I interviewed Hal Good who discussed The Future of Cooperative Purchasing.
Today we're speaking with Hal Good, and we're going to discuss the future of cooperative purchasing. So, Hal, can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Good morning, Dustin. Pleased to be talking with you. Yes, my background — I started in hospital procurement and actually hospital materials management and logistics. From there I moved into procurement with the City of Palm Springs, California, and then later at the county level and also participated in projects at the state level in the state of California. So my background started out in the private sector, but then I moved into the public sector. And most recently, I've been doing a lot of things in social media.
What is the future of cooperative purchasing?
I think one of the big resources that cooperative purchasing provides to, especially, people in the state and local agencies in the United States is the ability to tag on to a great contract where someone else has done a full request for proposal and has made an award and followed all the rules that are universally kind of acceptable to everyone.And they come up with a good contract. And then all of the other agencies whose rules allow them to participate in that contract can also sign on to that contract and utilize it. It's especially important, I think, for smaller agencies that are having a more and more difficult time having the resources to keep up to the changes in the digital environment or just playing their resources, to process all the requests for proposals or solicitations, they have to, where they can rely on a better staffed agency that has maybe specialists in those areas that can come up with a contract.And then they can utilize the contract without having to try to reinvent that expertise and maybe not do it as well because of the fact that they don't have the resources to do it.
So I think it's a great resource for public procurement overall to really benefit from other people's work and kind of share resources. So that word cooperative is applicable on many levels. But one of key components of it is sharing resources. So someone may have expertise in one area. They do a request or proposal in that. Another person has expertise in another, and they do a request or proposal in that. And then everybody benefits because everybody can use everybody’s resultant contracts.
Can you talk about the vendor community and how it is impacted?
I think the vendor community has to look at what is available in terms of the competition with the impact of cooperative contracts. And they need to either decide that there is an opportunity for them to get a contract with competition maybe on a national basis with their competitors to successfully compete in that marketplace. And if there isn't, then maybe they want to find more of a niche market. I kind of liken it to the big boxes that took over in grocery stores where you have huge players, and there's these that can compete successfully in that market. But then the ones that can't go into a niche market where maybe they run a deli or a specialty bakery or something like that. So I think it's an opportunity for vendors to look at themselves honestly and see what that sort of a market means for them in terms of their own destiny and planning.
What about sustainability? How is this related to sustainability?
I think that's one of the big resources because you have agencies that really are dedicated to come up with addressing the broader sustainability issues. And they come up with a contract that really works in that area. And then, again, everybody can tag on to it. Also, following up on the other statement I just made about vendors looking at where they can compete, that also creates a niche market, because maybe you're not the biggest, but maybe you address the sustainability issues, if you're a vendor, better than anyone else. And so it's an opportunity for those sorts of things to go forward in an environment where more and more we're looking at smart everything — smart cities, smart government, smart grids. Sustainability is a big issue. And if you can get something that works in that and share it will other people that have similar needs and similar goals, that's a huge benefit.
Thank you. Do you have any final recommendations?
I think that for anyone that's hearing this or reading the results of this that hasn't looked into opportunities for cooperative purchasing, it's well-worth their time to look at it, because I think it's going to be more and more important in the public procurement world, especially at the state and local level in the future.
Thanks for sharing today, Hal.
Thank you, Dustin. My pleasure.
About Hal Good
Procurement Advisor, Futurist and Influencer