Some consolidation is taking place among cooperative purchasing organizations that serve educational institutions, governments, non-profits and other parts of the public sector. The acquisition of TCPN Management Group (TCPN) by Provista and its subsidiary National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance Company (National IPA) was completed this past July 28.

“The integration of our two teams is ahead of schedule, and we anticipate it to be completed in the near future,” Andrea Scobie tells GPN. Scobie is vice president of marketing at National IPA. She says that the merged entities will work to grow their customer and supplier relationships. “Public agencies and non-profits have a wide range of procurement needs. Therefore, we will continue to look to add to our assortment of contract categories.”

The acquisition combines TCPN’s contract portfolio knowledge with National IPA and Provista’s annual purchasing volume. Houston-based TCPN is a cooperative management company that works with Region 4 Education Service Center (ESC) in Texas as its primary lead agency.

Franklin, Tenn.-based National IPA is a cooperative purchasing organization established for public agencies across the U.S. The organization leverages the volume of 64,000 customers in the areas of state, county, city and local government, primary and higher education systems and other agencies.

Irving Texas-based Provista is a supply chain partner that works with government, education and business. Provista generates approximately $55 billion in annual purchasing volume through the combined spend of the National IPA and Novation contract portfolios.

The merger, adds Scobie, gives the combined National IPA and TCPN significant purchasing power. “Not only do we have the largest amount of volume, we also have had more agencies place orders with our vendor partners than they did with any other cooperative.”

Scobie says that once both companies merge, “we will have a significant amount of Regional Program Managers to be a resource for the agencies. Additionally, we will have a large team of Business Development Managers that will help support our vendor partners. Our team of contract managers will continue to work on ensuring that agencies’ contract compliance needs are met.

The combined firms involved in the July 28 merger will aim to provide a more robust contract portfolio to education institutions and government entities, said Todd Abner, president of National IPA, in a statement.

National IPA and TCPN are among several national cooperatives that are part of the National Coalition for Public Procurement, NCPP. According to its website, the group “is committed to working together to promote the highest level of business ethics, best practices and standards to serve the procurement needs of government, education and non-profit agencies across the U.S.” National IPA and TCPN will not be taking part in the NIGP accreditation program for public sector purchasing cooperatives, Scobie tells GPN.

Veteran public purchasing pro Hal Good describes the National IPA acquisition of TCPN as “very logical.” He adds that the two combined entities complement each other very well, with National IPA’s success serving local governments and TCPN’s accomplishments in serving education and school districts.

Good, who has over 30 years of experience in public and private procurement, e-commerce and supply chain management, believes that more mergers and consolidations in the cooperative space are on the horizon.

Good owns the Procurement Pros group on LinkedIn. The by-invitation-only group has almost 1,500 members.

Michael Keating is Senior Editor at Government Product News, an American City & County sister brand.

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