Essentials Magazine Essentials Spring 2018 - Page 15

EDchannel Distribution Examples of state purchasing consortium which can become a great revenue generation channel: KNOWN AS FULL NAME BUY BOARDS BuyBoard Cooperative Purchasing TX Based, operates nationwide TIPS The Interlocal Purchasing System TX Based, operates nationwide REMC Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan Michigan AEA PURCHASING Iowa Area Education Agencies Purchasing Cooperative Iowa AEPA Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies 26 states NCPA National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance 14,000+ members (K-12, Higher Ed, Private/Independent Schools, Municipalities) providing these services at some re- gional level, the concept is that it could be more affordable. This evolved (in some cases) into actual formal consor- tiums which were developed specifi- cally for volume-based purchasing. It also evolved (in some cases) to regional schools with special services that could be delivered in a more cost-effi- cient manner. Thus, even though you might be discounting your solution to sell through an ESA, you are able to leverage their reach to districts, which in many cases might be too small to effectively sell one by one. For example, how many districts can afford to independently operate instruc- tional facilities for severely impaired students, which would typically comprise AREA COVERED WEBSITE less than .5% of their student popula- tion? Whereas a regional agency could draw from multiple districts within a county or region and have a full caseload of such special needs students that war- rant a full “brick and mortar” school, with highly qualified staff and specific special resources. Do not overlook the possibili- ty that you can both sell THROUGH an ESA, and (in some cases) TO an ESA. Another example is state level buying consortiums, which regularly issue requests for proposals (RFPs) on an array of commonly needed solu- tions ranging from books to software to hardware to toilet paper! Districts purchase from these “blessed” lists and save money. The consortium typically pulls in a few percentage points to keep their organizations going. Vendors can reference the list in their sales and marketing, and typically have an edge over competitors who are not on the “blessed” list. The biggest advantage here is that you submit a response to one bid that covers all member districts and avoid subsequent bids which can be time consumptive and risky. What’s in a Name? Not that the name really is any sort of indicator as to an agency’s strength, but it will certainly matter if your sales team is unfamiliar with the types of agencies in their sales territory. It starts with understanding the agencies’ names and organizational structure. See pages 16-17 for a cheat sheet. essentials | 15