Optimizing Procurement: The University of Arizona's Time-Saving Journey with Cooperative Purchasing

Oct 31, 2023   |   OMNIA Partners
Fisher Scientific

Do you ever feel like there isn't enough time in the day to make the necessary purchases for your university? This is the exact challenge Edward (Ted) Nasser, Chief Procurement Officer for The University of Arizona, feels every day. In the last few years, his team has had quite an overhaul with some retirements, so his team is fairly new to the purchasing world. Even with a fresh perspective, there isn't enough time or manpower to get the job done without the help of cooperative purchasing. 

“We rely on cooperatives as much as possible because quite frankly, we don't have the manpower or the time to do all of these solicitations on our own,” says Nasser.

Ted truly enjoys the people he works with and appreciates the time and effort they put in every day to keep the campus running. This is what keeps him going and drives him to dedicate so much of his time to procurement. Being in this role for almost 12 years, Ted has seen the world of cooperative purchasing slowly grow over time. In Ted’s opinion, it is becoming more clear that utilizing cooperative contracts is a net win for universities. 

“Starting out as an associate buyer, I started to realize, you know, wow, OK, this this is kind of cool. Being able to take advantage of a cooperative that allows us to bypass the bidding requirements, is huge,” says Nasser.

Choosing a Solution for Lab Supplies

Knowing the benefits of cooperative purchasing, Ted and his team evaluated several different cooperative agreements provided by Fisher Scientific to select the most cost-effective way to purchase lab supplies. After much examination, he decided the OMNIA Partners contract through the University of California was the best option for them. They had already been utilizing Fisher Scientific for years but wanted to utilize a cooperative to get those extra benefits such as time and cost savings. 

Beyond the savings, Ted also told our team the cooperative agreement with Fisher Scientific through OMNIA Partners is very flexible and was one of the main deciding factors for them.  

“The flexibility is really the best part. More specifically, the flexibility and pricing and not needing to reinvent the wheel on our end,” says Nasser. “Being able to just transition our original contract to the OMNIA Partners contract and give our staff the same or better pricing was just a no brainer.” 

Why Cooperative Purchasing?

Fisher Scientific

We're trying to do so much more with less and being able to just take advantage and not have to spend the time to do a competitive solicitation every time you're spending over $100,000 is a life saver.

– Ted Nasser | Chief Procurement Officer | University of Arizona

Putting out an RFP (request for proposals) is extremely time consuming. It takes his team an average of 6 months to go through the process, Ted shared. Piggybacking off a cooperative agreement eliminates this time-consuming process and gets you on your way to savings much quicker.  

“Knowing that something has been competitively awarded by either another Higher Ed institution or a government agency gives us comfort knowing that we're getting good value for the university,” says Nasser.

For all the procurement professionals reading this, Ted offers this advice: “Look at the contracts and compare them all. At the end of the day, evaluating all your options is worth its weight in gold because you are able to find the best value for your organization.” 

“I don't know how anybody could question cooperative agreements; it just doesn't make sense to me,” says Nasser.

About Fisher Scientific

The Fisher Scientific cooperative contract through OMNIA Partners provides cost savings and efficient ordering on laboratory products and much more to colleges and universities, K-12 school systems, and state and local government agencies.

Count on the Fisher Scientific channel to be your one-stop source for equipment and instruments, personal protective equipment and other safety products, chemicals, biological products, and additional laboratory supplies. Find solutions that simplify your procurement process, as well as better comply with procurement budget requirements.

About OMNIA Partners

As your ally in the purchasing process, OMNIA Partners is dedicated to optimizing procurement for your organization. Our goal is to improve the way your organization identifies, evaluates, and procures what they need at the best value. With free membership, you'll gain full access to our portfolio of leading national supplier contracts, spend visibility, analytics, and subject matter experts to help you identify more strategic and efficient ways to procure. We are here to help you achieve your procurement goals while saving you time and money along the way. 

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