Market Research Pulse Blog NASPOValuePoint is shaking up the cooperative world by introducing its new Emerging Market Initiative. What does this mean for the cooperative contracting process? We interviewed Bart Lemmon, Director of Supplier Development and Global Initiatives at NASPO ValuePoint.


Our interview with Bart harkens back to a guide to cooperative procurement and the value it brings to the table. Cooperative purchasing lowers prices, provides higher quality products and services and helps realize supplier diversity initiatives.[1]
“As opposed to being reactive, let’s consider how to use technology to get ahead of the contracting curve so the solutions we can stand up, are better for our customers.” – Bart Lemmon
Cooperative purchasing first appeared as a reaction to a realization of a combined need and since then, it has been reacting to the combined needs of organizations and entities to produce best-value contracts. In 1992, the first and only public cooperative with oversight and management from state Chief Procurement Officers was introduced and today we know this cooperative as NASPO ValuePoint.

Market research is a costly but critical step in the overall procurement process and typically, cooperatives look to fill a combined already known need. This process works to turn out the timely best value contracts, but what about being proactive for future needs and services?
“We wanted to expand our pool of creative thought for portfolio creation, and reach into the private sector to say, show us what you’re working on…”- Bart Lemmon
The Emerging Market Initiative looks to the future for combined need, instead of waiting for it to be requested by engaging and collaborating with suppliers. NASPO ValuePoint placed a single RFI into the private sector, and received back responses from 32 companies, producing hundreds of pages of in-depth market research.

By flipping the table on an age-old process, NASPO ValuePoint received new insight into the upcoming needs of states and will soon be releasing new portfolios, to its growing library.
“…It really reflects the changing environment for the cooperative.” -Bart Lemmon
Bart credits the success of the initiative to engaging and collaborating with suppliers early and thoroughly. His answer was no surprise, as a recent McKinsey & Company report pointing to supplier relations as a key to building a proactive and resilient supply chain stated. When asked about where the best place for suppliers to engage with State Officials is, Bart’s answer was simple, NASPO Exchange.
“Exchange provides a place for the private and public sector to meet, to hear ideas, and to establish long-term relationships.  If you are a supplier, make this investment in your future, you won’t be disappointed.” – Bart Lemmon
Suppliers and Officials alike attend Exchange to build relationships that grow into future initiatives that advance government.

Registration is open until March 11, so reserve your spot today to be a part of the partnerships that are collaborating for best value.

[1] NASPO. (2010, February) Strength in Numbers: An Introduction to Cooperative Purchasing. Retrieved From: https://www.naspovaluepoint.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Cooperative_Purchasing0410update.pdf
For more information about ValuePoint Cooperative Contracts, visit https://www.naspovaluepoint.org/