CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO BEGIN CARING ABOUT THE PRICE THEY PAY FOR SUPPLIES
Okay, so it took a hundred years or so for Chicago Public School administrators to realize they were paying too much for school supplies, better late than never !
School officials say that they have found a way to save $144million, much of it through a more aggressive purchasing strategy when it comes to supplies. (In other words, they are going to actually try to pay the lowest cost they can find for supplies as opposed to not really caring what the hell they paid). YIPEEE, way to go CPS administrators !
Chief procurement officer, Sebastien de Longeaux, who came to the district from Rexam, a Dutch packaging company with operations in Chicago, was quoted as saying, “”What we’re doing is really challenging any price the vendor is telling us”. Ah, so it took a Dutchman to learn how to negotiate a lower price from a vendor ! Way to go, Sebastien !
If I may be so humble as to offer another cost saving measure, try securing bids from several vendors and see who will charge the least for the same supplies. I know, it’s revolutionary, but hey, I hear it works at other districts.
I suppose all you Chicago taxpayers are outraged by this story, but the Chicago Teachers Union for years has been trying to tell anyone who would listen, that the bureaucracy in the CPS was ridiculous and also incredibly incompetent.
Suburban school districts don’t get a pass when it comes to overpaying for supplies. When I was a teacher we were allowed to purchase supplies from catalogs of vendors whose prices were very expensive compared to other locations who sold the very same product. I always wondered why I was encouraged to by a $6.00 set of markers from a particular vendor when the same markers sold at Wal-Mart for $4.00. I realize most districts are often obligated to take the lowest bids on big-ticket items and services, but not necessarily on the small supplies which can still run into thousands of dollars.
Anyhow, hats off to the Dutchman of CPS. Now there might be more money to pay the teachers! Hooray!