GPN reached out to Crosby Grindle, vice president of the Seattle-based NPP Government Division to learn what’s trending. NPPGov is a cooperative purchasing organization that provides access to contracts created through an RFP process conducted by a lead public agency. NPPGov serves government, education and non-profit markets. The organization has two specialized programs: FireRescue GPO and Law Enforcement GPO.

Recently, NPPGov announced that it was joining the National Coalition for Public Procurement (NCPP) as a cooperative procurement organization member.

Crosby Grindle offers his views on cooperative purchasing trends below.  

GPN: What new trends do you see in 2016 in the government cooperative procurement arena?  

Crosby Grindle: Because more and more governments are using or planning to use coops, I think there’s going to be a continued focus on public procurement policy and even legislative initiatives that regulate  the use of cooperatives. So that’s why it’s important that organizations like the NCPP exist to monitor legislative and policy initiatives that may impact our coop industry.

GPN: Do you expect to see more consolidations among cooperative procurement programs in 2016? Recently, National IPA acquired TCPN Management Group.

CG: It’s impossible to say. There are certainly a lot of coop organizations out there. So I’m sure that consolidations could be a likely outcome of there being so many. But I would have no way to say for sure.

GPN: Will the movement to certify cooperative purchasing organizations pick up steam in 2016?

CG: I don’t know. It depends on the certification process and the requirements and the costs associated with that. I think the important thing is that as an industry, we look at best practices and make sure to the best of our ability that coops  are following best practices and being  transparent. And if that happens through a certification process that’s great, or if it happens through other methods, then that’s OK too. So it’s hard to say what direction certification is headed.

GPN: What product areas will receive greater coverage in cooperative purchasing programs in 2016?  Sustainable/green products? Products used in emergency response or disaster recovery? Any other product areas?

CG: I certainly think that the sustainable and green product category is important, and we’ve seen that be an area of focus for local procurement programs and state procurement agencies as well. I feel that software solutions and related technological solutions, cloud-based storage, things like that, are all areas that will grow. I think we’ll see more of those kinds of technology in the  coop space in 2016.

At NPP Government Division, we as a coop focus a lot on public safety. Throughout our history we have focused on public safety. And we’ll  continue to try to have a lot of offerings in those areas as well throughout 2016.

GPN: What about the Internet of things? (IoT)? Do you see that as an area of expansion in 2016 among coop purchasing entities…more sensors/actuators  connected to computers for municipal  tasks? Will we see more networked sensors so traffic signals are  hooked to monitors for traffic management?

CG: Sure, expansion in that area is likely in 2016. It goes back to my earlier comment about software and cloud-based storage, I think wireless  and data—it’s all about  data now and how data is communicated. It’s all related to what you are referring to regarding the IoT.

The video describes the cooperative purchasing environment that NPPGov offers to public entities such as cities, states and other local governments. The organization enables governments to participate in publicly awarded, competitively bid contracts.

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