniture space, and every spend category, using cooperative contracts allows you and your team to bypass the RFP process freeing up time and resources for other important projects at your organization.
The RFP has been performed by some of the most elite procurement teams in the nation through the lead agency model ensuring industry best practices‚ processes and procedures are applied. By taking advantage of the already awarded furniture contract, you can direct your focus toward increasing efficiencies and managing other priorities along the course of the project(s).
Diversity Spend & Sustainability Goals
Is your diversity and inclusion manager requesting that you increase your organization’s spend with minority-owned suppliers? Have you recently met with sustainability leaders to align on how to achieve goals in sustainability?
Purchasing through a cooperative can help you in both of these areas by connecting you to industry-leading suppliers that can increase your organization’s diversity spend and achieve your sustainability goals.
- Through the cooperative’s suppliers, you have access to furniture products that are already sustainable without having to pay a higher price for your green goals.
- Furniture is a great category to achieve your tier 1 diversity spend as there are opportunities to purchase directly from minority-owned dealers.
Managing Your Furniture Spend
The variety of furniture styles, materials, and price points requires sorting through a lot of options to figure out what works best for your specific needs and budget. Leveraging a cooperative in your strategy provides you with services to help manage your project timeline, considerations, and cost.
As you strive to support colleagues and end users working or learning in different environments, a cooperative purchasing approach can provide a more seamless plan for addressing the needs of your diverse workforce.