Sample Our Story

Cooperative Purchasing Connection (CPC) is a free service of eight Minnesota Service Cooperatives. CPC’s mission is to help schools, municipalities, nonprofits, and governmental agencies procure products and services more efficiently. We accomplish that mission by engaging in the competitive sealed solicitation process on our members’ behalf, negotiating favorable agreements for products and services, and by creating innovative solutions that allow organizations to better navigate the public procurement process.

Vendors who serve our members through the contract pay a fee to CPC. That fee is distributed to supporting Service Cooperatives to fund programs that benefit schools, municipalities, nonprofits, and governmental agencies in their region.

Minnesota Service Cooperatives
The Minnesota Service Cooperatives were created by Minnesota state legislation in 1976 to perform region-wide educational planning and to assist schools in meeting specific needs that might be better provided by a regional service organization than by an individual school district alone.

Originally called Education Cooperative Service Units (ECSUs) and limited to serving schools, the coops’ authorizing legislation was expanded in 1992 to allow for service to cities, counties, nonprofits, and government agencies. In 1995 the ECSUs became service cooperatives.

Subsequently, eight service coops entered into a joint powers agreement to provide cooperative purchasing services across Minnesota. The administrative fees that CPC charges vendors are returned to the individual coops to help them support member organizations.

The Growth of a Successful Program

CPC’s model of establishing and maintaining deep, personal connections with our participating organizations is the not-so-well-kept secret of our success. And over time we have grown from exclusively serving organizations in Minnesota to also serving our neighbors in North Dakota and South Dakota. CPC is able to provide these cooperative purchasing services due to relevant North Dakota and South Dakota statutes.

Legal Authority:
MINN. STAT. 123A.21 and MINN STAT. 471.345, subdivision 15
N.D.C.C. § 54-40.3
SDCL § 5-18A-37

Please see our Legal Authority page for additional information.

Most vendors are awarded a place in CPC’s portfolio through a competitive sealed solicitation process.

CPC’s service model is designed for procurement professionals and with the public procurement process in mind.

CPC is your procurement partner. We created the Express Online Marketplace to help compliant procurement into the digital age.

Express Online Marketplace

Express the name of CPC’s online procurement marketplace. This innovative, free service was built in 2013 to bring the public procurement process into the digital age. Express allows members to shop, compare contractually discounted pricing between vendors, and place orders or requisitions all within a single browser-based platform.

We created Express for you!

The Express Online Marketplace:

▪ Allows you to browse products by their contractually negotiated price across different vendors and order online while remaining in compliance with procurement law – saving you time and money,

▪ Integrates with SMART Systems and SKYWARD,

▪ Is relied on by thousands of users across Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and

▪ Is full of vendors that you already know and love!

Still Growing

CPC’s model of engaging in the competitive sealed solicitation process and to entering into negotiated agreements on behalf of our member districts, schools, municipalities, and nonprofits saves our members both time and money.

If you represent a school, municipality, or nonprofit then we encourage you to join today.