Christine Bilz, government sales leader for Vehicle Service Group (VSG) answers questions about buying equipment through government cooperative procurement programs.
Rotary Lift Christine Bilz, government sales leader for Vehicle Service Group (VSG) answers questions about buying equipment through government cooperative procurement programs.

Competitive bidding ensures government agencies, educational institutions, and other nonprofit organizations get fair prices from a range of manufacturers for the things they purchase. But it is a very time-intensive process. As a result, growing numbers of government agencies are turning to cooperative procurement programs.

What are “cooperative procurement programs” and how can you put them to work for you? Christine Bilz, government sales leader for Vehicle Service Group (VSG), answers some frequently asked questions.

Q. What is a cooperative procurement program?
A. Cooperative procurement programs, also known as “government purchasing” or “government procurement” programs, use shared processes to provide competitive prices, terms, and conditions to members without the need for individual bid solicitation. As a result, government agencies and other nonprofit entities are able to reduce administrative and legal costs associated with large-scale purchasing.

Q. Why are cooperative procurement programs becoming more popular?
A. Government resources are getting tighter and some agencies don’t have enough personnel with the knowledge and background to understand the complexities of buying the needed equipment or products. Often, purchasing decisions need to be made quickly in order to maintain productivity and keep taxpayer dollars at work. That means there isn’t time for a long bidding process.

Q. What are the main benefits of buying through a government purchasing program?
A. There are many benefits for agencies that buy equipment in this manner, including:

Growing numbers of government agencies are turning to cooperative procurement programs to simplify and expedite the purchase of vehicle lifts like Rotary Lift’s V-REX, a vertical rise platform scissor lift designed to pick up large trucks, heavy equipment, and heavy duty service vehicles.
Rotary Lift Growing numbers of government agencies are turning to cooperative procurement programs to simplify and expedite the purchase of vehicle lifts like Rotary Lift’s V-REX, a vertical rise platform scissor lift designed to pick up large trucks, heavy equipment, and heavy duty service vehicles.
  • Convenience. Instead of seeking quotes, bids or proposals, eligible agencies simply select products and services from the cooperative contract catalog, saving time and effort.
  • They produce lower prices. Small governments benefit from the market share leveraged by larger government consumers.
  • With one procurement process and one contract serving multiple governments, cooperative contracts reduce administrative costs because the preliminary work has already been done.
  • They provide higher quality products and services.

Q. Why is the purchasing process easier for these programs?
A. One of the biggest benefits of purchasing through these programs is that the process is simplified. The purchasing process is easier and faster with government contracts because the majority of the time an entity just has to submit a purchase order, instead of the cumbersome paperwork of a bid solicitation.

Q. When government agencies purchase equipment through cooperative purchasing programs how does it benefit taxpayers?
A. When cooperatives reach out with a request for proposal to get vendors on a contract, they are pooling resources to get the best value for all of their member agencies. It is to a vendor’s advantage to give the best discount possible in order to be considered for a contract. Ultimately, citizens benefit from cooperative procurement through lower total cost of government, better application of resources and more efficient government operations.

Q. Is there more than one cooperative purchasing program?
A. Yes. There are a number of cooperative purchasing programs available both regionally and nationally. Rotary products are available through the following programs: General Services Adminstration (GSA), NASPO ValuePoint (formerly WSCA-NASPO), Sourcewell (formerly NJPA), HGACBuy, California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS), Texas Multiple Award Schedule Program (TXMAS), Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) and OGS Procurement Services. To learn more about purchasing Rotary products through a government procurement program, click here.

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