Choice Partners national purchasing cooperative offers quality, legal procurement and contract solutions to meet government purchasing requirements. We also meet all cooperative requirements of the EDGAR/Uniform Guidance/2 CFR 200!  

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Vendor Spotlight

Amazon Business – A Cornucopia of Products

Posted on August 23, 2022

Amazon Business sets out every day to innovate and disrupt the status quo. They stand at the intersection of tech and retail in the B2B space developing innovative purchasing and procurement solutions to help businesses and organizations reimagine buying.

The Amazon Business team is dedicated to developing solutions inclusive of an expanded online store that combines the selection, convenience, and value, which customers have come to know and love from Amazon. Amazon Business provides new features and unique benefits tailored to business customers in the public sector.

Choice Partners national purchasing cooperative offers procurement and contract solutions to meet government purchasing requirements. As of Aug. 17, 2022, Amazon Business was awarded a competitively solicited contract, which offers state-level and agency-level public sector organizations a compliant contract vehicle.

By utilizing the Choice Partners contract, public sector organizations can reduce the need for multiple quotes, and in many cases eliminate a lengthy request for proposal process. When members create an Amazon Business account and purchase through the Choice Partners contract, they create an avenue for their organization that allows for a purchasing process with the efficiency and speed for which Amazon is known.

Categories of products that members can use include (but not limited to):

  • Agriculture
  • Apparel
  • Art, Classroom
  • Athletic
  • Books
  • CTE/Vocational Teaching Materials
  • Food Service
  • Health/Medical
  • Musical Instruments
  • Office
  • Technology


 Amazon’s mission is to be Earth's most customer-centric company and with a free Amazon Business account, customers can streamline their procurement, allowing districts, governmental entities, higher education centers and not-for-profit entities to use Amazon’s familiar interface.

Customers can also enjoy business-only pricing across 11 categories with quantity price breaks reserved for Amazon Business accounts. Additionally, public sector customers can take advantage of the Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP).

If you would like to know more about the Choice Partners Amazon Business contract, send all inquiries to the dedicated CP email at choicepartners-publicsector@amazon.com. You can also contact CP contract manager Kristi Nichols at 713-696-1337 or kristi@choicepartners.org.

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Buckling up with flexible CareDrivers

Posted on July 25, 2022

HopSkipDrive is a leader in innovative, safe and scalable school transportation solutions. Using a proprietary platform, RideIQ, the company optimizes transportation plans and operations while staying one step ahead of new transportation technologies including electrification.

 

The partners of HopSkipDrive have a deep appreciation for the safe, cost-effective and efficient school transportation solution that enables visibility and transparency for ride organizers and caregivers through innovative technology.

 

Every HopSkipDrive CareDriver has passed background and vehicle safety checks, has a minimum of five years of caregiving experience and goes through a 15-point certification process before accessing the platform. The flexible, dynamic CareDriver network can be readily scaled up or down to meet school demand.

           

HopSkipDrive holds a firm belief that “safety is everything,” and have industry-leading safety practices in place. Albert Samora, executive director of transportation for Denver Public Schools, said his organization heavily relies on HopSkipDrive services to aid with bus driver shortage.

“HopSkipDrive has been a necessary and invaluable school transportation partner to Denver Public Schools,” he said. “Bus driver shortages have been challenging to our transportation department, but HopSkipDrive's introduction of a flexible driver supply and easy-to-use technology has helped us free up assets and optimize our transportation.”

 

Miriam Ravkin, senior vice president of marketing, underlines the importance of Choice Partners (CP) co-op procurement process as it greatly reduces the time needed for members to access awarded contracts, where time is key in gathering new drivers.

 

“The Choice Partners co-op offers a shortened procurement process for our potential customers with members able to bypass a three-to-six-month RFP process,” she said. “This is especially important with the current state of transportation, where districts often need to supplement their fleets quickly (due to COVID, bus driver shortages and more) with third-party vendors like HopSkipDrive.”

HopSkipDrive currently services CP members from Washington, Colorado and Texas, expecting that number to rise for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. For more information about HopSkipDrive, go to www.hopskipdrive.com/school. You may also contact Jared Clark at 949-520-0846 or jclark@hopskipdrive.com.

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Recruit vendors for JOC-Construction Trades CSP

Posted on July 5, 2022

Building on previous business relationships is easy and legal when popular, high-quality JOC vendors become Choice Partners awarded vendors.

Members who have a favorite construction or maintenance trades vendor they want to use should encourage that vendor to register to become a bidder with Choice Partners national cooperative so they can compete for a government-awarded contract. (Learn how to become a vendor

Bidders for the Competitive Sealed Proposal for JOC-Construction Trades may use any of three unit price books: Xactimate (which is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Insurance adjustors); RSMeans; or Craftsman National Construction Estimator, and Sierra West for California work, all of which offer a digital option. The CSP is applicable for any division of the CSI Master Format system, which are listed below.

We are asking vendors to provide a coefficient for a maximum of one division covering the type of service they are offering to governmental entities.

The Choice Partners administrative fee for our vendors is lower than most of our co-op competitors, which usually translates to lower prices for our members.

This contract will be legally procured under Government Code 2269.

Applicable Divisions:

02           Existing Conditions

03           Concrete

04           Masonry

05           Metals

06           Wood, Plastics, and Composites

07           Thermal and Moisture Protection

08           Openings

09           Finishes

10           Specialties

11           Equipment

12           Furnishings

13           Special Construction

14           Conveying Equipment

21           Fire Suppression

22           Plumbing

23           Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

26           Electrical

27           Communications

28           Electronic Safety and Security

31           Earthwork

32           Exterior Improvements

33           Utilities

34           Transportation

35           Waterway and Marine Construction

41           Material Processing and Handling Equipment

44           Pollution and Waste Control Equipment

46           Water and Wastewater Equipment

48           Electrical Power Generation

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Gaumard enriches opportunities with CP contracts

Posted on June 27, 2022


Gaumard Scientific is recognized worldwide by healthcare educators and students for its commitment to innovation with the development of the most advanced patient simulation technology. Gaumard designs and manufactures simulators at its global headquarters in Miami and markets them directly in the U.S. as well as through distributors in 70 countries. The company's customer base includes militaries, emergency medical services, major teaching hospitals and nursing schools.

According to James Arvetto, vice president of domestic sales, Gaumard emphasizes quality of work for its customers through direct feedback.

"We continually solicit input from our customers which is incorporated into updates to existing products and provides valuable information for development of products," he said.

Gaumard’s product launch timeline reflects the company’s unwavering commitment to innovation. In 2000, Gaumard launched the revolutionary family of NOELLE® maternal and neonatal care simulators that changed the way training is conducted.

By 2004, Gaumard pioneered the use of fully tetherless technology with the introduction of the family of HAL® simulators. In 2014, the company introduced VICTORIA®, its most advanced maternal and neonatal care simulator as part of the NOELLE family. Gaumard introduced the first newborn simulator, Super Tory®, in 2017, developed to meet the challenges of neonatal care specialists training in real environments. Pediatric HAL®, the world's most advanced pediatric patient simulator and the first capable of simulating lifelike emotions through dynamic facial expressions, movement and speech was launched in 2018.


According to Arvetto, Choice Partners provides ease of mind to Gaumard when getting its products into the hands of its customers due to Choice’s purchasing process model.

 

"Many of our customers are municipal organizations with significant administrative hurdles,” he said. “Choice Partners overcomes the barriers to entry and makes the purchasing process significantly easier for the end user. This speeds (up) order placement, and therefore delivery to the end user.”

 

For more information on Gaumard Scientific, visit www.gaumard.com or contact James Arvetto at 800-882-6655 or jamesa@gaumard.com.

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Filing your disaster procurement flight plan

Posted on May 23, 2022

With hurricane season just around the corner, Choice Partners recently hosted a workshop with Disaster Recovery Services (DRS) covering procurement for disaster recovery.

Shelley Vineyard, director of procurement specialty, opened the event with the intent to support and inform Choice Partner members with a strategic plan for disasters, as well as optimizing federal funding.

“Responding to disasters is a continuous improvement scenario,” Vineyard said. “It’s always good after a disaster to think about what went well, what didn’t go well, and what we can do to remedy that and do a better job next time.”

More than 40 members from school districts, counties, cities and universities attended the in-person workshop at Kemah Boardwalk in the greater Houston area. The workshop was also offered via Zoom to members who could not attend in person.

Over the course of the presentation, members gained insight to numerous aspects of how procurement should be practiced. They also received various tips for their own disaster plan, which included how to avoid costly missteps, developing a pre-fight checklist, and multiple workbook activities that focused on real-life scenarios.


One activity that was highlighted entailed federal funding with FEMA. Members wrote down key people in their organization who would be ready for the disaster recovery process with FEMA. Whether one person or a strategic team, the goal was to prepare a disaster recovery flight crew that was prepared to respond when disaster strikes, specifically for fiscal and financial recovery.


Brad Boullion, director of project management, commented on what he listed as “pre-position (already in place) contracts.”

“(When you're trying to rebuild) there’s a big chance that you’re not going to get everything on that list procured correctly,” he said. “The answer to that is with pre-position contracts. Whether through a cooperative like Choice Partners or you bid them, get them done correct, compliant, pre-storm.”

For more information on Disaster Recovery Services, visit www.disastersllc.com or contact Shelley Vineyard, director of procurement specialty, at 832-603-2251 or svineyard@disastersllc.com.

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Borden provides dependable dairy service to millions

Posted on April 25, 2022

Borden Dairy Company (Borden) has always strived to be the undisputed service leader in the dairy business. For more than 150 years, the Borden brand has been synonymous with quality, freshness, great taste, and of course, Elsie the Cow. Headquartered in Dallas, Borden operates 12 plants and nearly 100 distribution centers that produce and distribute nearly 500 million gallons of milk annually for customers in the grocery, mass market, club, food service, hospitality, school, and convenience store channels. 
 

Borden maintains staying committed to its customers and promises to deliver quality products with exceptional customer service. In turn, generations of Americans have overwhelmingly recognized Borden and the beloved Elsie, as the most trusted and recognizable name in dairy for fresh, quality products. 
 

Borden offers more than 35 products to its millions of devoted customers in communities all across Texas as well as Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky.
 

As one of the initial Choice Partners awarded vendors, Borden has served numerous customers throughout the years, currently serving upwards of 90 customers with multiple locations. Borden offers Choice Partners members quality products with a “full-service” delivery experience.
     

According to Michael Francis, Spring ISD's director of Child Nutrition Services and Borden customer, communication and familiarity are the keys to success with David Wood and the entire Borden team.


"[They] continue to demonstrate the importance of the customer’s experience. They are interested in our feedback and want to know how they can continue to make their products valuable to us. Our students recognize the brand. The value of the partnership with the contract is important and we are happy with the service as a district," Francis said.

 

For more information on Borden Dairy Company, visit www.bordendairy.com or contact David Wood, general sales manager, at 713-724-5872 or David.wood@bordendairy.com.

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