Your FAQs answered to show the flexibility and cost-saving behind KPN cooperative purchasing

How do I become a member?

Simply fill out this membership application and agree to the membership terms. The primary contact for your agency should be the one to sign up. Be prepared to register with information on other key contacts within your organization.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Membership is free. There are no strings, nor any obligations to use any particular purchasing contract.

How can the service be free?

KPN is a program and service of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit. Costs of co-op operations are covered by a transaction fee paid by vendors who get orders from members. This fee turns out to be inconsequential to final effective pricing because, by leveraging nationwide demand, KPN can get lower-than-usual prices for its members even when the transaction fee is factored into the price.

Is KPN a school district or government agency?

KPN is a program of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, No. 16. The CSIU is a political jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, specifically an educational agency established by a law passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1971. As a public education agency, we derive our bidding authority from Pennsylvania state law, which extends that right and responsibility to local jurisdictions.

Why don’t we have to go to bid when buying from KPN vendors?

KPN has already done the bidding work for you and done it following strict bidding standards. KPN follows Pennsylvania bid laws. Most states have reciprocal contracting legislation that allows one agency to use a purchasing contract awarded in a different state. KPN is a cooperative purchasing program operating under Chapter 19, Intergovernmental Relations, of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Procurement Code, 62 Pa.C.S.§§1901 et.seq.

How do I see pricing?

Pricing is presented in multiple formats, depending upon the type of contract. Only registered members can see the pathway to pricing. For complicated public works projects, pricing will be quoted by the vendor. For other contracts, such as consumables, pricing may be available through a link.

KPN has posted the pathway to pricing for each awarded contract. Each link is viewable by registered members only.  Here are the directions to pricing: 1) Search for the contract you want to use or use the Table of Contracts. 2) Click on the contract product-line name in the first column of the contract table. 3) You will see a summary of information about the contract. If you are a registered member, the pricing pathway can be found on the fourth tab of summary information.

How can I be sure I am being charged the right price?

Always ask for the KPN price when requesting quotes or working with the vendor. Include the KPN contract number on all purchase orders. Vendors are obligated to give you the contract price. Each vendor is required to send KPN a sales report that KPN uses to ensure vendors comply with bid pricing.

How do I submit an order?

Send your orders directly to the vendor. Include the KPN contract number on your purchase order. KPN has posted ordering instructions for each awarded contract. Each set is viewable by registered members.  Here’s the pathway to find the instructions: 1) Search for the contract you want to use or use the Table of Contracts. 2) Click on the contract product-line name in the first column of the contract table. 3) You will be presented with a summary of information about the contract. If you are a registered member, the ordering instructions can be found on the fourth tab of summary information.

How do I make a suggestion for something to be bid?

Send an e-mail to Jeff Kimball at jkimball@csiu.org.

Does your bid process meet our local requirements for bidding?

We follow strict purchasing and bidding procedures that satisfy most state and local bidding policies. Most states have reciprocal contracting laws that allow one agency to use a purchasing contract awarded in a different state. KPN is a cooperative purchasing program operating under Chapter 19, Intergovernmental Relations, of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Procurement Code, 62 Pa.C.S.§§1901 et.seq.

What do I do if I have not received my merchandise?

Call or email KPN, starting with Carrie Adams at cadams@csiu.org.

How do I express an opinion about a vendor?

Call or email KPN, starting with Sue McDermott smcdermott@csiu.org.

How can my company become a KPN vendor?

The only way to become a KPN vendor is to win a bid. The process is competitive, based responses to request for bid or proposal. We post a listing of our open bid opportunities in the KPN Library.

How can I add someone from my district as a registered user?

If your district is already a KPN member, ask the prospective registrant to go to this registration page. Use the form in the second column. After the form is submitted, KPN will vet the applicant to make sure the person is a bona fide representative of your district.

How do I report a problem or suggestion about the website?

Send an email to the webmaster, Mark Carollo at mcarollo@CSIU.org.

If forgot my password, how do I get a new password?

Click the log-in button on the home page. The log-in dialog box has a clickable option for users who have forgotten their password. You will receive an email with instructions to choose a new password.

Our primary contact has retired. How can I update our agency’s membership records?

Send an email to Sue McDermott at smcdermott@csiu.org with new primary contact information. Your request and new information will be vetted before a new primary contact is established. When approved, your new contact will get an email with instructions on how to create a new password to access the site.

The KPN staff is a group of experienced public sector employees of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit in Milton, Pennsylvania. They are leaders in educational and government purchasing. As purchasing agents, the group solicits bids, evaluates responses, and recommends awards to the agency’s board of directors.


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