Mobile Procurement and the Elementary School Teacher

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Ivy Montgomery of Vroozi. Back in January, Jason Busch challenged Vroozi to come up with fifty real-life use cases for mobile procurement. This is an ongoing series.

Many of us have had a memorable teacher or two in our elementary school years, whether they were someone we liked, someone that made us appreciate a particular subject, or someone who created a nurturing environment to help foster our growth.

Take Serena, an intelligent and caring second-grade teacher who also happens to be well versed in the latest technology. Whenever it becomes relevant, she is not shy about imparting some wisdom down to a younger generation that will surely surpass her own technological expertise just a few years down the line.

Serena’s class consists of 22 eager, energetic, and curious students. These students love art, science, books, and really anything that will help them to expand their imaginations and their minds. They constantly crave new information and new practical applications with which to use this information.

Starting this year, Serena’s school has given each classroom an iPad, which teachers can incorporate into their curriculum in a variety of ways, such as using photos, video, music, and documents. Serena even uses these iPads to help visualize a student’s progress when it’s time to share this information at parent-teacher conferences. Additionally, the iPads serve as a helpful tool in maintaining attendance and alleviating any concerns over each child’s after-school care, as parents and pre-registered guardians use this tablet to sign their student in and out of school each day.

Educational collaboration aside, these iPads are very practical in maintaining the day-to-day workflow structure the school has put in place. Using a mobile procurement platform, the school has enabled each individual teacher to request supplies. In order to better balance the school and classroom budgets, teachers can even assign supplies to individual projects and categories.

Right now, Serena is planning a math game for her students that requires ordering many large numbers from the discount school supplies site. Coincidentally, another class in her school was planning a different project that required large numbers. With each teacher entering their order into the same mobile procurement software, the system calibrated the smaller requests into one larger order that would earn the school a discount for having bought in bulk.

The school put a system in place that all orders should be placed by their teachers during several allotted timeframes throughout the year. By holding off on approving purchase orders until the closing of each window, the school ensured that the most cost-efficient bulk orders and shipping discounts would be reached with several different suppliers. Thanks to mobile procurement, teachers are able to order supplies conveniently, the school can track spending by project and classroom, and the savings earned from the discounted orders can be used across the entire school and put back into the budget to benefit who really matters: the children.

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