As a public agency procurement leader, you are in charge of managing a slew of contracts and RFPs (request for proposals) on a daily basis. The most strategic procurement professionals often look to cooperative purchasing to lessen the stress of vetting suppliers, but did you know a cooperative’s purpose extends well beyond this benefit? Cooperatives serve as an extension of your team allowing you to purchase high value products for less from industry-leading suppliers while also benefiting from lifelong supplier relationship management.
One major buzz word in procurement is indirect spend. What exactly does that mean for a public organization like yourself? Traditionally, indirect spend encompasses purchases that contribute to the operation of your organization, but the products or solutions don’t technically contribute to your agency’s core function. Within this bucket we typically see rogue/maverick spend as well as tail spend. These types of spend are typically high frequency, low-cost purchases that go undermanaged. In the public sector, these purchases don’t normally happen on purpose because of the regulations in place to utilize compliant contracts.
For example, if you give teachers a p-card with a maximum budget, it is likely they are buying only in the moment and not thinking about the school’s overall purchasing strategy or if they are getting the best price and value.
Keep reading to learn more about managing your overall purchasing strategy with a cooperative to prevent indirect spend leakages.
Cooperative Purchasing Strategy
Public agencies nationwide have to constantly use a variety of contracts and RFPs to fulfill their purchasing needs, however, opting to utilize compliant cooperative contracts instead could have a greater impact on time and resource savings. While vetting your own contracts may seem appealing, leveraging a cooperative’s contracts is more strategic due to the overall time and cost savings you receive. Beyond that, all cooperative contracts are compliant and have already been competitively solicited and publicly awarded by a lead agency.
Even though your team is utilizing standardized contracts, you may not be managing rogue spend. One way to regulate your budget is to use cooperative contracts for your indirect spend items. Let’s say you are remodeling your school and will need new desks for your students and teachers. In this instance, you can look to a cooperative to help you connect with industry leading supplier partners who can walk you through the entire purchasing process to ensure you get what you need, when you need it. By doing so, you can bypass the lengthy RFP process leading to immerse resource savings.
In-House Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
At OMNIA Partners, we have a wealth of procurement industry knowledge as well as SMEs (subject matter experts) in all of our major categories such as food, furniture, and IT. When a need arises, you can rest assured our in-house SME will help you make the tough market decisions and ensure you are receiving the best service from our supplier partners.
Align with Your Team Today
It is imperative to align all staff members involved in the purchasing process to fully optimize your agency’s spend habits. If your purchasing officials are unaware of the overall strategy and available resources, rogue spend purchases are more likely to occur, leading to value leakage withing your agency. If you are interested in working with a cooperative to align your procurement strategy with the benefits of cooperative purchasing, click the button below to contact our team!