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Re: [K12OSN] SOP for purchasing?

Districts are sometimes their own worst enemies, with policy bollixing up the dynamic purchasing process spawned by the Internet. (there are some benefits to being a charter school :-)

We bought all our servers on UBid auctions, mostly refurbs, all without OS, and got some killer deals (a $20k Netfinity server for $1060) but I did the procurement on my credit card, and the school repaid me. It was all rack mount gear, and a $5000 rack was procured at a second hand electronics "junk" store, for $250, again, on my charge card.

We even bought some stuff on eBay, but I have always felt that buying from individuals, is for individuals, and not companies or schools. However, I know of more than one company that is doing a LOT of procurement on eBay, and saving 100's of thousands!

If you can live with one generation back from current, you can find some great deals this way.

And, as everyone has heard by now, I am a big fan of donated equipment - the last time I went to the Federal Government Surplus Warehouse, there was over 10,000 early pentium machines, free for the asking for public schools. And most companies would be glad to give equipment to schools and get some tax value out of it. We received over 100 machines from parent's companies, just for the asking (20% of the school population now has a computer!). Send something home with the students to get parents to find the contact person in their company. We even got 6 machines from a company with 6 employees - they were upgrading (on the MS treadmill).

So if you can creatively break the policy logjam, there are ways to get a lot of horsepower for a little $....

My $.02 worth..............Kirk

At 02:39 PM 5/10/2002, you wrote:
I seem to be the king of almost off-topic posts lately. Standard disclaimer applies, topic lawyers, move along now...

It seems that I am going to be taking over the technology department in my district next year, and I feel the need for introducing some semblance of professionalism and organization. We currently have no SOP for purchasing new equipment or standards on purchasing. How have all of you K-12 managers handled this? Did you standardize on particular brands / vendors? Do buy pre-built boxen, or fab your own, thereby avoiding the MS tax. I would like to standardize the equipment we purchase down the road to try to work out some of the disarray and patchwork of equipment we have now. Is this a pipe dream in small K-12, where it is not feasible to do purchasing in large numbers, or should I keep pushing for it? I personally am a big fan of AMD products (which could save us a bundle), but am a bit leery in specifying those, simply because I know of too many past problems with them, and I have not heard any success stories of large-scale roll-outs. Have any of you used AMD in relatively large numbers with success? What sort of purchasing framework have you developed? What have you standardized on?

-Thanks for getting this far-

-Quentin Hartman-
Tech Support Specialist
Fern Ridge School District
Elmira, OR

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