Chapter 12: Promote Collaborative Purchasing

Private companies like Wal-Mart use their enormous purchasing power to negotiate low prices from suppliers. Colleges that band together to buy goods and services can often obtain lower prices on goods and services used than if they buy separately. Agreements can be made between institutions on a bilateral or multi-lateral basis, through statewide agreements, or even by regional agreements involving schools in many states. The distinction between “state” and “private” institutions need not be important here, with small private liberal arts colleges joining larger state universities to try to get the benefits of large-scale purchasing.  A consortium of schools can be created as a separate entity to do group purchasing, for example.  Collaborative purchasing is no panacea, and there is some reduction in institutional flexibility if all purchasing is done in this manner. But for a large portion of purchases, group buying of goods is a worthwhile strategy to pursue.

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