Schools and Local Governments Should Share Their Vendor Lists
Schools and local governments frequently work with many of the same vendors and have similar procurement services needs. Therefore, it follows that the two share their vendor lists with one another. Both entities often contract with vendors who provide services in technology for online security, phone apps, online services and personal smart devices; office supplies; printing services; sanitation and waste management; food; construction; etc., so it makes sense that they combine their efforts and work together to identify the vendors which best suit their needs.
Some of the benefits of sharing vendor lists include:
1. Saving time and money. There’s no need to duplicate effort in researching vendors when you can exchange valuable research with a trusted agency. Some of the information exchanged may pertain to:
- Previous experience and past performance with the product/service to be purchased.
- The product or service’s overall quality, including whether it meets regulatory requirements or mandated quality system registration.
- Ability to meet current and potential capacity requirements on the desired delivery schedule.
- Vendor’s financial stability.
- Technical support availability and support in developing and optimizing processes.
- Total cost of dealing with the supplier, including material cost, communications methods, inventory requirements and incoming verification required.
- The supplier’s track record for business-performance improvement.
- Total cost assessment.
2. Building a long-term partnership between schools and government organizations. Since government offices and schools share communities – why not contribute to making your relationship a strong one? By increasing networking between these entities – by sharing vendor lists – you’re building trust and a true sense of community. It’s a win-win for all.
3. Knowing you can trust the referral of a local agency more than an online review. When researching a vendor you want to have access to first-hand experience, not a review you’ve found online, whose origins may be questionable. Sharing vendor lists with a neighbor, who happens to have similar needs as your own, is far more useful and beneficial to your overall selection process.
4. Reducing the cost of sourcing, cataloging and recruiting vendors. Eliminate duplicative data entry by making use of a fellow agency’s vendor database. This way you can focus instead on exponentially growing your database.
5. Sharing best practices. Supplier selection criteria for a particular product or service category should be defined by a cross-functional team of representatives from different sectors of your organization. But what if you could share your selection criteria and ultimately your vendor selection with another agency who, in turn, shares theirs with you? You’re likely to double your list and in the end have a bigger pool of vendors from which to choose.
Ultimately, when it comes to vendor lists, sharing is caring. You’ll reap the benefits and so will your neighboring school or government office.