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How do you do....it? Thread, How does your school handle purchases? in Technical; I work for a small high school in California, USA. I'm the IT Admin. and the only IT related staff ...
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    How does your school handle purchases?

    I work for a small high school in California, USA. I'm the IT Admin. and the only IT related staff at the school. I know this is a UK based board but I'm still curious as to how other schools handle purchases in similar environments and even at larger schools as well. It's a bit difficult for me to make purchases and I understand someone needs to review purchases but it seems a bit overly complicated at my school. I want to see if I could improve the situation.

    I'm talking about purchases like website host subscriptions, domain subscriptions, replacing broken power adapters for laptops when out of warranty, getting replacement keyboards and mice for staff, etc.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    We identify what needs buying > Source suppliers > Gather quotes > Decide which supplier is best > Write an internal order > Order gets passed to finance > Official purhase order made > Order sent to supplier

    If it's a large purchase (more than 1000 for example, i don't know exact figure) then it has to get cleared.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    We identify what needs buying > Source suppliers > Gather quotes > Decide which supplier is best > Write an internal order > Order gets passed to finance > Official purchase order made > Order sent to supplier

    If it's a large purchase (more than 1000 for example, i don't know exact figure) then it has to get cleared.
    Exactly the same here, although I'm the only IT tech it's not just me that identifies the need. The headteacher has to approve all purchase orders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    We identify what needs buying > Source suppliers > Gather quotes > Decide which supplier is best > Write an internal order > Order gets passed to finance > Official purhase order made > Order sent to supplier
    We use eBay.

    --
    David Hicks

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    I have my own budgets which I discuss with SLT on production of development plan and justification for those developments along with costings.

    Once this has been verified it is then down to me to organise contractors and purchase equipment.

    I plan the IT strategies in terms of the network and it's infrastructure.

    All orders can be made over the telephone, can be faxed to the suppliers or internal order forms which then generate the internal purchase order and the money comes out of the appropriate budgets via our FMS software which is then forwarded to our LA.

    Works very well.

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    I have a budget, within which I identify the requirements, produce orders and sign off invoices.. if I have to go over that budget, or something large happens (5k+), I'll tell the Bursar first...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    We identify what needs buying > Source suppliers > Gather quotes > Decide which supplier is best > Write an internal order > Order gets passed to finance > Official purhase order made > Order sent to supplier

    If it's a large purchase (more than 1000 for example, i don't know exact figure) then it has to get cleared.
    In this case of the order getting passed to finance does this mean finance are the people making the direct purchase or they just approve the purchase and give you access to a business credit card or check to make the purchase yourself? Can you elaborate a bit more on this "internal" order and how exactly the purchase is made?

    I really wish I had a budget myself approved for IT but unfortunately I came in after the budget for the year was set so I have nothing to work with that I can designate myself without going through others.

    Thanks for the comments so far.

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    I'm in a small private school, so things may be a bit different to the state (government) schools.

    Purchases here require 2 quotes... for very small purchases, that's ignored.

    I have no budget as such, though IT expenditure is budgeted for. In other words, I don't have a sum of money allocated that I can spend, but my plans mean that hardware replacement (or new puchases), toner costs, etc are built into the school's budget each year.

    When I want to spend money, I must obtain 2 quotes and usually I place the order either for invoice to the school or I use the school's credit card to purchase online. (I have to obtain this from the Bursar specially if I need it) I am the exception here; only I and the site manager can do this. Everyone else has to do their purchasing through the school office.

    Purchases above 500 must be approved by the school's trustees which is a nuisance, but a reflection of the fact that pupils pay fees to come here and also of the current economic recession. I get approval of the intention to spend, obtain the best quote and then get the approval to actually spend.

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    Source suppliers > Get quotes > Choose best > Create internal order > Pass order to bursar to sign off > Pass order to finance officer > Order entered into finance system > Official school purchase order produced > Order faxed to supplier > Goods arrive > Sign off delivery notes > Sign off invoice > Supplier paid via cheque.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RallyTech View Post
    In this case of the order getting passed to finance does this mean finance are the people making the direct purchase or they just approve the purchase and give you access to a business credit card or check to make the purchase yourself? Can you elaborate a bit more on this "internal" order and how exactly the purchase is made?

    I really wish I had a budget myself approved for IT but unfortunately I came in after the budget for the year was set so I have nothing to work with that I can designate myself without going through others.

    Thanks for the comments so far.

    Here, we create purchase orders, our Business Manager then approves them, and then we fax the PO to the company. I would definitely push for a budget for next fiscal year.

    We also had the problem here a few years ago, where each department would order their own tech through their budgets, and that got to be an issue, so now all tech is pulled out of each budget and put into ours, and we do all the ordering for the district.

    Unfortunately, because you came in without a budget, and the state of CA's finances, you might be out of luck for the rest of the year. What was done before you got there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ces973 View Post
    Unfortunately, because you came in without a budget, and the state of CA's finances, you might be out of luck for the rest of the year. What was done before you got there?
    There wasn't a full time person here for a long period of time (years) so they used a consultant/contractor of some sort to come here once a week. The irony is I think he had an easier time making purchases since they were just rolled into the monthly bill from the company that was paid off by our school. I'm not really sure on that though. Unfortunately, I can't do the same. =(

    Things weren't really kept in order here for IT related stuff so there's a lot that needs to be inventoried and brought to a better standard since the consultant/contractor just didn't have enough time to do everything.

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    Sounds like you might be stuck until the next fiscal year rolls around. You said you're the IT guy for your High School, how does the rest of the district do things? Is each building separate? Here, we have an IT staff of 3 and we support the whole district, K-12, and and all of our tech purchases goes through our department.

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