Purchasing Network is the Texas Association of Community College’s cooperative procurement solution. It is available for use by all junior and community colleges in the State of Texas that elect to participate through an interlocal agreement. Participation in the network is not required of members of the Association; however, the program provides the legally required competition for contracts for commonly purchased items thereby saving the individual college the time and cost of going through the competitive solicitation process. By taking advantage of the buying power of many colleges, substantial savings in the cost of goods and services will be realized. Perhaps most important is that the instructional programs are made more productive by having goods and services delivered in a more timely manner as the individual college’s competitive bid process has been eliminated.
Vendors also benefit from this program. Instead of participating in many bids with the various colleges, they have only one. The time and expense of going through the competitive solicitation process for each college is avoided.
The Network uses the “piggyback” model of cooperative purchasing which is defined as one or more public entities solicit their requirements and include an option for other organizations to access, or “piggyback” the contract as awarded.
Formal notification to vendors is made through the Network’s bid service, Demand Star by Onvia. Contact Demand Star at www.demandstar.com Vendors are encouraged to register with the bid service to ensure they receive notice of solicitations issued by the Network. Vendors are not required to register directly with the Network and registration is not used to pre-qualify bidders. The Network does not assure notification of solicitation opportunities to vendors that do not register with DemandStar by Onvia.
Alternatively, a vendor may submit their contact information to Charles Oberrender, Director of Cooperative Purchasing and request to be added to the Network’s Vendor Notification List. A copy of each solicitation’s legal advertisement will be sent via email blast to all vendors registered with the Vendor Notification List. Vendors will be responsible for keeping email contact information current, as addresses of rejected emails will be deleted from the notification list.
Vendors may obtain solicitation documents directly from the Network. Click here for a list of current solicitations and how to obtain them.
Underthe cooperative model, government entities aggregate their requirements to take advantage of macro-marketconditions, providing efficiencies such as volume discounts, based on the bidder’s abilityto serve the participating entities. Market conditions vary across broad geographies and suppliers of all sizes continue to innovate to adjust to market conditions and the needs of local purchasers. Local suppliers may realize an advantage when supporting smaller contracts, local regions or unique requirements.
The Network strives to be successful in including local businesses when service features and capacity are important. The Network encourages its member colleges to provide information to the Network on recommended local vendors so that these vendors may be invited to participate in the appropriate solicitation. Local vendors who wish to be notified of solicitation opportunities should request they be added to the Network's Vendor Notification list by clicking here Contact Us.
The Network also strives to include minority and women vendors (MWBE) in its bidding opportunities. Such vendors who wish to be notified of solicitation opportunities should request they be added to the Network's Vendor Notification list by clicking here Contact Us.