Detroit Public Schools Get 19% Back for Students

Adoption of competition-driven online marketplace drives significant school savings results

VIENNA, VA. — In June 2012, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) adopted FedBid, the fully managed online marketplace offering a better way for governments, business and educational institutions to buy goods and simple services. This marked a first, not only for DPS, but also for FedBid, who had only recently opened up their public sector-proven marketplace’s doors to the K-12 education segment. The results of this marketplace “first” are in, and the numbers tell a story of a partnership and solution that has delivered significant wins for both organizations. 

According to the recently released FedBid report,“Detroit Public Schools: Celebrating One Year of Saving More, Getting More and Giving More”—to the Children of Detroit”, within one year, purchasing through FedBid generated 19% in savings for Detroit’s Public Schools, adding up to over $1.6 million. 

Dr. Tracy Joshua, the DPS Chief Procurement and Logistics Officer, is currently implementing DPS’ first strategic sourcing and supply chain efforts by leveraging industry best practices and using proven methodology, and she was the first to believe FedBid’s marketplace adoption was a must for the District. Joshua explained, “We knew we needed to make big changes and take significant, innovative leaps to achieve fiscal success. For us, FedBid’s Better Buying tool has resulted in nearly 20% savings for the purchase of goods and simple services.” 

FedBid’s DPS report also highlights a number of case-by-case savings results. Those include nearly $104,000 savings on a single classroom handbook buy, $15,000 savings on school supplies and $14,000 savings on pipefitting accessories. Overall, savings were obtained in purchases ranging from school furniture to A/V equipment, and from books, dictionaries and clothing to enrollment marketing materials and training aids. 

“Detroit Public Schools has made significant changes to help achieve a number of aggressive spend management goals, but adopting FedBid actually gave us saving results early,” Joshua commented. “Plus, using FedBid also gave us a way to track taxpayer’s dollars spent, enabling us to regularly report those figures to our stakeholders and live our mission to provide excellence in education for all the children that we serve.” 

But DPS’ strategic sourcing efforts benefited more than just the schools and students. Purchasing through FedBid has also increased DPS’ ability to source from a greater and a more concentrated number of quality suppliers—especially local suppliers. In an effort to support the recovering state and local economy, 38% of all DPS purchases awarded through FedBid went to local businesses. 

Joshua indicated that one of her goals in utilizing the FedBid tool was to ensure that local quality suppliers had the opportunity to gain additional business. Once a supplier is registered with FedBid, the organization receives alerts when there are bid opportunities that fit the companies’ offerings. “This is good news for local suppliers as well as the local and regional economy,” explained Joshua.

FedBid Senior Vice President, Louis Schiavone Jr., currently leading the company’s growth of State, Local and Education markets, looks forward to driving even greater success into the next year, noting, “We are proud of the savings our marketplace delivered last year, and we are confident that we can drive even more positive results. Dr. Joshua and her team were courageous to pioneer this effort, along with so many other efforts, to reach their aggressive spend management goals—they adapted to process changes enthusiastically, quickly and seamlessly. We look forward to giving even more back to Detroit, both to the schools and to the local businesses that serve them, during this coming year.” 

DPS’ savings statistics align with the marketplace’s 13-year track record serving the public, and primarily federal, sector. The company reports that in the federal government’s FY13, agencies who purchased goods and services on FedBid’s online marketplace saved over $160 million on everything from IT and office products to maintenance and security services. Over the past five years, Buyers across over 80% of all federal government agencies have saved a combined $770 million. 

In addition, these kinds of savings successes are now benefitting not only Detroit Public Schools but also new FedBid Higher Education Buyers at California Community Colleges and Georgetown University. Jack Martin, recently appointed by Governor Snyder as the new DPS Emergency Manager replacing Roy Roberts, has publicly stated that he plans to continue on the same path laid by Mr. Roberts including being fully committed to accelerating the supply chain strategies that have been established by Joshua’s Procurement and Logistics Team. 

Dr. Joshua and her team are excited about their continued use of FedBid to drive the success of their purchasing and supply chain strategies for the coming school year and beyond. Ms. Joshua believes that other school districts can achieve similar results. Says Joshua, “FedBid has proven to be a true partner and a powerful solution. Purchasing through their online marketplace has played, and will continue to play, a major role in fueling our schools forward.” 

ABOUT: FedBid, Inc.

FedBid® was founded on the premise there’s a better way for organizations of all sizes to buy smart, save money and reduce risk on goods and simple services they buy every day. Our fully-managed online marketplace has been proven to optimize how businesses, governments and educational arenas buy the goods and services they need to keep their organizations running. Buyers save time and money, Sellers gain equal access to real opportunities. It’s a Win-Win. For more information, visit FedBid at or call (877) 9FEDBID. 

FedBid—Better Buying | Smarter Selling ®

Released: NOVEMBER 1, 2013

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