How to Use Approved Group Purchasing Contracts to Make Purchases
November 12th, 2020 by Ryan Skinner
When organizations face making purchases, they first must consider what process they need to follow.
Some organizations even go as far as creating a policy requiring at least three bids. The main reason is to ensure you are getting the best price for the desired product or service. The good news is there are purchasing vehicles that most organizations can use to select those products and services with the peace of mind that your organization is getting a competitive price.
How do I know if I qualify for one of these purchasing vehicles?
Most state/local government, K-12, and non-profits qualify for numerous state and cooperative purchasing groups. The purchasing groups have already bid the product and service to multiple companies. Those listed as authorized vendors have proven to have a competitive price and are thoroughly evaluated to ensure they are high-quality organizations. Since these purchasing groups bid thousands of products, you might find an avenue to save money on other services as well.
Below are just a few:
- State of Texas DIR
- Texas BuyBoard
- Region 5
If your organization is in the medical field, there are numerous Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO).
The GPO’s go out for bid across manufacturers and select the authorized vendors based on their product, price, and quality. Some GPO’s require a membership fee, and some do not. The good news is once you are a member, you can use this vehicle for thousands of other products with the same peace of mind.
Below are just a few:
For those that do not qualify for these purchasing vehicles, make sure you do your due diligence in selecting a partner.
We have all been burned by the short satisfaction of a low price. Look broader to understand what the full capabilities and processes a vendor can offer. Questions you need to ask:
- What is their process after I sign?
- Do they have online reviews, and what do they say?
- Do they have references I can contact?
- Do they have a guarantee to stand behind their services?
Am I required to go out for bid?
In most cases, no, but regardless do your due diligence in selecting a partner. Evaluate the options your organization has available to them. Avoid the short satisfaction of a low price and fully evaluate the companies with the best long term options. Group purchasing programs do much of this work for you and have become very prevalent for those reasons.
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