Improving procurement efforts is important in every industry, but too often, education is one sector where its important can be overlooked or even ignored. However, if you work in this field, you already know that tight budgets are always an issue, and a better procurement strategy can help improve the bottom line without sacrificing strategy, insight or effectiveness.

The following tips should help you get a better handle on education procurement on an ongoing basis:

1) Always make the financial case

Again, many decisions in the world of education are about dollars and cents, and there's rarely wiggle room of any kind — so when you're pitching new strategies, it's vital to spell out how it helps your organization financially, according to Education Executive. The more you can do to show why your proposal would end up having a net positive impact (especially in the long run) could help you sell something that requires a larger up-front investment.

A great education procurement effort starts with a clear strategy.A great education procurement effort starts with a clear strategy.

2) Keep all the right people in the loop

In the education realm, there are a lot of stakeholders who may have to sign off on financial decisions large and small, and you should be sure to include everyone relevant to your efforts on every step, Education Executive noted. That way, everyone can be on the same page from the get-go, and more fully align the entire organization to ensure your new procurement efforts go off without a hitch.

3) Start small if necessary

Because education departments don't often have a lot of money lying around, you may not be able to enact your entire procurement vision in one fell swoop, according to Kodable. For that reason, you will have to be content (and able) to take a more piecemeal approach to this effort, and ensure that you can slowly but surely work toward your ultimate goal.

4) Plan well in advance

With that in mind, it's important to have both a short-term and long-term procurement strategy that you can work on for your "big picture" goals, according to Tenet Services. When you do so, you are hitting smaller goals with regularity and also continue working toward an overarching endpoint.

5) Keep great records

Finally, it's a great idea to ensure that you are keeping detailed records of basically every aspect of your procurement efforts, Tenet Services added. From logging contact details and maintaining a database of agreements you have with various suppliers to maintaining financial data that shows a strong return on investment, there should be a great collective approach to better recordkeeping.

With the budgetary constraints that anyone working in education has to deal with on a regular basis, being able to make the business case for a grand procurement strategy is vital. The more you can do to ensure this is an effort you prioritize at all times, the better off your entire organization is likely to be as time goes on.

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