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How Cooperative Marketplaces Optimize Savings for Agencies

Recently, leading cooperatives have recognized the need to create one-stop-shop transactional marketplaces for their members. Cooperative purchasing organizations like Sourcewell, E&I, MHEC, AEPA, and TIPS have announced or implemented cooperative marketplaces to help their members reduce price discovery, order processing and invoicing times. 


When you reduce costs within a government organization or institution, funds are freed up for other mission-specific uses allowing constituents to win, too. Cooperatives also realize benefits, with access to online spend reporting and tighter integrations with members topping the list.

About Cooperative Agreements

How are cooperative agreements established? The cooperative or lead agency runs a formal competitive process, following procurement codes, state and local statutes to determine which vendors qualify to sell specific goods and services under the agreement. A trusted cooperative contract eliminates the time and cost associated with your agency gathering requirements, creating the RFP, reviewing multiple bidders, and making an award. With cooperative purchasing, both the buyer and seller benefit from a dramatically shortened and less costly sales cycle.

The pandemic emphasized a vital lesson; all public sector organizations must digitize. This is especially true for cooperatives. The ones that fail to embrace a “digital-first” approach to improving their value proposition are at risk of being left behind and losing competitiveness. Digitalization is raising the stakes, so cooperatives have a growing incentive to find new ways to enhance member experience.

Click here to learn about more EqualLevel’s work with cooperative purchasing organizations.

Further Reading

GPO Utilizes eProcurement Marketplace to Bring Vendor Catalogs Under One Umbrella

eProcurement Platform Automates Cooperative Purchasing


Cooperative Purchasing Organization Launches eMarketplace to Simplify Procurement for Members

Cooperative Purchasing Organization MHEC, New England’s Premier Purchasing Consortium, has launched their new eMarketplace, the i-buy marketplace™. The i-buy marketplace™ simplifies purchasing for MHEC members by enabling them to buy from multiple contracts utilizing the same shopping cart and interface. With 50+ contracts in their porfolio, this significantly streamlines purchasing for members.

Many-to-many Capability

MHEC began their search for an online platform in 2020 when research indicated that its members wanted a simpler means to access and purchase from MHEC contracts. Chris Raymond, Director, Contracts and Operations, noted, “It was a difficult task to find a platform that could embrace everything that was needed. We have many contracts, many products and services, and many suppliers. We needed a purchasing platform that could enable a many-to-many capability to meet the requirements identified by our members, including systems integration. We found that with EqualLevel.”


Michael Di Yeso, MHEC Executive Director spoke of the benefit of the i-buy marketplace™ for MHEC’s members stating, “We have over 2,100 members that range from large university systems to small local libraries, from municipal government offices to K-12 schools, all with varying levels of support for the purchasing function. Our i-buy marketplace™ delivers a powerful capability for our member organizations to target their search and purchase specifically to what they need, regardless of size, sector, location, or purchasing operations. It’s a game changer and I’m proud to offer it to our members.”

About MHEC

MHEC is a not-for-profit Group Purchasing Organization. The organization was created in 1977 to provide purchasing contracts for the state’s higher education systems. Its membership reach has since expanded to include any not-for-profit organization with an educational component located in the six New England states.

Click here to learn more about EqualLevel’s work with cooperative purchasing organizations.

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