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New K-12 Startup Direct To Schools Designed To Revolutionize School Purchasing
Direct To Schools announces the launch of www.directtoschools.com, a free education resource that helps schools nationwide find the best price on the school supplies and equipment they use every day. For the first time in school purchasing history, schools have the ability to access volume pricing from multiple vendors on one site, saving them both time and money.
Available exclusively to public and private K-12 schools in the United States, Direct To Schools gives school administrators access to the products they use every day, such paper, ink and toner, and custodial, general office and classroom supplies, on one website. With just a few clicks of the mouse, teachers, custodians, school secretaries, principals and district purchasing managers are able to compare pricing from multiple vendors and take advantage of tiered volume discounts.
The inspiration for Direct To Schools came from Darren King, a purchasing manager for the Central Valley School District in Spokane Valley, Washington. Having spent the last fifteen years witnessing first-hand the inefficiencies in school purchasing, King vowed to simplify the buying process. A process, which under the current system, can take up to a week to get back quotes with volume pricing.
“Educational purchasing, as it stands now, is an archaic process. Time and money are wasted trying to find the best price, which is not always the lowest price. But we are changing that. Direct To Schools has combined the tier volume discounts associated with the bid process with the best practices in online shopping – an easy to use website, multiple products from multiple vendors, side-by-side price comparisons, and a secure checkout process,” says King. “Direct To Schools has created a purchasing model that is familiar, efficient and easy to use.”
In 2012, after securing funding from private investors, King partnered with Dickie Walsh to co-found Direct To Schools. With over twenty-five years experience in management, technology and education, Walsh was the ideal partner to provide the strategic direction for Direct To Schools. In January, King and Walsh began building the proprietary technology that is the backbone of Direct To Schools.
“Direct To Schools has revolutionized how schools buy the supplies and equipment they use every day,” explains Walsh. “The benefits that Direct To Schools offers, in money, time and other opportunities, is not something that schools can afford to ignore.” Walsh goes on to explain what this can mean for individual schools. “A mere 5% of annual savings for a school could equate to tens of thousands of dollars which can be reallocated elsewhere, and we are getting our school administrators and teachers back to what they do best – taking care of the students.”