Streamlining Procurement: The TIPS Purchasing Cooperative

In a recent interview at a trade show in Oklahoma City, James Pratt from Twotrees Technology had a conversation with Ben Martin from the TIPS purchasing cooperative. This insightful discussion shed light on how TIPS (The Interlocal Purchasing System) simplifies the procurement process for public entities.

What is TIPS? 

TIPS is a nationwide purchasing cooperative that serves a wide array of public agencies, including school districts, cities, counties, non-profits, and Native American tribes. It offers a multitude of contracts for products and services ranging from technology and curriculum to infrastructure needs like roofing and turf for football fields.

The Competitive Bidding Advantage 

One of the standout features of TIPS is that all contracts are pre-bid. This means that public organizations can bypass the often lengthy and costly competitive bidding process. Since TIPS is a public entity supported by taxpayer money and operates under the lead agency, Region 8 Education Service Center, it adheres to strict procurement laws. This compliance allows TIPS to offer pre-bid contracts that are ready for immediate use by its members.

Time and Cost Savings 

By utilizing TIPS contracts, member organizations can save significant time and resources. There’s no need to advertise bids or negotiate pricing; TIPS has already done the groundwork. Agencies can simply select their preferred vendor from the TIPS roster and proceed with confidence, knowing they are getting pre-negotiated, competitive rates.

No Membership Cost 

Joining TIPS is free for public organizations, and membership does not obligate them to any purchases. It’s a risk-free opportunity to access a wide range of competitively bid contracts.

Audit-Ready Contracts 

TIPS contracts are designed to withstand scrutiny and meet all audit requirements. They are robust and follow all public purchasing laws of the State of Texas, ensuring that every transaction is transparent and compliant.

Nationwide and Inclusive 

While TIPS started in Northeast Texas, serving 46 districts, it has grown into a national cooperative over the past 23 years. Its inclusivity extends to various government entities and nonprofit organizations with elected boards, ensuring that even water boards and Indian tribes can benefit from its services.


The TIPS purchasing cooperative represents an innovative solution for public entities looking to streamline their procurement process. With pre-bid contracts, no membership fees, and a commitment to compliance and transparency, TIPS stands as a valuable resource for efficient and responsible purchasing.

For more information or to become a member, visit TIPS-USA.

This blog post is a summary of the key points from the interview, highlighting the benefits and workings of the TIPS purchasing cooperative. For organizations looking to optimize their procurement strategies, TIPS offers a practical and compliant pathway to do so.


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