An “Amazon” Experience with a Twist
New Cooperative Purchasing Program Launches
Shop, Click, Comply ... These are the buzzwords of IU13's new Collaborative Purchasing Solutions (CPS) program! With CPS, school districts and municipalities now have easy access to a convenient, compliant, and centralized procurement online tool. The no-fee website offers current news, resources, and tools for entities to shop and purchase anything from pencils to electricity.
In fact, this 21st century procurement solution offers a wealth of purchasing options for all Pennsylvania Public Procurement Units, such as:
- Quantity-based line-item bidding,
- Just-in-time catalog discounts,
- And even “piggybacking” onto large and, in some cases, national marketplace contracts.
And what is the “twist”? A unique feature not found on many national purchasing cooperatives is that of an online marketplace, similar to Amazon. The CPS online marketplace allows entities to browse, obtain quotes, create shopping carts, and purchase from vendor catalogs, using either a purchase order or credit card. Although there are no fees, entities must enroll and get a password to enter and purchase from the marketplace.
Compliance is a key element, too. All vendors holding contracts on the site are bid-compliant and offer negotiated and preferred CPS pricing. To ensure compliance transparency, all bid, request for proposal (RFP), and contractual documentation is posted and accessible to participants. This documentation is constantly updated as contracts are added or deleted.