Using a shareable contract (also known as cooperative procurement or piggybacking) allows you to leverage a contract that has been competitively solicited to make a purchase instead of creating a new contract. Using a shareable contract, you can get what you need in just weeks or even days, get products or services to your end users faster, and achieve cost savings.
You may assume that you’ll need to choose between the ease and speed of using a shareable contract and your entity’s goals around supporting local or diverse businesses. Actually, shareable contracts can be a powerful tool for advancing equity in contracting and driving economic development in your local community. Increasing the overall number and diversity of suppliers participating in serving the public sector is an important part of our mission at Pavilion.
Here’s how to benefit from the ease and convenience of a compliant, competitively solicited shareable contract while supporting local and diverse businesses:
- Prioritize local and diverse businesses in your contract discovery process
- Push national suppliers on cooperative contracts to work with local and diverse businesses
- Add shareable language to your entity’s contracts and publish them with Pavilion
Prioritize local and diverse businesses in your contract discovery process
If you’re a buyer at a public entity with established policy goals around supporting small and diverse businesses, you likely spend a lot of time identifying diverse suppliers. This process can be cumbersome, especially if your procurement team is already understaffed and pressed for time. Pavilion makes it easy to discover diverse suppliers already on shareable contracts, as well as suppliers in your region. Of the more than 65,000 contracts available through Pavilion, 1 in 4 have diverse suppliers available. Use diversity filters to quickly and easily search for shareable contracts with diverse suppliers.
Maria Agrusa, County Procurement Officer at Orange County, CA loves that it’s easy to find diverse and local suppliers on Pavilion: “Pavilion allows me to find local, small, and disadvantaged businesses so our County can support those business communities and meet our goals.”
Push national suppliers awarded on cooperative contracts to work with local and diverse businesses
National purchasing cooperatives tend to work with suppliers that can serve the entire country. When you use national purchasing cooperative contracts, push to have local or diverse businesses included. A little extra work can help local and diverse vendors grow their business and contribute to the economic development of the community in the form of tax revenue, job creation, and increased spending power in your local community.
And, if your entity creates national cooperative contracts, you can bake equity or support of local businesses into the contract from the start.
Lourdes Coss, former Chief Procurement Officer at the City of Houston, TX and Cook County, IL, explained how she did this at Cook County, IL. When using a national cooperative contract with Grainger, she was able to work with Grainger to onboard a local manufacturer to their catalog. This was an opportunity for Cook County to support a local business by utilizing the Grainger contract, and to help that business serve a larger, national audience, too. She explains: “If a cooperative contract is used nationwide it opens the door for a local business to expand their initial reach and sell all over the U.S.”
Keith Glatz, Purchasing and Contracts Manager at City of Tamarac, Florida worked with OMNIA Partners to develop a national cooperative contract for office supplies with Office Depot. From the beginning, Keith knew he wanted to be able to work with local businesses as subcontractors through the contract, so he included a clause in the contract that enabled Office Depot to subcontract with local distributors. “There are different paths you can follow to reach your equity goals. When you are a big agency who creates contracts, you have the clout to do this with big suppliers. This makes it easier to find diverse suppliers than you might think.”
Using a national cooperative contract, or even serving as a lead agency on one, doesn’t preclude you from working with local or diverse businesses through that contract. A little extra work can help local and diverse vendors grow their business and contribute to the economic development of the community in the form of tax revenue, job creation, and increased spending power in your local community.
Add shareable language to your entity’s contracts and publish them with Pavilion
When creating your own entity’s contracts, add shareable language and publish your contracts on Pavilion to help the local and diverse suppliers you’ve awarded grow their public sector business.
At Cook County, Lourdes’s team awarded a contract to a minority-owned business and included shareable language, so other public entities were able to leverage the contract to work with the supplier.
Orange County is including shareable language in their contracts, and has published them on Pavilion. “With Pavilion, we are able to publish Orange County data for the first time, and have a platform for our users to find County contracts,” said Maria. Now, other entities within the County and even across the country can now work with local and diverse suppliers on contract with the County. For example, a buyer searched on CoProcure for “paper recycling and destruction services” and found this Orange County contract listing Shadowhawk as a supplier, which is a local business based in Orange, California.
Unfortunately, many local and diverse suppliers may not be aware that they’ve been awarded a shareable contract. Pavilion is continuing to develop supplier education resources in coordination with public procurement professionals to help level the playing field for suppliers.
If you’re looking to capture the time and cost-savings benefits of using a shareable contract, and you also want to support local and/or diverse businesses, you can:
- Use Pavilion to discover local and diverse suppliers on shareable contracts.
- Push to include local and diverse businesses when you leverage a national cooperative contract.
- Add shareable language to your entity’s contracts and publish them with Pavilion to generate business for local and diverse suppliers.
With these new tactics, you won’t have to choose between the ease and speed of cooperative procurement and meeting your entity’s goals around supporting local or diverse businesses.