Faster fleet procurement with a cooperative purchasing agreement

cooperative purchasing agreement

The traditional RFP is no longer enough to support the demands of public fleet procurement timelines. Today, agencies need to purchase 30,000 new vehicles per year (and that’s just federal government vehicles) to meet zero emissions guidelines for 2035, an incredibly steep expectation from a local or statewide perspective.

Other considerations, including the short life cycles of vehicles, continue to squeeze school and government facilities. Some organizations only have a four- to eight-year lifespan for their vehicles, meaning they need to acquire new models quickly, affordably, and efficiently.

Fortunately, it’s possible to manage faster fleet procurement processes using cooperative purchasing agreements. But how can your public agency take advantage of cooperative contracts, and why would you want to in the first place?

What cooperative purchasing agreements are

A cooperative purchasing agreement is a competitively solicited contract with a supplier on behalf of two or more public agencies. Fleet managers working for school and government organizations can use these agreements to purchase critical procurement line items, including:

  • Automotive parts and tires
  • Electric vehicle equipment
  • Trailers
  • Vehicle lifts
  • Vehicles and chassis

Cooperative contracts are extremely valuable to the fleet procurement process. Not only do they help managers evaluate their options with clear rates and product consistencies, but they also work to expedite procurement timelines through specific, informative, and predictable delivery dates.

The speed benefits of a cooperative purchasing agreement

Cooperative purchasing agreements can speed up public fleet procurement in organizations big and small. Three specific elements may interest modern fleet managers: shorter timelines, faster processes, and quicker order-to-delivery (OTD). Let's take a closer look at each.

1. Shorter timelines

Cooperative purchasing agreements are much faster than traditional RFPs. Not only do they take less work to evaluate (since you don't do any of the writing yourself), but you can also sign off on a contract within weeks of evaluating the offer.

Let’s consider the time savings in a practical application. While traditional RFP procurement takes nine to thirty-six months to complete, cooperative contracts can take just four weeks or less. In theory, you could find a supplier, get a quote, and sign a contract within the course of a week, cutting your fleet procurement timeline in half.

2. Faster internal processes

With cooperative purchasing agreements, everyone in your organization can work together on a solution and evaluate all potential options as a team. This means fleet managers can enjoy quicker delivery timelines without bouncing back and forth between different internal stakeholders.

But there are other ways that cooperative contracts can speed up internal processes. For one thing, they don’t require you to write an RFP, which can take up to twenty-four hours for small agencies. Additionally, you can maximize the workforce that you already have and stay productive in the midst of a labor shortage.

3. Quicker OTD

Due to its ability to cut out time-consuming activities, cooperative purchasing agreements can increase OTD timelines without decreasing efficiency. Also, purchasing agreements may offer national buying power with local dealer access, so you can keep your dollars inside your community and possibly avoid national supply chain concerns.

Since you don't need to write an RPF yourself, you don't need to manually evaluate hundreds of bids to select the perfect provider. Just select the one that you like, get a quote, and get started with procurement right away.

How to know if you are eligible for a cooperative purchasing agreement

You don’t need to have any experience with cooperative contracts to begin using them in your public agency. With Sourcewell, all you have to do is meet a set of eligibility requirements to start browsing contracts at scale. The organization has aggregated hundreds of awarded contracts throughout North America and is fully capable of helping your organization find a supplier that works for your needs.

Here’s what you need to know about determining your organization's eligibility for cooperative purchasing agreements with Sourcewell:

  • Organization: You must be a school or government organization to browse the cooperative contracts. If you have questions or comments about your organization, you can reach out online for more information.
  • Location: You must be located in the United States or Canada to take advantage of the cooperative purchasing agreements from Sourcewell.
  • Locality: You must determine your organization’s local, state, or federal regulations before signing a cooperative contract. For your convenience, you can browse legal statutes by location directly on the website.

Cooperative purchasing agreements are the best and most efficient way to upgrade your public fleet procurement timeline.

Here at Sourcewell, we help public agency buyers procure fleet vehicles faster by fulfilling the time-consuming bid process for them. Through cooperative contracts, we expedite the fleet vehicle procurement process so you can better serve your teams.

Want a faster procurement process? Contact one of our specialists today to buy the fleet solutions you need!