One thing almost all industries share today is pressure to cut costs in an economic environment where demand is stagnant. Many companies have responded by substituting capital for labor and outsourcing jobs offshore. But collaborative purchasing has also emerged as an effective cost-saving strategy, and not only for the private sector.
Over the past two decades, procurement and supply chain management have risen to the top of the management agenda for private-sector managers seeking to rationalize their cost structures. Among the advantages the private sector has over government are much more flexible procurement regulations. Aggregating purchases is relatively simple in the private sector and presents such an obvious savings that few operating managers resent its imposition.