Crown Commercial Service

We helped a group of schools make great savings on tablets with a joint bulk buying opportunity

Background
Many schools routinely buy tablet devices as and when they need them. The CCS aggregation team and the Department for Education (DfE) wanted to help schools bring together their requirements and achieve savings through bulk buying power. Bulk buying power means we can negotiate better discounts thanks to the larger size of the requirement.

The solution
We managed a procurement on behalf of 95 schools, who had submitted their interest in the project. Using the Technology Products framework, the schools selected the items and volumes that they wished to buy from a choice of tablet devices. The schools were also able to add on a range of associated items such as security marking, covers and charging stations.

The rest of the process was managed by CCS, meaning schools did not need to run any part of the procurement themselves. Running regular bulk procurements for multiple customers based on standard specifications is a tried and tested approach for CCS. Combining volumes helps attract more interest from suppliers and is proven to achieve better value for customers.

We run these projects as a fully managed service. Customers just need to complete a form to express their interest, provide details of their requirements before we go to market and sign a contract with the successful supplier.

The results
The project brought together the common tablet device requirements of 95 schools. A total of over 2,200 devices were bought, with savings of up to 36% against pre-auction value.

These results clearly demonstrate that by combining volumes and using a standard specification for a commonly bought product significant cost savings can quickly be achieved.

Val Williams, School Business Manager at Arundel CE Primary School commented:

“We took part in the joint procurement earlier this year as we were setting up a new Learning Resource Centre for our school. The application process was very straightforward and CCS offered us support all the way. The total saving to the school was just under £1,200, which has enabled us to purchase much needed books for our new centre. We would be happy to recommend this to other schools looking to use the service to save money in times when budgets are tight.”

Ross Crichton, Infrastructure Manager at Ashington Learning Partnership added:

“The process was very smooth. Once we had completed the template with our requirements we were able to sit back and allow the process to happen and we were informed each step of the way. As budgets are squeezed further every year, the fact we were able to save 20% on each device meant that this money could be reinvested into the IT infrastructure of the school, which benefited the pupils and staff by being able to purchase some new laptops.”

Get involved
Following this successful pilot, we have listened to the feedback from schools and made the process of joining in even easier. If you would like to find out more about taking part please get in touch.

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