According to ONVIA, 46 state agencies' fiscal year-end dates fall at the end of June, while 86% of school districts align with the school year in June. Keep in mind, New York, Alabama, Texas, and Michigan have different fiscal year deadlines. As a purchasing professional, you are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic environment and the fast-approaching fiscal year-end June 30th deadline. You are probably facing the question of whether to spend your remaining funds on COVID-19 requirements, categorize or spend on products for future projects. It is important to consider category management, product reach, and contract vehicles to streamline your purchasing process during this busy time of year. Why to Consider Category Management It may be worth considering a category management approach similar to the Federal Government’s implemented in early 2019 to encourage smarter purchasing across purchasing departments. During the rush through the state and local fiscal year-end spend season, this approach allows state and local governments to streamline and complete their final purchases in time to meet the June 30th deadline. Category management is brought into this process to ensure that all of these procurement departments are collaborating and streamlining their processes. By working closely with one another, they can identify the best way to purchase products and services in order to consolidate, avoid product duplicates, and save money. Expanding Your Product Category Reach Establishing a partnership with an organization that can help build relationships with key suppliers can help in consolidating and reducing product costs. The more product categories that your partner has the ability to serve, the more products and services you can leverage through that relationship. With the right partner you can expand your product category reach by a number of industries, such as: Automation - industrial automation, process control and motor control applications Broadband communications - assist operators with broadband infrastructure Data communications - cooper, fiber, cabling, connectivity, racks, cabinets and power supplies Electrical - breakers, hardware, meter devices, switchgear, wiring devices Electronics - automation, control, relays, sensors, switches Lighting - LED, emergency lighting, indoor and outdoor fixtures Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) - abrasives, adhesives, tools, janitorial supplies Renewables - inverters, racking, solar lighting Safety - personal protective equipment, signage, respiratory and fall protection Security - video surveillance, access control, cameras Wire, cable and conduit - fire alarm, splices, termination, traffic and roadway The Benefits of Contract Vehicles According to the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), cooperative procurement refers to the combining of requirements of two or more public procurement entities to leverage the benefits of volume purchases, delivery and supply chain advantages, best practices, and the reduction of administrative time and expenses. WESCO offers multiple statewide and cooperative contracts. We hold over ten statewide contacts, including states that have to spend their remaining funds by the June 30th deadline. NPPGov – Electrical Products and Lighting Equipment OMNIA Partners – MRO Supplies and Related Services Sourcewell – Facility MRO Supplies and Related Services By considering category management, product reach and contract vehicles in your year-end purchases will allow your agency to confidently buy the necessary products and solutions to meet your June 30th deadline. WESCO has a dedicated team focused on the state, local, and education market ready to meet your fiscal year-end needs and beyond.