Sourcewell helps qualifying organizations like nonprofits and government entities streamline the purchase of goods and services. As it turns out, the traditional way these organizations have had to handle purchasing is difficult to navigate and full of inefficiencies. Sourcewell is a municipal contracting agency that operates as a public entity under legislative authority through Minnesota Statute 123A.21, and they have a 40-year history of helping. And their way of helping? It includes handling all the prep work involved in the purchasing process. That means when you work with Sourcewell, you get to forego the RFP and competitive solicitation process and go straight to the purchase decision.
Every available vendor has already been negotiated with and qualified by Sourcewell before making it onto their vendor list. And that means all the extensive due diligence has been done for you. Plus, the service is free to qualifying organizations.
But today, the question isn't about who or what Sourcewell is. It's about readiness. How will you know if you're ready for a Sourcewell cooperative contract? Below, I've outlined four reasons to help you determine how ready you and your organization are to take that next step.
1. You've Talked with your business manager
We often explain the Sourcewell process to IT managers looking for a print or voice solution, but eventually, they are going to need to talk to someone inside their organization to make things happen.
This include talking with their business or purchasing manager about becoming a Sourcewell member. More often than not, IT managers find out that their organization is already a member and other departments have been using cooperative purchasing to secure goods and services for years.
If your organization has been using cooperative purchasing agreements for other departments, business managers can give IT the “all clear” and things immediately move to the purchasing decision phase.
2. Your Budget Won't Support the cost of a consultant
Depending on the current climate in your organization, now may be a time where you won’t be able to hire consultants. In the aforementioned RFP process for a large purchase — a new phone system for example — you are going to need to bring in consultants to research and assemble the document. Often those consultant costs are between seven and 10 percent of the purchase price of the system.
3. You are closing in on some budget deadlines
In some state agencies and school districts, there are times when you are in a “spend it or lose it” mode as your fiscal year gets close to the end. Instead of trying to find ways to spend down your budget while still abiding by your purchasing restrictions, why not look through the vendors already approved by Sourcewell? You could find precisely the phone system you need quickly and without any hassle. Sourcewell is the “easy” button for budgetary surpluses.
4. you've “been there, done that”
If writing RFPs and navigating competitive solicitations wasn’t part of your original job description, it was probably added somewhere along the way. By now, you know just how much time and effort this takes. As an alternative, you can let Sourcewell do all the heavy lifting.
I'm going to level with you. We know this sounds too good to be true. We get that a lot. Nevertheless, Sourcewell and cooperative purchasing contracts are revolutionizing the way state agencies, school districts and nonprofits manage their budgets.