Why Education Leaders Love Google’s Purchasing Process
Here’s an insider secret you may not realize about school district leadership: most of them despise the antiquated paperwork process required for purchasing anything — whether it’s a stapler, a school bus or an edtech product.
The purchasing process is cumbersome and slow, sometimes taking weeks or longer for approval.
A buyer acting on behalf of a school or the district must fill out a purchase order, sign it and send it to a supervisor for approval. Teachers need their principal’s authorization, and principals need district leadership endorsement. Large items may require school board support. Once approved, the signed purchase order returns to the originator who then contacts the company regarding the transaction, usually emailing it to them.
In today’s world of one-click purchases on mobile devices, the purchasing process in schools has a long way to catch up. Imagine how tedious the purchasing process can be when teachers want to buy a single edtech app.
Google has become a powerful player in education; 50% of all classroom devices are Google Chromebooks. Google managed to achieve this market share in only three year’s time, and the purchasing process is part of the appeal.
Education leaders fell in love with Google’s purchasing process. For anywhere from $199 to $249, plus a small management fee, teachers could have unlimited software access to Google Play for Education. In Google Apps for Education (GAFE), schools and school districts were able to set up an account through which they could log into all of their Google Apps edtech products. The initial user set up all the other users, whether teachers or students, and engagement was immediate.
GAFE has given way to Google’s G-Suite for Education, which promises that users – more than 50 million of them – can “save time and stay connected.” While the unlimited access to edtech apps in Google Play has disappeared from the education scene, education leaders have been able to streamline their paperwork processes with the utilization of features found in the G-Suite for Education, including better productivity tools that can help reduce the reliance on paperwork and improve collaboration.
More than half of district leaders who have used Google as a procurement platform have given it high marks of approval. In a short time, Google has managed to become a leading B2B provider, helping education leaders limit the amount of time they have to spend with purchasing process paperwork.