You may be in the middle of completing RFP steps that are taking up a large part of your workday, and that single RFP can take anywhere from 90 to 365 days to complete. While your purchasing team is managing several ongoing projects, leveraging cooperative purchasing provides you with an opportunity to bypass some of the time-consuming work and redirect your concentration to meeting demands of stakeholders or strengthening your procurement strategy.
Cooperative purchasing allows agencies to take advantage of contracts that are already publicly solicited and awarded by another public agency. This is made possible through the lead agency model, and each of the cooperative’s 300+ agreements has been obtained through an RFP process performed by some of the most elite procurement teams in the nation. With that work taken care of, you have more time to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and real savings at your agency or organization.
Click the video below to hear how school districts across New York are taking advantage of that time and cost savings as we speak.
In this blog, we’ll outline everything you need to know about the lead agency process and how your procurement team can quickly and easily start utilizing this productive strategy at your organization.
Lead Agency Model Explained
In order for even the most restrictive agencies nationwide to realize the best value offered by cooperative purchasing‚ you can rest easy knowing that industry best practices‚ processes and procedures are applied. The cooperative reviews a potential lead agency’s policies, codes and statutes to ensure they’re in line with the strictest procurement rules before the lead agency is selected.
The public procurement process has been followed and completed so you can take advantage of the time and process of the already awarded contract freeing your resources to other priorities, such as projects that are specific to your agency thus creating efficiencies within your department.
"Using your cooperative and its powerful lead agency model frees up your time to focus on other projects important to your organization. If you have questions about how this works, our team of former procurement leaders and cooperative experts is happy to walk you through the process." - Amy Smith, Vice President, Lead Agency Partnerships, OMNIA Partners
- The lead agency prepares a competitive solicitation while incorporating language to make the agreement accessible nationally to other public agencies.
- The lead agency issues the solicitation and any required amendments and notifications. A pre-proposal conference is conducted.
- Interested suppliers respond to the solicitation.
- The lead agency evaluates the responses, negotiates the final terms, and ultimately awards the cooperative contract, also referred to as the master agreement.
- The cooperative contract is made available to public agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits nationwide as a "piggyback" contract.
Full Transparency & Compliance
Each agency follows the highest procurement standards so they’re in full compliance with industry regulations and you can feel confident that the lead agencies are ensuring maximum value.
Click the video below to hear how a participating agency in South Carolina is leveraging the lead agency model in its procurement strategy.
Your procurement team has access to each solicitation and the award documentation is always available for awarded agreements. There’s no FOIA or special request necessary making it quick and easy to view.
"Each lead agency follows strict industry-standard requirements to ensure the process is fair, open, and competitive. Interested suppliers are made aware of solicitations and have the opportunity to respond and be evaluated fairly." - Sarah Vavra, Senior Vice President, Public Sector Contracting, OMNIA Partners
Immediate Access to Quality Contracts
A lead agency leverages the spend of agencies across the nation, increasing the buying power achieved, resulting in a strong and valuable contract. To take advantage of these economies of scale, procurement teams have access to an extensive portfolio of solutions from industry-leading suppliers. The lead agency cooperative contracting process is the foundation of OMNIA Partners and sets us apart from other cooperatives. You may have specific questions about the process and how it works in your state or agency, and our cooperative team can answer those questions while guiding you with resources to help navigate.