This post is part of an ongoing series of chapters from the book CHOICE. Please view this post for an introduction and table of contents. To keep up with each new chapter published, please subscribe.
No school district operates in a vacuum. It takes a lot of outside vendor and third party support to make things happen. With purchasing, support, consulting, and every other logistical thing that comes with getting devices into the school district.
Find vendors that actually want to work with you. Find vendors that actually pick up the phone when you call and answers email in a timely fashion.
In my own experience, don’t work directly with big manufacturers (HP, Dell, Acer, and the like). You are in for a lot of difficulty with these large organizations. Find someone local, find someone on your side, and find someone that’s consistent.
Don't use a vendor that sends you through a support tree when you need help. Don't use a vendor just because your school has done work with them in the past. Don't use a vendor just because. Always get multiple quotes and opinions.
Building a lists of stable and reliable vendors and third parties to work with can be invaluable when things get busy, or supply chains get squeezed, or issues you never thought of come up.
Build a network to support your district.
Providing a peak behind the curtain of the thought and writing process.
I know this chapter is short. I know this chapter may not seem important. For people dealing with the logistics of devices on a daily basis, this is very important.
Build a network of outside help. You won’t need it all the time, or even every year, but when you do need help, you really need help.
Have an experience working with a great vendor, or a horror story of working with the wrong vendor? Let us know in the comments.