NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Schools Buying Over The Net May Save Money

March 20, 2000

Next month, a handful of school districts across the country will start buying everything from fish sticks to microphones over the Internet -- hoping to achieve the same sort of savings that businesses are realizing at business-to-business sites.

  • Many companies claim they already save some 20 percent through this process -- which could mean an overall savings of $2 trillion for companies by 2003.
  • While schools may not save quite that much, 100,000 public schools in 16,000 districts throughout the nation spend about $84 billion on supplies each year.
  • So even a 10 percent savings would pay for 150,000 teachers at $56,000 each.
  • Schools can band together for volume discounts and since delivery times can be cut from seven days to two days, schools achieve the benefits of just-in-time delivery systems, experts say.

Moreover, the new system could well reduce the number of employees needed to handle schools' purchasing systems.

Source: Del Jones, "Some Schools to Surf Net to Cut Costs of Supplies," USA Today, March 20, 2000.


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