Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cooperative Purchasing Connection?
Can an order be placed using a purchase order?
Is shipping free?
Am I seeing my discounted pricing?
Will Express work with my existing finance system?
Does it follow our approval system?
I registered, when can I start ordering?
These prices are great! Can I make personal purchases?
Cooperative Purchasing Connection (CPC) is a program of eight Minnesota Service Cooperatives and the North Dakota Educators Service Cooperative (NDESC). The CPC program is designed to help you fulfill your purchasing needs while making your buying process more efficient. All vendor agreements on Express are the result of formal bids or negotiated contracts, and satisfy the Minnesota competitive bidding requirements (Minnesota Statute 471.345 subd. 15) and the North Dakota Century Code (Chapter 54-40.3).
CPC is also a member of The Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA). This is a 26-state consortium that has collectively bid for a wide variety of products that are commonly used by schools, cities, counties, and nonprofits and are often major purchases. Learn more at aepacoop.org.
Yes, purchase orders are an accepted form of payment by each of our suppliers. Your organization may be contacted by a supplier for more documentation (i.e., Tax Exempt Certificate) if you have never ordered from them before. After your initial order, purchase orders should be accepted automatically.
Shipping is free with many of our suppliers but some require a minimum order amount to receive the free shipping. After you have added items to your cart, a message will appear if you need to meet a minimum for free shipping.
Additionally, some items, such as furniture, will not have shipping charges added into the cart when placing the order, but will add shipping charges when the payment is being processed/invoiced. Shipping charges for such items are determined based upon the specific order and delivered location. A message will be displayed if you are ordering from a vendor that may have additional charges on items.
The pricing you see on Express is the discounted contract pricing that is available to our members. If you punchout* to some of the suppliers pages, you may need to add the item to your cart to be able to view the discounted pricing.
*Punchout – refers to when you click the small globe below a supplier’s logo. Clicking the globe icon temporarily allows you to leave Express to search for items on a specific supplier’s webpage. You can search and create a cart on their site and when you are ready to bring the items back to Express, you check out (or “punchout”) from the supplier’s page and the items will be transferred to your cart in Express.
Express currently integrates with SMART Finance Systems and Skyward. If you use a different finance system and would like to integrate that system with Express, please let us know and we will begin working with the finance system to see if integration with Express is possible.
Yes, Express can follow your approval system. It can either integrate with an existing finance system, or you can set up your own approval chain within Express. Express has four different approval methods: approval workflows, transfer carts, agency approvers, and integration with finance systems. More information is on the Approval Systems page .
After you register, you will receive an email from Cooperative Purchasing Connection (firstname.lastname@example.org). Click the link in the email to verify your account. Depending on your account, you will either be prompted to log in or you will have to wait for a second confirmation email.
Unfortunately, all of the contracts available in Express were bid and awarded for the sole purpose of agency use. We cannot sell or resell any of these items for home/personal use.
If you need any further help, please feel free to contact us:
Monday-Friday 8:00am - 4:00pm
Express and cpcexpress.org is a program of the Cooperative Purchasing Connection
Copyright © 2017