Purchasing Contracts & Co-Ops

What is A Purchasing Contract?

Negotiated Discounts and Terms: Purchasing Contracts streamline the buying process by pre-negotiating the discounts, terms and conditions under which purchases are made. Typically, a Purchasing Manager of a public agency will issue a bid or request to prospective vendors for a category of items, such as “Office Furniture,” including a description of the types of anticipated purchases and the ideal terms for their organization. Details include product discounts, shipping and payment terms, project management responsibilities, insurance liability requirements, checking references of the vendor and meeting any state or local legal requirements.

Competitively-Awarded: When a bid for a contract is published, prospective vendors will then issue proposals that meet the bid requirements. This is called competitive bidding. Each vendor is then screened and verified as legitimate by a committee that will evaluate the prospective vendor proposals, scoring them on various criteria, and award a contract to one or more vendors. The contract is typically for one to five years, and the performance of the vendor is monitored to make sure the agreed-upon contract terms are followed.

Why Should I Use A Purchasing Contract?

Lower Prices: Discounts negotiated through the contract bidding process are often better than those obtained on an individual order. These discounts are then applied to all orders placed through the contract, regardless of the size of the order. A purchase order for even a single chair is eligible for a contract discount, even if typical quantity discounts don’t apply. For larger quantities, volume discounts deeper than the negotiated contract term are often available, as well.

Meets “Competitively Bid” Requirement: Public Agencies typically have strictly regulated guidelines, protocols and spending limits that dictate how funds are spent. Quite often, if the purchase amount is over $3,000, buyers are required to get quotes from three or more sources. Much larger purchases will have to go “out for bid” in many instances. This requires a costly, time-consuming review process and an extended period of competitive bidding. However, when you purchase using a Purchasing Contract, a vetting process has already been done and often fulfills these requirements. In other words, buying with a Purchasing Contract fulfills this requirement, since the awarded contract was already “competitively bid.”

Simplified Ordering Process: When the contract is awarded, the approved vendor will complete all of the necessary paperwork and get established in the system. Likewise, any needed documentation, such as tax exempt certification, is provided to the vendor in advance. When it’s time for you to get a quote or place an order, simply reference the contract number to receive your discount and complete the transaction.

What Is A Purchasing Cooperative?

Consolidated Negotiation: A cooperative purchasing agency, or Co-Op, is an organization whose purpose is to act as a centralized agent to negotiate and execute purchasing contracts on behalf of its member organizations. The Co-Op will establish certain contract criteria that vendors must meet and will field vendor bids. This helps save time and effort for its individual members by negotiating the contract terms & discounts, fielding competitive bid proposals, and approving vendors in advance, while ensuring compliance with certain model procurement statues, thus minimizing redundancy by the individual members. As a registered member of that Co-Op, your organization receives these benefits, plus the support of a full team of staff to help you maximize your purchasing power. K-Log is an approved vendor to many of these regional and national Co-Ops.

Is The Ordering Process Different If I Use A Purchasing Contract Or A Co-Op?

Purchasing with a Contract: When ordering with a pre-existing Purchase Contract you are required to reference the contract number on your purchase order. This ensures that your organization will receive the proper discounts and that the terms of the contract are followed by the vendor.

Purchasing through a Co-Op: When using Cooperative Purchasing, each Co-Op has it's own ordering protocol, so it's best to check with the specific member's Co-Op, to verify the proper procedure. This guarantees adherence to the qualifications and requirements established by the Co-Op and that the proper, pre-negotiated discounts will be applied.

How Do I Know If We Are Already Covered By A Purchasing Contract Or In A Co-Op?

Ask Your Purchasing Manager: If you are unsure whether or not you may already have an existing contract or a purchasing Co-Op affiliation, check with your Purchasing Manager to see what options are available to you. In some cases, multiple contracts are awarded for one category of items.

Ask K-Log: K-Log holds many contracts at the local, state and national levels. Some contracts are at the individual school district level, while others are nationwide contracts. Your organization may be covered by multiple contracts, even if you are unaware of their existence! If you qualify under more than one contract, finding the contract that offers the best terms and discounts for your purchasing is crucial. To find out if a contract is available for you to use with K-Log, call us at 800-872-6611 or visit our website at www.k-log.com/contracts.

How Does A Purchasing Contract Vary From Your “Approved Vendor List”?

Formal, Legal Document: A Purchasing Contract is a formal legal agreement that defines the obligations and benefits of each party. Contracts typically have a start and end date, and are renegotiated after they expire. However, many agencies also maintain an “Approved Vendor List” which identify reliable sources for products and services they have had a good experience with in the past. K-Log would love the opportunity to be added to your “Approved Vendor List!” Please give us a call at 800-872-6611 to discuss the process needed for your organization.

holds multiple contracts

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K-Log, Inc.
PO Box 5
Zion, IL 60099

Fed ID # 36-3435253
DUNS # 12-232-2316

For Sales & Customer Service:
Fax: 847.872.3728

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