The Detroit Public School district has turned to an online site used mostly by federal contractors to get its school supplies.
Officials credit “FedBid” with helping the district save hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few months.
Bidders announce their intent to buy a product. Suppliers then compete to offer the best price.
District spokesman Steve Wasko said it has helped fix some problems with getting supplies to classrooms.
“This has been, not only from a supply standpoint but from all standpoints, a very smooth start to the school year—at least by way of comparison with previous years,” said Wasko.
Wasko said it's also a good way to save money without compromising the quality of education.
The district’s current budget calls for cutting five million dollars from its procurement budget.
District officials estimate using FedBid alone could save up to three million.