It’s no secret that procurement professionals nationwide are struggling with budgets, bandwidth and staffing shortages. These roadblocks reveal opportunity though, as teams look toward cooperative purchasing for relief. With the help of a cooperative purchasing organization, you can increase savings at your organization by leveraging pre-awarded cooperative contracts and streamlining your purchasing process, resulting in a stronger overall strategy.
The procurement team from Dorchester County, South Carolina is a successful example of what you can also achieve with a cooperative strategy. They've saved tens of thousands of dollars in their budget and shaved months off their process by partnering with a cooperative. Big wins for a busy group of people serving a fast-growing community in the Charleston metropolitan area.
We had the opportunity to speak with Dorchester County’s Former Purchasing Services Manager, John Tigert, to gain insight on how cooperative purchasing helped him enhance his strategy and savings. Tigert just recently earned a new, out-of-state opportunity, and was happy to share his prior experiences purchasing for the South Carolina county.
Keep reading to learn how this procurement team in a busy, vibrant county is leveraging cooperative purchasing to bring success to their community.
Cooperative Purchasing Savings & Strategy
“Anytime we use an OMNIA Partners contract, it saves us between $500-$1,000 in administrative cost," says Tigert. "That may not sound like much, but when you are using dozens of cooperative contracts per year, that really starts to add up. When you get to numbers like 30,40, even $60,000 in savings, that’s a buyer, that’s a contract coordinator for a lot of counties. I think those numbers are something that need to be talked about when showing the value OMNIA Partners brings to our organization.”
To add on to the cost savings, Tigert says they've experienced time savings of 3 to 16 weeks per cooperative contract since they were able to bypass the RFP process. It's also valuable to have access to the cooperative's market experts and agile navigation through ongoing supply chain disruptions.
“The ability to procure the goods and services we need more quickly and efficiently than ever before, especially in emergency situations, has been critical,” says Tigert.
Another weight off his shoulders is the fact that Tigert's confident that the cooperative contracts are up to his standards due to the fact that OMNIA Partners uses the lead agency model.
“I know that an agency similar to mine, with substantially similar public procurement processes, has solicited the contract for the goods or services, and that I can reach out to the lead public agency with any questions I might have,” says Tigert.
The Future of Procurement
“Cooperative purchasing really does help you become more agile and strategic,” says Tigert. I think back to my own experience where cooperative purchasing has helped me fill the gaps because a contract was terminated, or some other delay occurred, and we just needed something more quickly. That agility is a strongpoint of cooperative purchasing.”
Forward thinking team members started Dorchester County’s journey with cooperative purchasing, and Tigert says he’s grateful to continue pushing this valuable strategy forward.
Watch the video below to hear Tigert’s insight about the future of procurement and cooperative purchasing’s role in the industry.
Read the full Dorchester County case study here.