Problem Solver Questions & Answers

Simplify & Streamline Purchasing

When it's time to find and purchase new equipment to outfit or update your facility, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Luckily, you can make the process easier by working with service providers whose goal is to help streamline the procurement process for you.

Q: What are some ways we can streamline purchasing?

A: A purchasing cooperative will help make your procurement process more efficient. Purchasing cooperatives take advantage of economies of scale, leveraging public-sector demand for products on a wider scale that allows them to provide competitive prices while lowering the overall cost of acquisition. You can find everything from site furnishings and sports equipment to playgrounds, technology and more.

When you join a purchasing cooperative, you gain all of the product savings as you take advantage of more cost-effective and efficient purchasing. The cooperative will do the work for you, finding common products and services, and then advocating on behalf of its members for fair terms and conditions. This reduces much of the vetting work on your end, and reduces your overall cost by scaling procurement.

Ultimately, you'll be able to purchase your equipment and update your facility faster, relying on suppliers who have already been vetted and avoiding the time-consuming bidding process.

Q: What should we know about joining a purchasing cooperative?

A: Membership is free for a wide variety of purchasing entities, from school districts and colleges, to cities, counties and nonprofits. Vendors pay a transaction fee when members place an order. This fee helps cover the cost of operations and has little impact on the prices you'll pay for products and services due to economies of scale.

Begin by signing your organization up for a membership. The cooperative will vet your agency to be sure your request to join is legitimate. Once your application is accepted, you'll be able to simplify and streamline your purchasing process by working through the cooperative.



FOR MORE INFORMATION

The Keystone Purchasing Network
888-490-3182
www.thekpn.org


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