A CRS staff member must apply the best-value purchasing approach when making consumer purchases. This approach ensures that staff members authorizing a purchase are not restricted to considering only the initial cost of a purchase; they must also evaluate the factors that will influence the total cost and value to the consumer and the agency.

These factors include but are not limited to:

  • installation costs;
  • warranties;
  • life-cycle costs;
  • quality and reliability;
  • delivery costs and terms;
  • timeliness of the delivery;
  • the cost of training associated with a purchase; and
  • indicators of probable provider performance (for example, the provider's past performance, financial resources, ability to perform, experience, responsibility, reputation, and ability to provide reliable maintenance and support).