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Survey Results are In…Cooperative Contracting is on the Rise

Friday, June 23, 2017  
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Data from Onvia 2017 Survey of Government Procurement Professionals

Onvia released their 2017 Survey of Government Procurement Professionals with 668 survey responses from procurement professionals and key decision makers across state, county & city agencies, and school & special districts nationwide. This 2nd annual comprehensive survey seeks to monitor and track progress in key areas such as challenges faced by procurement teams through bid and RFP research and preparation, vendor recruitment, quality of contracted services, and ultimate customer service to their agencies. The survey findings also provide insight into the growing trends regarding cooperative procurement.


According to the survey, “Agency staff generally regard the formal bid/RFP process as one of the most challenging aspects of their job, particularly in the areas of research, planning and specifications.”  In addition, from the procurement perspective, “the report noted the long-term trend of understaffed procurement teams, which resulted from agencies not replacing the staff that were cut during the Great Recession and being asked to do “more with less. Nearly forty percent (39.4%) of the procurement staff and managers indicated being “stretched” or working extra hours to meet deadlines. Agency procurement staff were asked to list the top 1-3 challenges they face in procurement. Topping the list at 25% was “pre-bid research & planning” referring to the various tasks and work needed prior to a bid or RFP being issued.”


These findings most likely led the next outcome - increased use of cooperative contracting, thus saving the time to conduct research, issue bid documents, and perform a lengthy evaluation process.  The study states, “State and local agency procurement staff and managers reported a fairly high share of 14% (median value) of their total purchasing dollars going to co-ops, whether local, regional or national.”  


Other issues identified were that procurement professionals are not always as engaged as they would like with their customers with limited existing resources to meet all the needs of their Agency.  On the “other” side of the table, they sometimes struggle with maintaining a well-rounded vendor pool or having successful responses to their own bid activities.  “Four out of ten agency respondents indicate that they are failing to attract enough interest among vendors and contractors to their competitive solicitations.”  With an unsuccessful bid process, sometimes cooperative contracting may provide an alternative solution.  


Change is always on the horizon. Current government procurement trends indicate that cooperative procurement will continue to grow and evolve as procurement teams rely on this effective contracting method. 


Special Thanks to Onvia, the leading provider of sales intelligence and acceleration at the core of the business-to government (B2G) marketplace. Visit


National Cooperative Procurement Partners | 4248 Park Glen Rd.| Minneapolis, MN 55416 | 952.928.4660 |

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