100 New York Agencies Achieve Savings Through PEPPM Purchasing Cooperative in 2013

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The purchasing law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in summer of 2012 delivered savings in 2013 to a hundred New York school districts and public agencies that used cooperative purchasing contracts from the PEPPM Technology Bidding and Purchasing Program. Nearly $1 million in savings was reported through the use of competitively bid pricing and the advantages of more efficient buying procedures.

Exactly 100 public agencies and school districts in the state of New York took advantage of new purchasing efficiencies and $884,000 in savings in 2013 — thanks to a new law permitting the use of cooperative procurement contracts bid in neighboring Pennsylvania through the PEPPM Technology Bidding and Purchasing Program.

Calendar year 2013 represents the first full year New York agencies could use competitively bid contracts awarded by another public agency that has followed the same bidding procedures required in New York State. The New York Legislature and governor enacted the enabling law — S.5525c, Chapter 308 — in August 2012.

The underlying piggybackable contracts that saved New York agencies money in 2013 were awarded by the PEPPM Technology Bidding and Purchasing Program. It is operated by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU), a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The PEPPM purchasing cooperative estimated the soft-dollar savings in administrative procedures to New York agencies in excess of $248,000 or between $500 and $5,000 for each major purchase. State law requires use of bids for purchases exceeding $20,000. That savings benefit stands on top of hard-dollar savings achieved by the bids themselves for actual products delivered. At competitively achieved discounts, products found their way to New York agencies with savings in excess of $634,000.

Agencies large and small took advantage of the cooperative purchasing law to save money. They ranged from the huge New York City Department of Education and City of New York to smaller upstate school districts and libraries.

Because PEPPM maintains an extensive database for audit purposes, the co-op can report that participating New York agencies and communities included 53 school districts, 12 Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), eight counties, five cities, seven towns, four villages, four libraries, two community colleges, and two state agencies.

The agencies used their new legal authority to purchase 1,748 line items.

All items purchased were technology-related products from just 19 vendors, a small fraction representing the more than 300 contracts available among PEPPM’s total stable of product line and catalog purchasing vehicles.

Once denied access to out-of-state contracts, New York public agencies waited for years before they could finally take advantage of the CSIU’s cooperative procurement programs in 2013. Prior to New York’s entry, PEPPM contracts were benefiting U.S. public agencies serving communities in 45 states other than New York.

Pennsylvania’s CSIU operates two cooperative procurement programs: the PEPPM Technology Bidding and Purchasing Program and the Keystone Purchasing Network (KPN). Keystone’s sales results were not factored in initial reports from the CSIU about New York’s co-op participation, so savings to New York will be even greater when KPN reports come in.

PEPPM contracts provide technology products, services, and supplies from hundreds of brands, such as Canon, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett Packard, and Xerox. Each is competitively bid and evaluated based on lowest prices from responsive and responsible vendors. The PEPPM website at http://www.PEPPM.org posts more than 520,000 technology items and offers online quoting capabilities for public agencies seeking volume discounts. PEPPM also offers its contracts to agencies without requiring registration or membership.

Its sister program, KPN, provides a wide range of products and services including furnishings and supplies for schools, offices and libraries, athletic surfaces, field and parking lot lighting, indoor and outdoor sports equipment, stadium seating, and cars and heavy duty vehicles. For a complete list visit http://www.theKPN.org or call KPN at (888) 490-3182.

PEPPM started in 1982, more than 32 years ago, as a technology purchasing cooperative serving education agencies. It expanded its offerings to other jurisdictions starting in 2000 with five additional states. It now permits its contracts to be used in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, plus where vendors agree, to universities, cities, counties, and other public agencies serving their individual communities.

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David Manney
PEPPM Program
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