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Cooperative Purchasing Venture - Frequently Asked Questions

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Cooperative Purchasing Venture - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Minnesota's Cooperative Purchasing Program (CPV)?

Who is eligible?

How does it work?

Is there a membership fee to join the CPV Program?

What can I buy?

Will CPV always offer the lowest available price?

Why can other programs and non-contract vendors sometimes offer better pricing?

Can I comparison shop CPV with my other options?

Does CPV offer advantages other than pricing?

We need things that aren't available on state contracts - can we help develop contracts for these products and services?

What services and support can I expect from the state?

How is the State able to fund the CPV Program?

How can I learn more and sign up?


What is Minnesota's Cooperative Purchasing Program (CPV)?

It's a free service in which eligible organizations can purchase goods and services from more than 800 state contracts directly from vendors. Cooperative purchasing leverages economies of scale that very often result in lower pricing and better terms and conditions.


Who is eligible?

Cities, counties, townships, school districts, colleges and universities, fire departments, watershed districts, certain non-profit organizations and others.


How does it work?

Eligible organizations simply sign up for a password, which gives them direct access to over 800 state contracts. Orders are placed directly to the vendor, with shipment direct to the purchaser.


Is there a membership fee to join the CPV Program?

No, membership in the program is free.


What can I buy?

More than 800 contracts are currently available that offer a wide variety of goods and services. Examples include computer hardware and software, cleaning supplies, vehicles, cell phones, copiers, furniture, fuel, industrial supplies, paint, paper, road salt, telecommunications equipment, uniforms and much more. Services available include IT consulting, IT staff augmentation, hazardous waste recycling, packaging/assembly, digital imaging, roof repair, translating and others.


Will CPV always offer the lowest available price?

Not always. The program does not guarantee the lowest price on every item, however, all CPV contracts are awarded through an open procurement process and pricing will be consistently fair and competitive.


Why can other programs and non-contract vendors sometimes offer better pricing?

There could be a number of possibilities, including:

  • Vendors may offer to sell at prices lower than the state contract as a marketing strategy.
  • The lower-priced offering may not provide a comparable level of warranty and liability protections.
  • State requirements such as environmental responsibility, support for small Minnesota businesses, state auditor access to business records and limits on offshore outsourcing that may add costs, but also strengthen important Minnesota values.


Can I comparison shop CPV with my other options?

Yes. State contract information and pricing information is available online with your password.


Does CPV offer advantages other than pricing?

Yes. First, you can be confident in knowing that your purchases will meet strict standards of ethical and accountable public procurement. Participation in CPV can also reduce administrative effort and wait-times and free staff to concentrate on mission-critical activities.


We need things that aren't available on state contracts - can we help develop contracts for these products and services?

Yes. We welcome and encourage participation on ad hoc work groups that help identify needs and specifications. Representatives of your organization can also serve on panels that evaluate vendor responses. Participation is voluntary.


What services and support can I expect from the state?

Purchasing experts from Office of State Procurement research products and market conditions; negotiate for favorable terms and pricing; and assist members with vendor management issues, including vendor disputes. The Office of the Attorney General provides legal support and representation.


How is the State able to fund the CPV Program?

We partially fund the program through small administrative fees, usually one-quarter to one percent, that are applied to the sales generated against the contract. Of the contract releases managed by our office, fewer than ten percent have an administrative fee applied to them. Contract prices include the administrative fee, if applicable, so customers always know their actual price.


How can I learn more and sign up?

More information, including an application form, is available at http://www.mmd.admin.state.mn.us/pdf/CPVSubscribe2.pdf.

Join Now!! Download and print the membership application form; return it by mail, email or fax.

Current List of CPV Members

 


You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print or view PDF files.
Information found on this website can be made available in alternative formats, such as large print, Braille, or on tape, by calling 651.296.2600. Persons with a hearing or speech disability can contact us through the Minnesota Relay Service by dialing 711 or 1.800.627.3529.
The State of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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