SBC Life Articles

Cooperative Purchasing Stewardship

Stewardship on a denominational, church, or individual basis is an act of worship. How wonderful it is when Christians can collectively practice good stewardship. More than a year ago the chief financial officers of Southern Baptist Convention entities reported that the SBC had realized savings of more than $2 million through cooperative purchasing agreements.

This effort to leverage the collective buying power of SBC entities and free up operational funds for ministry began about four years ago at the national level. Eight agreements have now been completed for copiers, vehicles, software, hardware, long distance and cellular telephone service, office supplies, and relocation. Thirteen national organizations and nine state conventions have participated in these cooperative purchasing agreements.

"We felt it was a matter of Christian stewardship to explore ways to save money on these items so that more could be used for missions and ministry," Jim Carter, vice president of the Finance and Business Services Division of LifeWay Christian Resources, said. "It has been rewarding to work with sister entities on this project. The more participation we can generate, the greater will be our savings."

In addition to SBC entities, state conventions, associations, and churches can also participate in many of these agreements. Computers, office supplies, and relocation services are available to all Southern Baptist organizations.

Dell Computers

The agreement for computer hardware and peripherals is with Dell Computer Corporation. Dell Computers provide a variety of systems to meet diverse user needs. Available items include desktop and notebook computers, monitors, laser printers, plotters, scanners, servers, software, and other accessories. Dell manufactures and sells a variety of desktop and notebook product lines designed for corporate, medium, and small business use, as well as home/consumer models. Additional accessories and supplies can be purchased through the DellWare program.

You can purchase a computer system and/or accessories in one of two ways:

Online Internet

SBC entities have a dedicated web site on www.dell.com/premier, set up just for this program. Enter this site to see what is available and to place your order:

1. Type this URL address in your browser www.dell.com/premier

2. Click on "Register with Premier.Dell.Com & Create a new password"

3. Enter "User Name/Account Code" as: Southern Baptist

4. Enter "Password/Access Key" as: city148 (This site is case sensitive so type exactly as written above)

5. Click on "Submit"

6. The system will take you to an information form. Please fill out the information requested. Note: the user name must be the same as your e-mail address and the new password must be more than six characters in length.

7. The system will set up your registration and take you to the premier screen.

8. The main menu is displayed on the left column of the screen. Under "Purchasing Tools" click on:

a. "Configure a Dell System" to view the SBC standard configurations for state conventions and large churches. These systems are created for a network environment. Selected options may apply. SBC entities may establish their own standards to be placed in this area by contacting Rocky Padilla at 800-234-9999 x68402. Anyone can buy any system listed in this area. Pricing averages 15 percent off Dell's list prices.

b. "Buy a Dell System for Home – EPP" to view Dell's recommended systems for churches or home use. These select systems come with speakers, monitors, premier Internet Access Service, and more. These select systems are discounted 10 percent off Dell's list price.

c. "Full Catalog/Add-ons" to configure a system that is not covered by either item above. To purchase accessories, click on "Configure a Dell System" then click on "View Full Catalog." You will be taken to a screen where you may purchase custom configuration or accessories. These items are discounted up to 5 percent off Dell's list price.

By Phone

Call Dell's toll-free number, 1-888-806-3355. Identify yourself as an SBC Entity and/or Employee and inform the representative which system you would like to purchase — computers for the church or home. Dell will help you configure an available system. This may include software and other accessories and name brand peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.). The systems will be built to order and shipped directly to your church or home.

Regardless of the method you choose to order, the SBC's association with Dell will allow you to purchase a selection of the latest computer systems at discounted prices.

Boise Office Supplies

The office supplies agreement is with Boise Cascade Office Products and purchases may be made through local Boise dealers. Orders may be placed by fax, phone, email, or the Internet. Products will be delivered the next day. Invoicing for large churches can be customized to meet specific needs reflecting the sub-accounts that may be charged. Billing can be done electronically to reduce accounting time. Boise has a nationally centralized computer for reporting accuracy. Excluding electronics and furniture, all other items in the Boise catalog receive a 61 percent discount.

Local Support

If you utilize this service, you will receive local support from the Boise office supplier near your location. This local support must meet the established levels of service developed with Boise on a national basis. The objective of this agreement is to leverage the SBC's total relationship so that the smallest church will receive the same pricing and service support as the largest SBC agency.

How do I participate?

• Contact Pam Mayberry from BOISE for additional information at 1-800-608-8389, extension 5654.

• Tell Pam you are interested in participating under the SBC contract.

• Customize the contract to meet your ordering, receiving and invoicing needs.

Anyone in the SBC may order under this contract for personal use by contacting your local dealer and referring them to the SBC Cooperative Purchasing.

Mayflower Relocation Services

Apex is the agency that represents Mayflower Van Lines and has been selected as the SBC cooperative relocation supplier. Apex will provide a discount of 57 percent off the published tariff rates on the moving of household goods. They will also provide a discount of 40 percent on storage charges. These discount amounts may vary for intra state moves.

What services are provided?

Apex is equipped to facilitate all aspects of the relocation to the specifications of the requestor or the entity. They can customize their services to include any or all of the following: full or partial packing, loading, unloading, unpacking, and debris removal. An experienced Mayflower agent will communicate directly with the person making the move to assure a smooth transition and provide answers to their questions. Each move will be handled professionally under the classification of a corporate move.

How do I participate?

• Contact Janet Jones or Nancy Wyatt at 1-800-766-1902 or 615-834-3992

• Visit Apex on the Internet at www.apexmoving.com/sbc.htm

What about my state convention, association, church, or church members?

This contract allows all members of the Southern Baptist Convention to receive the discount amount outlined above at any Mayflower agency. It is recommended that the individual contact Apex to assure smooth execution of the agreement.

While these contracts offer a consistent level of quality and pricing for the continental United States, it is still suggested that you do comparison shopping. In some instances you may be able to obtain a lower price locally. However, the cooperative agreements will be highly competitive because of the potential sales volume of Southern Baptists.

    About the Author

  • Jeff Gossage