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Louisville Recognized for Purchasing Best Practices

By Jeannie Fanning
December 3, 2012

Louisville Metro Government was recognized on October 25 by The U.S. Conference of Mayors sponsored purchasing cooperative, U.S. Communities, with the U.S. Communities Customer Appreciation Award-The Power of Thank You. The award acknowledged the work of Sheryl Powell and her department in purchasing best practices. Of the 55,000 public entities that work with U.S. Communities, only 30 purchasing officials have been presented with this award.

Powell was named for her support of cooperative purchasing, usage of a variety of cooperative purchasing contracts, and consistent utilization of the U.S. Communities Program. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer presided over the award presentation, stating, “My administration’s goal is to build the best city government in America. So, it’s exciting when an organization like the U.S. Conference of Mayors points to our work as a ‘best practice.’”

Louisville Metro Government staff continues to prove their dedication to the principles of effective and efficient governmental purchasing through the use of cooperative purchasing and their ongoing utilization of several of the U.S. Communities contract offerings. These same principles are embodied within the U. S. Communities program, which is the cooperative gold standard for best practices in procurement solutions and resources. Louisville is a key champion for innovative procurement practices through the savings realized with cooperative contracts, thereby stretching public tax dollars.

The National Association of Counties has conducted research concluding an average combined soft and hard cost savings of 12 percent by utilizing cooperative contracts such as U.S. Communities. With Louisville’s purchasing history, this would mean an estimated $730K taxpayer dollars saved through the utilization of U.S. Communities. Savings of this magnitude truly need to be highlighted and recognized. As Fischer explained, “By joining thousands of other local governments in bundling their purchasing power through the U.S. Communities Purchasing Cooperative we are keeping our city’s expenditures as low as possible – which is especially important during these tough economic times. This means that our citizens, our taxpayers are getting more bang for their dollars.”

Louisville also managed to support local business while purchasing competitively through the U.S. Communities contract with Home Depot. Home Depot has eight stores located in the Louisville area. By using local stores to fill orders, those purchasing dollars went straight back into the community. On top of this, Louisville has received two rebate checks totaling $6,958 on top of the bulk contract pricing, which already resulted in great cost savings. Congratulations are in order for Louisville on this great work.

U.S. Communities is a nonprofit government purchasing cooperative that reduces the cost of goods and services for participating public agencies by aggregating their purchasing power nationwide. It is the only cooperative purchasing program co-founded and sponsored by the Conference of Mayors, NACo, NLC, ASBO, and NIGP. The cooperative is non-exclusive, allowing cities to exercise due diligence in selecting the best individual contracts for their needs.

Since its inception in 1996, U.S. Communities has saved cities and other public entities hundreds of millions of dollars. U.S. Communities combines the purchasing power of over 55,000 public agencies. The Conference of Mayors has continued to partner with U.S. Communities because it is the gold standard for public procurement. The advisory board of cities, counties, and schools provides additional oversight.

To learn more about U.S. Communities and other purchasing best practices, contact Jeannie Fanning with the Conference of Mayors at 240-393-9672 or e-mail