The end of the fiscal year is a tough time for procurement teams - the time when all those departments are spending the last of their budgets. And procurement is the hub of all this activity, so it can be difficult to keep up. With not enough time to go out to bid and award, or constraints with your Auditor's office to carry over funds to the following year, Procurement is expected to get it done!
Sole source is an option, but difficult to justify if there is more than one competitor in that space. And "because the department waited until the end of the fiscal year" is not always the best justification. That's when cooperative purchasing contracts might be the solution! Already solicited, negotiated and awarded, the longest part of the procurement process is complete. After your organizational review, piggyback quickly, order the needed products, and move on to the next incoming request.
For those who will soon be facing an onslaught of fiscal year-end requests, the best time is now - conduct that research before the floodgates open! Choose one or two cooperatives with their line of contracts; ensure your Agency is a member (usually free to join), and view the available contracts and resources. Send specific links to your fleet, facilities, public works, or other customer departments who might still have funds to spend before the end of the fiscal year. Let them research the products/services, and then procurement can quickly garner the documents from the cooperatives to complete the due diligence review process.