Common Purchasing Questions
As a District Employee are there personal purchasing discounts?Yes there are several such programs available depending on the vendor. For example, Dell Computers offers K12 employee discounts straight off their website . Simply go to their website and follow the links that will lead you straight to a K12 Employee Personal Purchase page. In many cases, there is a substantial discount on the software applications such as Microsoft's Office Suite (Excel, Word, etc.). Similar programs are offered by other name brand companies such as HP, Adobe and Macromedia. Please note that the ITS Department does not have the ability to make such personal purchases for you so contact the vendor directly.
Why Flat Panels?
There are dozens of reports that demonstrate superiority of LCD monitors over older CRT monitors. They utilize 1/3rd the energy, they provide 1/4th the eye strain, take up much less space and are far less costly to dispose of at end of life. Furthermore, over time, although color degredation happens, just like CRTs, image sharpenness and quality does not. Also they are much less dangerous in untimely spills and tend to be, quite to the surprise of many, more robust than most CRTs. Currently, even industry manufacturers admit there is only one thing left that CRTs have over LCDs and that is the range of color they provide thus the reason CRTs are still implamented in design graphics.
How come I can get a computer for $499 and LMUSD spends near $1000 per machine?
Compare apples and apples before making this assessment. The computers we purchase contain a large amount of required software including the full MS Office Professional Suite as well as Windows XP Professional. We also utilize the longer lasting, higher performance UltraSharp monitors due to reduced maintenance costs. Finally, our pricing is at bulk costs meaning we are not subject to limited weekly sales deals (Free upgrade to this and free upgrade to that). If you average your costs over time we are actually saving thousands of dollars over the typical user. However, we are never comfortable with our costs and spend much of our time with our vendor reducing costs and working for a better deal.
Do you select your brands simply by random choice or by best price?
Actually our vendor selections are determined by Return on Investment research done over a period of time. Every brand we have selected has been thoroughly researched, tested, retested and revisited time and again. Even now as we settle in with populating our district with Dell Latitude Laptops, we continue to take in sample machines from other vendors to "put them to the grind", comparing overall performance in many cases to the current standard. Some items we look for besides simply best price are:
Each of these aspects is graded when we test our equipment. Every one impacts our performance as a support department so we require that the machines we purchase can meet or exceed our standards. In the end, we save more money, time and frustration as we are given the opportunity to provide the students and staff of Lucia Mar a higher level of technology.