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So often government Buyers want AstroTurf® products but assume they are required to conduct their own formal or “hard” bid, which can result in several problems. This traditional method is tedious and it’s not uncommon to spend hundreds of collective hours conducting a formal bid. Considerable time and effort are required in doing market research and conducting interviews, drafting bid specifications, advertising, vetting bidders, and more. We know most Buyers don’t have the kind of time needed to become experts and really gain an understanding of the synthetic turf market. They just don’t have that kind of time to invest, when they are inundated with many different products and services to buy.

Another downfall with the formal bid process is that you may not get the product you want. Depending on the type of bid, you may have little product choice as certain bid types result in a general contractor selecting the turf for you, or a school board choosing based on the many limitations of bid scoring. Then you’re married to that turf manufacturer and installer for the life of the warranty, and you didn’t even get to choose who and what product you wanted.

Price is important, but it should never be the deciding factor when it comes to sports surfacing.  Being stuck with a less reputable turf company or installer in a “low bid” procurement process rather than having your Vendor of choice through a best value determination will be a huge disappointment.

 There is a better way!

A growing contracting method is the cooperative purchasing model. There are a handful of fantastic co-op organizations that offer contract awards from which their members can benefit. The co-ops ensure that all responding Vendors are fully vetted before awarding the contract, which can then be “piggybacked” by public agencies across the country. This makes it easy to choose an awarded contract with the Vendor your agency prefers.

Cooperative purchasing has experienced tremendous growth over the past 20 years and is now an approved and accepted government procurement method in all 50 states. It is truly a win-win for both Vendors and Buyers.

Cooperative purchasing contracts are used by state agencies, cities, counties, school districts and universities in order to buy from Vendors like AstroTurf®, without the time and expense of completing their own traditional RFP or IFB. It’s an easier sales process for everyone, and most importantly owners stay in control by choosing the awarded Vendor they want.

“Many buyers aren’t familiar with this procurement method,” said AstroTurf® Director of Cooperative Purchasing, Victoria Stringham. “They can’t believe they don’t have to manage the hassle of a formal bid process and instead can piggyback on an already-competed contract award.”

The challenge is that sometimes agencies aren’t receptive to using a co-op because they get stuck in how they’ve bought in the past. But even so, cooperative purchasing continues to gain momentum as our industry builds awareness of this ultra-convenient buying method.”

The co-op benefits are very clear: It’s easy. It’s proven. It’s free.

And best of all, you get the product that YOU want from the vendor that YOU trust.

Over the past 20 years, thousands of public institutions, including K-12, universities, municipalities, and more, have trusted using cooperative contracts for their purchases. More and more agencies use cooperative contracts each year, for everything from purchasing office supplies and computers, to building a new turf field or resurfacing a running track.

For more information and to determine if cooperative purchasing is right for you, contact Victoria Stringham at 480-415-6300 or vstringham@astroturf.com.

About AstroTurf®
For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.