The Strategic Alliance for Volume Expenditures (SAVE) is a model for what public entities can accomplish by working together. SAVE is a self-organized group of more than 320 public entities across Arizona with a shared goal: to lower procurement costs by aggregating public purchasing power and reducing administrative redundancies. The group achieves this goal in a unique way. By joining, SAVE member entities commit to including shareable language in their contracts so that other SAVE members can use them, too.
With Pavilion, SAVE has a free new technology partner that makes it easier to find shareable contracts, reduces the administrative time required to collaborate, and helps businesses in the state grow.
SAVE's promising model encounters friction
Kristy Garcia, the Procurement Administrator for the City of Mesa, oversees SAVE as the membership chair. Prior to partnering with Pavilion, Kristy had managed an internal website and spreadsheet of more than 400 contract listings so SAVE members could see available contracts. But over the last few years, Kristy found it was becoming more difficult for SAVE members to realize the full value of the model because “the vast majority of contracts and their related documents were not on the SAVE website and it was very hard to search for the contracts that were there.”
A new partnership
Shortly after meeting at the NIGP Forum in Boston in summer 2022, Kristy realized “Pavilion’s technology and partnership would be the perfect way to make it easier for SAVE members to find one another’s contracts and share their contracts, too.” In November, SAVE and Pavilion launched a new partnership with the goal of helping SAVE members maximize the value of collaboration and reducing the administrative burden required to participate.
Improving the SAVE member experience
With Pavilion, SAVE members have a powerful free tool that enhances their ability to collaborate with other SAVE members as well as public servants nationwide by providing a single place to search for and use shareable contracts.
Before partnering with Pavilion, SAVE members found contracts by scrolling through a spreadsheet that listed more than 400 contracts, but only about 80 contracts’ accompanying documents were available.
With the Pavilion search bar embedded into the SAVE website, members can instantly search through a library of more than 5,000 SAVE contracts with the associated documents and more than 65,000 contracts from public entities and purchasing cooperatives all across the country. Members no longer go through the arduous process of scanning through a spreadsheet with hundreds of rows or making dozens of phone calls in hopes of finding a shareable contract.
Robert Durham, Procurement Administrator at the Town of Fountain Hills, felt the impact as soon as he started using the new tool: “Before Pavilion, I would have to search individual jurisdictions and cooperative entities one by one. Pavilion makes it fast and easy for me to find contracts that I can use to skip the solicitation process.”
Prior to partnering with Pavilion, the administrative effort required from Kristy and members to facilitate collaboration was high. Kristy spent hours asking members to add their contracts to the spreadsheet, fielding requests about whether a shareable contract existed for a particular good or service, and monitoring messages posted by SAVE entities online to facilitate connections between entities.
Pavilion also eliminates the need for members to ask Kristy whether a contract exists and she no longer has to monitor the message board and manually make introductions among members.
Pavilion also makes it easy for SAVE members to share their contracts, so Kristy doesn’t have to track them down.
Kristy remarked, “with Pavilion, we’ve really seen SAVE’s original ethos of ‘Pay it Forward’ come to fruition. Dozens of SAVE members have proactively reached out to add their contracts to Pavilion, opening the door for other members to easily find those contracts.”
With an increase in collaboration across the state, Pavilion’s partnership with SAVE has increased revenue for local businesses. SAVE members can immediately issue purchase orders for goods and services without having to go through a new solicitation process, expediting the purchasing timelines and lowering the costs of doing business with public entities for suppliers in the state.
With Pavilion, everyone wins: public entities save time and taxpayer dollars by working together; local businesses grow; and Arizona communities benefit from more efficient and effective government.