Purchasing administers and operates a Cooperative Purchasing Program used by over 100 municipalities both in and outside of the County. This program allows municipalities to combine purchase volumes of certain commodities to obtain more favorable pricing. This has proved to be of great benefit especially to smaller townships and villages, where retail prices are often charged because of their small usage.
Purchasing has changed the County's business model to move from a conventional business process to a web-based procurement program. A third party Web host (Michigan Inter-governmental Trade Network - MITN) is used to advertise
bids and RFPs.
Currently, Purchasing's Contract Administration is responsible for a number of blanket contracts for goods. Since more than one County department uses these blanket contracts, Purchasing serves as the administrator. Some examples of these contracts would be office products, janitorial supplies, laboratory supplies, computers and tools. Items are usually ordered by the using departments through the vendors' Web site. Each blanket contract requires an administrator to make any changes to the terms and conditions, monitor the Web order process, and oversee the pricing and invoicing processes.
The Procurement Card program allows for the use of a specially regulated credit card to make small item purchases. This program is expanding to include some aspects of travel as well. This is intended as a method of making small purchases that do not require a purchase order. The administration of this program includes training of users, monitoring daily reports, expanding the card use to other departments, and coordinating with the credit card bank.