Tired of expensive bid processes? You’ll love cooperative contracting!
How public sector agencies can make purchasing tech simple, easy, and efficient

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It’s a simple fact of doing business that most public sector organizations require the use of either a contract or a bid to purchase their technologies. However, the bid process can be lengthy, strenuous, and expensive.

If you’re a veteran in the contracting space, you know the complications that can stem from the procurement process – extensive time put into contract development and long protest periods, just to name a couple. It can take months or even years to procure the right technology from the right vendor, or worse, from several vendors. All these cut into valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

The solution lies in cooperative contracting.

What is cooperative contracting?

Cooperative contracting is an economical path for public agencies to procure the products, services, and solutions they need.

Through a cooperative purchasing organization, public institutions are connected to first-rate supplier partners and can take advantage of competitively bid contracts which are already in place.

Cooperative contracts reduce the amount of time you need to spend on the bid process while still delivering the exact solutions you need, making them a better way to procure public sector technology.

How is cooperative contracting different from traditional contracting?

Traditional contracting involves creating the solicitation — your organization needs a product, and you must explain that need to the procurement team. The procurement officer then tries to put together a solicitation for something they sometimes don’t even understand. This undertaking can be messy and time-consuming. And that’s on top of the labor-intensive evaluation process.

With cooperative contracting, cooperative contract partners have already done the heavy lifting for you, vetting vendors through a highly competitive request for proposal (RFP) response process and subsequent assessment.

They’ve ensured that you can procure what you need from supplier partners faster than you would on your own, while also providing an additional safeguard by screening the abilities and fidelity of each vendor partner.

Once the cooperative is set up, the primary bid process has already been completed as part of the original contract, so you can save time during contract production. Instead of seeking quotes, bids, or proposals, you simply select products and services from the cooperative contract catalog.

The value of cooperative contracting

Cooperatives can provide a broader supplier database because they have a wider reach to more vendors. They are fully compliant, thereby enabling improved compliance across state, local, and education sectors. Additionally, many cooperatives use a lead state or local government and are done in accordance with the state’s regulations.

Cooperative contracts have many financial benefits, including:

  • Cost savings. By standardizing products and services and aggregating requirements, governments benefit from the combined economies of scale of multiple organizations and often see lower prices of products and services.
  • Competitive pricing. Governments and academic institutions receive the most competitive pricing. Many cooperatives are national; therefore, pricing is based on a national price point, not just a statewide or single customer base.
  • Reduced administrative expenses. Since the preliminary work has already been done, administrative efforts and costs are spread across multiple governments, often reducing expenditures. Additionally, you can cut back on your workload because cooperative awardees have already factored the national base pricing into the solicitation.
  • Better allocation of resources. The ability to use or share procurement professionals from another entity allows for reallocation of internal resources and capitalization of broader resources.

Contract cooperatives are now acting as true digital transformation agents in the public sector. Not only are they making initiatives like cloud migration and cybersecurity more appealing, but they are also enabling and promoting new levels of managed services in government and education IT.

Let SHI do the work for you

SHI has extensive experience and expertise in navigating the world of contracting. Our contract capture team consists of contract development experts who work alongside our sales team to review your digital transformation needs and align your IT priorities with the right cooperatives and contract vehicles.

SHI has customers in all 50 states using cooperative contracts, and within our 50+ cooperative contracts, we’ve partnered with major players like OMNIA Partners, Public Sector, Sourcewell, and NASPO ValuePoint. SHI has also partnered with GSA – a federal cooperative – and several education cooperatives.

Through the various types of cooperatives, SHI offers our full catalog to public sector organizations. Since every entity has its own unique requirements and limitations, we can also negotiate additional terms as part of a statewide contract acting as a subsidiary to the national contract.

Using cooperatives, we can start and complete the procurement process within just a few weeks. You no longer need additional bids and price quotes because cooperatives provide what you need within the scope of a single contract.

Streamline your procurement today

The fiscal year for many local governments ends June 30. But there’s no reason to scramble to spend your allotted funds – not when there’s a quick and simple method for making purchases at your fingertips.

All you need to do is communicate your needs, and SHI can work with you to find the cooperative that makes the most sense for your organization while meeting or beating your price point.

SHI will help you customize your contract and Partnership Agreement, and add your own terms and requirements, if needed. Our teams of vendor-neutral and manufacturer-certified experts will guide you every step of the way as you select, deploy, and manage IT solutions and services that empower your organization to function and flourish.