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How Co-op Purchasing Helps Schools & Government Agencies

Co-op Power: How purchasing through co-ops benefits you

It’s as simple as supply and demand, as easy as any other order, and as smart as you can be with your facilities budget. It’s a co-op purchasing agreement, and it’s here to help your organization thrive.

What is a Co-op?

A Co-op or Cooperative Purchasing Program allows municipalities, state, and national government agencies to purchase products and services from suppliers and service providers without having to go out to bid with the vendor.

The basic idea goes like this: a group of similar organizations (for example, schools) looks around at one another and sees all the money they’re paying for common (but costly) facilities projects. To take advantage of economies of scale–basically, acting together to form one larger “super buyer”–the organizations can join forces in a co-op purchasing agreement.

Advantages of Purchasing through a Co-op

Co-ops negotiate prices with vendors who are eager to serve a large collective of clients. Because they’re more likely to work with multiple organizations within a co-op, vendors offer lower pricing with the potential of a higher volume of work. Each organization, therefore, gets the benefit of lower prices on things like lighting, electrical solutions, and more.

Co-ops represent amazing opportunities for their members, whatever industry or sector they happen to occupy. Schools, universities, government organizations, counties, and municipalities all often form co-op purchasing agreements.

They also alleviate the headache of having to go out to get bids for products and projects. The bid process for municipal organizations can be painstaking, especially if the school or city is trying to have work done over the summer and timing is a factor. With Co-op programs, the bidding process is streamlined because pre-approved contracts are already in place. The Co-op handles all the vetting of vendors and passes this advantage on to the school or agency.

What Co-ops are Available to Join?

There are local co-ops–such as CES (Cooperative Educational Services) in New Mexico–and national co-ops–AEPA, BuyBoard, and others. They are all easy to join and use. Some co-ops, such as BuyBoard, invite eligible organizations to sign an agreement with them directly. Others, like AEPA, will direct you to a local or specific co-op depending on your location and industry. 

Frisco ISD image

Frisco ISD

Members of co-ops have access to a range of vendors offering a variety of services. Contractors and suppliers offer their services and products at extremely competitive rates, giving your organization the leverage you need to get the most out of your money. You’ll also typically get to take advantage of expedited purchasing, getting your orders and projects bumped high up the list due to your status as a co-op purchaser.

FSG is proud to work with co-ops all across the country. From high schools to state government offices, FSG has served co-op clients with our lighting retrofits electrical services, and more.

FSG is partnered with BuyBoard, AEPA (Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies), TIPS-USA, and dozens of others.

FSG managed over $5,000,000 in BuyBoard sales in 2018

We understand that co-op purchasers serve some of the most vital functions of our society, from basic government services to some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world. It is our honor as a vendor to serve co-op organizations with lower prices, expedited projects, and our entire suite of specialties.

A Few FSG Co-op Projects

Greenville Smart Cities Project

Greenville, South Carolina – The city of Greenville rode the wave of “smart city” technology integration and invited FSG to help bring their town fully into the 21st Century. Greenville worked through AEPA to bid their project, getting competitive rates and expedited services to make their city shine. From light bulbs to control systems to wi-fi mesh integration, FSG helped Greenville become a more connected and safer community.

Greenville Smart Cities Project

Byron Nelson High School Project

Byron Nelson High School – If the interior of your building is too dim, or if employees and visitors complain about low light levels, it’s simple to realize you may need new lights. But what if you want to make your facility safer and more secure? Did you know new lights could be the solution there, too?

Byron Nelson H.S. Before and After

Byron Nelson H.S. Before and After

LED lights are much brighter than older technologies, and when used in exterior spaces (such as around this high school in Frisco, Texas) they banish the night-time darkness, giving everyone a much more welcoming and secure environment. Byron Nelson High School used an educational co-op to find the right products, services, and expertise from FSG.

Little Elm ISD Project

Little Elm ISD – FSG was able to bring a turnkey lighting retrofit project to Little Elm ISD that was specifically tailored to meet their financial goals and long term sustainability initiatives. Leveraging their common BuyBoard relationship, Little Elm ISD and FSG were able to execute a contract and complete a lighting retrofit project, thus allowing the saved operational dollars to be redirected back into the classroom

Co-ops and You

Easy, affordable, fast, and reliable. Working with a co-op really is all of those things. You and your organization will benefit from the exact same products and services, delivered affordably and quickly. As a co-op vendor, FSG is proud to help schools, cities, government agencies, and more to get the most out of their tight budgets.

When you’re ready to upgrade your facilities, re-lamp your parking lots, undertake necessary repairs in gymnasiums, or simply make your place safer, brighter, and more cheerful, look for co-op purchasing agreements you can take advantage of. FSG is here for organizations just like yours.

To learn more about co-ops and how they can benefit you, please contact us here. If you have questions about how FSG works with co-ops–and how we can work with you–we’d love to talk more. Please call at (512) 615-6615 to get started with our expert teams today. 

For specific questions about the BuyBoard or TIPS co-ops, you can also contact Daniel McLaughlin at the FSG Dallas branch: (214) 216-6579

For specific questions about the AEPA co-op, you can contact Bernie Erickson at the FSG New Jersey branch: (732) 913-1821

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