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PURCO SA is the purchasing consortium of the Higher Educational sector in Southern Africa. Our members include all South African and Namibian public universities and their allied institutions, as well as private higher education institutions and TVET Colleges. We focus on providing maximum benefit for our members through collaborative purchasing and professional support.


A group purchasing organization such as PURCO SA offers far more than the popular belief of savings on purchase prices only. Be on the look-out for a much broader value proposition. Our members benefit in the following ways:

- Price and service benefits through collaborative purchasing
- Sharing in best purchasing practice through networking and interacting with purchasing experts
- Reductions in costly duplications in purchasing activities

How does PURCO SA add value for our members?

As a purchasing consortium, PURCO SA adds value for our members by:

  1. Giving them access to group purchasing contracts with favorable pricing and terms that are based on the buying power and leverage of a much larger organization than a single institution.
  2. Using a reduced number of quality suppliers with member input on identification, qualification and selection of the successful suppliers;
  3. Reducing their staff and administrative costs inherent to the popular 'three quote system' used for repetitive buying;
  4. Saving time for their buyers, allowing them to make their skills and resources available to attend to matters of strategic importance;
  5. Spreading costs over a greater turnover;
  6. Creating an opportunity for the experts that are available at different member institutions, to contribute to the structuring of a common beneficial business transaction;
  7. Creating an environment for interchange of ideas, sharing of new developments and benchmarking of activities;
  8. Focusing on and specializing in specific goods and services contracts that are common to the majority of our members;
  9. Ensuring that an objective and transparent tender process is used
  10. Offering user-friendly catalogues and auditable contracts.
Members' return on investment

Like any investment, a member institution's investment in PURCO SA should produce a satisfactory return on that investment. To determine your return on investment requires three calculations:

  1. baselining the institution's current procurement spend on the relevant commodity or service and comparing it to the pricing available through PURCO SA;
  2. calculating the cost to company of staff and other resources that would normally be involved with the procurement of the commodity or service on behalf of the institution and comparing that to the institution's annual membership fee of PURCO SA; and
  3. calculating any other expenses related to your membership of PURCO SA and comparing that to any annual rebate that the institution receives from PURCO SA.

Your actual savings will depend on how well-managed the contract categories are, as well as how effective you are at getting end users in your institution to channel their spend through the PURCO SA contracts.

If any of the above savings exceed your investment, your purchasing department can count the net savings towards its savings goals for the year. Also, if your purchasing department does not have the capacity to put a contract in place due to an already full workload or absence of skills, using PURCO SA or our network of specialists can multiply the success of your purchasing department.