Construction and Cooperatives: A Regional Case Study

John Tigert of Dorchester County, South Carolina recently led a cooperative contracting process for job order contracting (JOC). John shared his experience with CoProcure during a live discussion on January 26, 2022. We’ve created a summary of John’s top takeaways.

As a reminder: CoProcure is a free search engine for cooperative and piggyback contracts. Getting started is easy. You can start searching or schedule a short demo.

Construction and Cooperative Contracts: 5 Things Every Public Procurement Professional Should Know

1. Cooperative procurement is a powerful tool for time savings, collaboration, and more.

When you use a cooperative contract, you’re using a contract that’s been competitively solicited by another public agency and is available to use without having to go through a new solicitation process. When you use this contract to meet your agency’s competition requirements, you’re “piggybacking.” For example, Dorchester County has a “piggybackable” contract for disaster debris management. In the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster, this contract covers on-call support with vendors to come in and clean up the aftermath. A nearby municipality located in the same county “piggybacks” off of that contract, allowing them to access the same vendors and services for cleaning up within their city limits, without having to run a new solicitation process to work with those vendors.

2. Job order contracting can help streamline a burdensome process and save you time and money.

Job order contracting (JOC) is a procurement process that helps facility and infrastructure owners complete smaller scale construction projects through a competitively awarded contract. These smaller projects might include repairs, maintenance, and other straightforward new construction projects. JOC helps streamline an otherwise burdensome process by eliminating the need to go out and run a new solicitation for every individual project. Utilizing a JOC cooperative contract allows you skip the solicitation process altogether, using another agency's contract to complete your own construction projects.

3. Utilizing a JOC cooperative contract has many benefits including increased efficiency, greater collaboration, and meeting equity goals.

Dorchester County, SC recently served as the lead public entity on a job order contracting (JOC) cooperative contract. Leading a JOC cooperative contract is a lot of work but can have several benefits. First and foremost, it supports regional collaboration, making it easier for neighboring entities to complete their own construction projects. Local entities and school districts across South Carolina can now utilize Dorchester County's contract for JOC procurements. You can also structure your contracts to make it easy for general contractors to hire local and diverse business subcontractors, ensuring public procurement dollars flow back into your local community. Additionally, becoming the lead agency on a cooperative contract may allow you to generate revenue for your agency.

4. CoProcure is a powerful tool for discovering JOC and other cooperative contracts from hundreds of sources.

As a best practice, Dorchester County publishes their cooperative contracts on CoProcure so other public entities can easily find and utilize them. CoProcure is also John’s go-to resource for discovering cooperative contracts. CoProcure’s free search engine pulls in contract data from 300+ sources including Sourcewell, OMNIA Partners, TIPS, Equalis, HGACBuy, and local entities that may offer JOC contracts. Try searching for job order contracting, or be more specific with JOC roofing or JOC HVAC, along with your zip code and discover contracts your entity can use today.

5. Maximize the impact of your cooperative procurement strategy with a few simple best practices.

  • Use CoProcure to discover cooperative contracts. You can even use this starter diligence checklist to help you evaluate whether or not you can use a cooperative contract. Don’t forget to share these resources with your team!

  • Add piggybackable language to your solicitations and publish them so other entities can easily find them. Consider publishing your contracts on CoProcure and discover examples of piggybackable language from other public entities.

  • Build your network through joining events organized by peers in public procurement, including those offered through CoProcure or your local NIGP chapter.

  • Consider becoming a lead agency on a cooperative contract for a particular good or service that would benefit neighboring agencies in your region. Learn more about best practices and case studies for regional collaboration.