Jumat, 02 Desember 2011

eCommerce Benefits for the Promotion of Schools

Schools can benefit from the implementation of e-commerce solutions.

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E-commerce, the buying and selling of goods over the Internet, revolutionized the economy in the dot com boom of the 1990s, reducing costs for retailers, directly connecting producers and consumers and simplifying the purchasing experience for many customers. Although they receive less attention than the benefits to private industry, the opportunities for the public sector and non-profit groups that implement these technologies are also substantial. In the case of schools, for instance, e-commerce offers a series of benefits for the promotion and simplification of academic activity.

Related Searches: Purchasing: Cost Savings

Retailers are able to provide extremely competitive prices over the Internet because automated e-commerce solutions reduce overhead costs of warehouses, stores and employees. E-commerce also makes it easier for producers to offer their products directly to the public and for consumers to access these offers along with factory-direct pricing. Both public and private schools can take advantage of this pricing when purchasing everything from art supplies and athletic equipment to computers and construction materials over the Internet. Automated ordering systems also make it easier for schools to form purchasing cooperatives or organize on a county level to achieve further bulk savings.

Purchasing: Logistics

Beyond direct cost-savings, e-commerce also offers logistical benefits for schools. Particularly as software designers and product vendors pay increasing attention to the academic market, e-commerce can be integrated with a school's financial and grounds management systems to easily and automatically generate purchasing orders or alerts for certain products as they become needed. These systems represent a significant reduction in paperwork costs and time spent over old paper-based procurement systems that required numerous accounting and administrative steps. School administrators can also see on-line ordering histories to more easily manage purchasing budgets–without resorting to time-consuming systems like stamping purchasing orders or compiling receipts at the end of the semester.

Selling: Supplementary Payments

Schools not only make payments, but often receive them and can become e-commerce vendors in themselves. Even public schools often charge students and parents supplementary fees for field trips, special courses or athletic events. In fact, according to the Association of School Business Officials, school districts process an average of 32 payments per student per year. Creating on-line e-commerce interfaces for schools can not only save parents a good number of headaches, but can make these accounts easier to manage than the sea of checks and cash schools traditionally receive in these situations.

Selling: Fundraising and Auctions

Impersonal e-commerce solutions are unlikely to replace the time-honored tradition of school groups going door-to-door selling fundraising items and creating strong community ties. The increased reach of globally accessible e-commerce interfaces, however, can supplement these activities and increase income. Parents or former students who no longer live in the community but remain committed to a certain school or district, for example, could continue to make donations or participate in fund-raising events from across the world on an e-commerce interface. E-commerce and Internet auctions also provide an easy and effective way for schools to resell used goods like old desks or textbooks, a process that can become a viable income stream, with good management.

ReferenceseCommerce: eCommerce Clicks with Public SchoolsCollege Planning and Management: E-BuyCollege Planning and Management: E-Procurement 101American School and University: The E-Commerce QuandaryAmerican School and University: The Road to E-CommerceResourcesNational Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities: Online Purchasing Systems for School FacilitiesPhoto Credit Polka Dot/Polka Dot/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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