U.S. Communities Gives Cities the Buying Power of Cooperative Purchasing

September 5, 2013

Marc Shapiro

The following is NLC's quarterly member update on the U.S. Communities Purchasing Alliance. 

When it comes to public procurement, using a cooperative purchasing program is a common practice for cities and towns. The U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance is the only purchasing cooperative sponsored by the National League of Cities (NLC) and four other national organizations, along with more than 25 state municipal leagues.

Together with their supply partners, U.S. Communities is committed to offering comprehensive business solutions that help agencies maximize cost-control while also improving operational efficiencies and performance. U.S. Communities strives to provide maximum transparency and oversight to ensure that suppliers offer their best government pricing to participating local and state governments, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Sourcing Summits
U.S. Communities takes great pride in not only providing resources, but also in serving as a resource, with innovative offerings including an online shopping portal, educational webinars and trainings, and a green purchasing program. The cooperative and its suppliers are also reaching out to public agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations through a series of free seminars throughout the country.

The Strategic Sourcing Summits provide a forum for cities to learn how to save time and money using competitively solicited contracts and online purchasing tools and make the most of the U.S. Communities program.

Following is a list of upcoming U.S. Communities Strategic Sourcing Summits:

Customer Appreciation
NLC is pleased to join U.S. Communities in recognizing cities that received a U.S. Communities Customer Appreciation Award in 2013 for supporting cooperative purchasing, utilizing multiple U.S. Communities contracts over the past three years and purchasing more than $3 million of products and services since joining the program. The six cities or city agencies recognized include: 

  • City of Raleigh, NC
  • City of Phoenix, AZ
  • City of Chicago, IL
  • Washington (DC) Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
  • Richmond (VA) Redevelopment & Housing Authority

New Products and Solutions
In August, Tradition Energy was awarded a three-year contract to provide energy consulting and management services. The City of Mesquite, Texas is the lead public agency. The contract delivers services that will help U.S. Communities participants maximize savings on energy expenditures, provide better budget and cost control, and improve procurement efficiency. Through the contract, Tradition Energy will provide a comprehensive suite of services. View the Energy Consulting & Management Contract webinar to learn more.

Earlier this summer, Ricoh Americas Corporation was awarded a multi-year contract to supply multifunction products (MFPs) and related services. Fairfax County, Va., served as the lead agency, and the exclusive contract provides access to Ricoh's devices as well as their managed print services - solutions that will enable organizations to manage print fleets, improve information flow, create more sustainable environments, adhere to federal regulations and reduce operational costs. Details of the added-value benefits are available on the Multifunction Printer and Document Services webinar.

View the full list of U.S. Communities contracts and suppliers.

U.S. Communities Marketplace
The U.S. Communities Marketplace was designed to make purchasing through U.S. Communities contracts easier. This free, online purchasing resource can deliver rapid savings through comparison shopping, centralized purchasing and approval workflows. Ordering is streamlined by being able to order from multiple suppliers within a single shopping cart and check out process.

Although not all U.S. Communities suppliers are currently available through the Marketplace portal, it  makes purchasing easier by providing online ordering for more than one million products available through participating  U.S. Communities suppliers. Registration to shop on the Marketplace is free and payment can be made through purchase order, P-Card or credit card.  

Register for U.S. Communities 
Registration for U.S. Communities is free and open to cities, counties and other public agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. There are no fees, commitments or order minimums.

For more information, visit U.S. Communities, contact your U.S. Communities regional manager or Marc Shapiro at NLC, 202.626.3019 or shapiro@nlc.org