The staff investigates products and services, which will be of interest to the members of the Cooperative. Specifications are developed on those, which generate enough interest among members. Formal sealed bids are taken by either a firm fixed price or by discount from catalogs. Advertisements are placed in compliance with state laws, in newspapers of general circulation throughout the state. When bids have been opened and tabulated, they are presented to the Board of Trustees for award, along with recommendations for award from the staff. Multiple award contracts may be made when vendors have geographic delivery limitations. Awarded bids are posted on the BuyBoard. All purchase order and requisition history is tracked by the BuyBoard.
Competitive bids posted on the BuyBoard may also originate with another regional cooperative or a large entity (school, city, or county). These items will also have been competitively bid according to State laws. Members are encouraged to have their current vendors participate in the bids of the Cooperative, or those bid by other cooperatives or entities. Vendors may register to participate in future bids by completing an information form located at the website.
Input is obtained from members through meetings in their geographic area. This input includes topics such as specification terms and conditions, vendors and suppliers, and commodity and product offerings. Input is also solicited on BuyBoard technology and the e-commerce purchasing process. If cooperative members encounter problems with a supplier of a bid, the member may obtain the assistance of the Cooperative staff to intervene.
Procedures are currently under way to establish interlocal agreements with the states of New Mexico and Oklahoma for joint purchases of certain products, including technology items. Major bids also under consideration include serving as an aggregator for electricity, and procurement card services. The cooperative is working on integration with a variety of financial software packages in order to be able to encumber purchases directly.