Bursars unite as they look for new ways to shave costs and reduce spend
Bursars from RGS Newcastle, Wellingborough, Box Hill and Edge Grove School are next in the line of independent schools that have joined The Facilities Collective (http://www.facilitiescollective.com/) collaborative purchasing initiative. As Founding Partners they will each benefit collectively from their significant purchasing power as they work to reduce school overheads and take advantage of sustainable reductions in supply chain costs. Created by F&B technology firm Caternet, and chaired by the Bursar at Kimbolton School, the Collective has already united a total of eleven independent schools ahead of its official launch in April 2014 with many more expected to follow.
These new members of the Facilities Collective will be using online paperless eProcurement and budgeting software from Caternet to control their decentralised communities and spending levels.
Bursar at Wellingborough, Mike Skidmore said, “Wellingborough is joining the Collective as a Founding Partner so that it can work closely with the other schools involved in this mutually beneficial initiative and help Caternet to really focus the software into a powerful control and price guidance system to maximise this very sensible and innovative scheme.”
John Pratten, Bursar at Box Hill School also said: “Box Hill School is well known for its desire and commitment to innovate and inspire. So this opportunity to join the Facilities Collective as one of the Founding Partners is a good opportunity to influence the development of a sound idea. Internet shopping is having a profound influence on the nature of purchase control in Schools and to have a service that facilitates the freedom but exerts controls over expenditure can only be an advantage. I’m hoping that this ‘light touch’ software will be as popular with the users as it will be with the Bursar once it delivers all it has promised.”
While Martin Sims, Bursar at Edge Grove said “We are joining the Facilities Collective as we see our unique community benefiting significantly from the opportunities to modernise our IT and to join with our larger colleagues in collective purchasing. Edge Grove’s business is in educating tomorrow’s leaders, and as such we see the partnership with the Collective to allow us to continue our focus on core activities.”
Richard Metcalfe, Bursar at the RGS Newcastle concluded the comments by saying “We like to think we’re always out in front, so we continuously review everything we do and how we do it. The Facilities Collective is very much a step into the future of cost control and online business management. With the way the FC team are going about the software development and ‘tuning in’ with the Founding Partners, we felt we needed to be part of this innovative movement, so here we are leading the way in the North East!”
Jerry Brand, Managing Director at Caternet is delighted to have these latest schools on board, he explains: “The Collective is really about schools using their own choice of suppliers while modernizing their purchasing processes and administration using sophisticated online software. Through these improvements we are confident that the Collective can save any school money by ensuring competitive pricing across the many thousands of products and services that they buy.”
Caternet is developing an enhanced technology system to encompass all cultural and departmental structures within the differing styles of independent schools (such as day, boarding, inner city and rural); it is also on the brink of signing up a further fifteen independent schools over the course of the next month as it moves towards its official launch.
The target is to bring in twenty Founding Partners for the official launch in April 2014, in return for which Caternet is offering a 35% reduction in license fees for the lifetime of membership.