How eProcurement technology is helping schools to take greater control of purchasing

Sponsored: Ollie Brand, COO at eProcurement technology firm zupaTech, explains how independent schools can increase purchasing efficiency and reduce spend across multiple departments

Schools thrive on continuity and consistency. From catering, staff resource, IT and equipment to heating, electricity and water, schools need the basics to operate reliably and efficiently to deliver a seamless education to their pupils.

When it comes to the catering departments serving hundreds of children every day, or office staff ordering stationery or equipment, the same is true. The impact of the pandemic, and the current pressures on the supply chain, has seen to it that many of the processes and systems schools had previously taken for granted are more difficult to manage.

Taking catering as an example, this itself is a fixed-cost budget within schools, so the finance team and the school bursar need to be aware of any unforeseen problems or cost issues. Communication is key here and many schools are currently in the position where they need to operate as cost-effectively as possible and avoid overspend.

The supply chain itself can be a bottleneck for exceeding budgets, especially when many schools will want to buy locally and support their community, even though they may be paying over the odds for school equipment and food items. Technology is evolving to support schools with their budgeting and to ensure they have access to the best prices and quality of goods across multiple items and services.

Controlling spend

Platforms like zupaPlatform are allowing schools to take greater control of their purchasing across multiple departments, to compare supplier prices against each other so that they are better informed about what they are spending and whether or not that rate is competitive.

zupaTech’s platform is able to show live pricing across multiple suppliers with live price comparison, which is a useful benefit to schools. This gives schools visibility of their entire operation and allows them to segregate costs and apportion budgets correctly, which is key in avoiding overspend.

If you think about it, staffing is the biggest cost for schools, second is catering and then so on, so controlling spend in departments such as catering can be pivotal to staying on budget. Food costs go up and down, sometimes erratically, especially when there are seasonal changes, or issues with product demand vs. availability.

By the same token, we are seeing rises in the cost of energy, gas, electricity, etc. Add to that scenarios such as Brexit, delivery driver shortages, Covid-19 and even severe weather conditions which impact harvests – which can create unforeseen circumstances that can affect the supply chain.

Improving supply chain communications

Managing purchasing across the board is never straightforward for schools, especially when you have multiple people within the team who could be ordering goods at any one time. It is the responsibility of department heads to manage budgets, but it is important for the staff to have transparency over what items they need rather than what they think they need.

This kind of estimation is likely to lead to overordering and hence, overspend. Traditionally every internal spend would have to go via the bursar for pre-approval but technology is making it easier to set spending limits for individual staff and to raise an alert if a member of the team is about to exceed a budget.

Thankfully, we are at a stage where technology can really help with supply chain communications and manage purchasing more efficiently with price comparison, internal team comms, recipe and menu planning, and allergens management for catering, and also making the purchasing of many other school items more fluid.

It is easy to stay in control of all purchasing

● zupaTech is an eProcurement platform used to manage purchasing across multiple departments, from catering and stationery to uniform, on-site shops, etc.
● Budgeting and forecasting across all purchasing is made simple
● Exports to your finance system with live reports and analytics
● The live supplier customer relationship management feature drives your supply chain
● Platform features include recipe builder and allergens management (inc. Natasha’s Law) automated purchasing, inventory, stock control and live supplier comparison
● No capital up-front expenditure, SaaS charging model and unlimited user licence
● zupaTech is a proven, stable and scalable platform facilitating transactions of just under £1m daily
● zupaTech is a Microsoft Gold Application Development Partner

Discover more at

1 Comment
  • Marina Teramond @ N.M.P.L.

    Of course, it is really important for schools to take great control of purchasing in order to manage their budget and avoid overspend. To tell the truth, before this moment I hadn’t known that eProcurement technology has so many advantages and that it is truly the best way to control your purchasing. It seems to me that this method can make this process easier in many ways and provide you with a huge set of conveniences. I have heard about zupaTech but I haven’t known that it is such a smart decision to manage purchasing across multiple departments and that it had such an effective functionality. I think that any school needs to take it into account and not neglect this app.

Leave a Reply

Send an Invite...

Would you like to share this event with your friends and colleagues?

Would you like to share this report with your friends and colleagues?

You may enter up to three email addresses below to share this report