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Streamlining Public Sector Procurement: The Power of Cooperative Purchasing with Toshiba and Sourcewell

Ledena Cayetano / February 20, 2024
Suburban community from helicopter view

What should a city do if it has 200 aging end-user devices that need to be replaced? How about a school district that needs to upgrade their fleet, but does not have the time to write and advertise an RFP?

These aren’t hypotheticals, they’re real-life examples. With government agencies and schools experiencing budget cuts, staff cutbacks, and tight deadlines, many do not have the resources to go out to bid.

Fortunately, there is a solution, and Toshiba has partnered with Sourcewell to alleviate that stress. Sourcewell streamlines the procurement process for public agencies with hundreds of ready-to-use competitively solicited cooperative contracts. Through Sourcewell’s cooperative contracts, these organizations are realizing the same great value as competitive bidding without going through the costly and time-consuming process.

What is Cooperative Purchasing and Why is This Significant?

The use of cooperative contracts reduces the cost of goods and services by leveraging the buying power of other public agencies. Using a contract from a nationally recognized cooperative helps schools streamline the buying process by meeting all state and local competitive bidding requirements without having to put these items out to bid for themselves.

Instead of seeking quotes, bids, or proposals, organizations can simply choose products and services from the cooperative’s contract portfolio, such as:

  • Office technology and IT support
  • Food distribution and services
  • Infrastructure resources
  • Vehicle and equipment
  • Security solutions
  • Educational supplies
  • Playground and sports equipment

These products have been pre-selected by the agency behind the cooperative through its own competitive procurement process. When procurement teams make purchases using a cooperative contract, they can feel confident that they’re complying with all local, state, and national procurement laws.

How Does Cooperative Purchasing Streamline The Process?

It is no coincidence that the use of cooperatives has taken off in the last decade. One of the greatest benefits of cooperative purchasing is the tremendous time savings for education buyers. Compare the use of cooperative contracts with the traditional RFP process:

The traditional RFP process is a time-consuming and lengthy process that can take 4-24 months to complete. Rather than spending the time researching a category, writing the solicitation, evaluating the responses, and negotiating terms and conditions, procurement teams can streamline the process into four simple steps by utilizing a cooperative agreement. The process can take mere weeks and requires fewer resources.

The need for efficient purchasing is a key reason why there has been an increasing interest in using cooperative agreements for SLED entities. According to GovWin, national cooperative sales are projected to grow to $61 billion by 2025 at the state and local government level, up from $45 billion in 2019. The outlook in education is also promising. Sourcewell, a national public sector cooperative, reported $4.8B in K-12 school purchases during their FY 21-23 period.

Why Toshiba?

Toshiba’s partnership with nationally recognized cooperatives like Sourcewell empowers public sector organizations to access Toshiba’s award-winning products, including hardware, software, and services. Not only will government agencies and schools receive competitive discounts by taking advantage of Toshiba’s contract portfolio, but they can streamline the purchasing process especially when it’s needed.

If you want to know more about how Toshiba’s Sourcewell contract can help streamline your procurement process, contact your local Toshiba representative today.

For more information on Toshiba’s contract, please visit Sourcewell’s website here.