Bulk Buying Power: How To Save Money For Your Trust
Published on 20/09/17
As the squeeze on school budgets continues, more and more schools are turning to collaboration with other schools to put group purchasing into action. This allows them to team up and using their purchasing power to drive efficiencies in procurement and save money on the cost of commonly used goods and services. This is often why many academies choose to join Multi Academy Trusts, pooling together resources for the common good.
To demonstrate just how effective it can be, let’s imagine for one moment you are the lead primary school at a trust of 7 primary schools, three of which are interested in updating their school website to address new challenges in recruitment and enrolment. They could each source separate website providers and purchase a bespoke website for their schools paying around £2000 each or £6000 in total. Whilst this represents great value for money – the trust could save even more money and get additional benefits too.
Imagine that through collaboration the lead primary school or trust decides to use its buying power to negotiate a better deal and opt for a slightly different approach. The lead primary school and trust could instead choose to pay £2000 for a bespoke website that could then become a framework on which to build the other websites for member schools. Each additional website could cost just £1000. This approach would cost just £4000 in total, saving the trust £2000 or enough to purchase an additional 2 websites. In fact, for just £1000 more, every school in the trust could have a new website. Best of all, this approach ensures consistency across the websites, solidifying the trust's brand while allowing each school to retain an element of individuality. It also reduces the burden on staff, preventing the need for them to learn different systems or liaise with different suppliers.
This is exactly what the [Greenwood Academies Trust did] when they contacted e4education earlier this year – not only did this approach save the trust tens of thousands of pounds, but allowed us to deliver over 30 websites in less than 3 months. They also used group procurement at a trust level to purchase a school app, enabling its member academies to improve parental engagement in a consistent, affordable manner, across the entire trust.
It’s not just websites where your school can put group procurement to good use. If several schools in your trust all require a product or service, like signage or a prospectus, why not see if you can negotiate with a company to fulfil everything for a discount, in exchange for exclusivity?
For more advice or top tips on how your school or trust could save money please call 03453 191 039.
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