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The After Party: A Procurement Award is Made … What Now?

That feeling of exhilaration: Accomplishment combined with, “What did I just do?”

This could easily describe your thoughts following a great night of networking at an STN EXPO event. Or, if you’re more of the early-to-bed type, this might be your response after seeing the Amazon order confirmation you just received after a late night of “I can’t live without that” purchasing.

Regardless of the reason, you’ve signed the contract and purchased the solution following a lengthy RFP process. It’s now time to use your buying power to ensure a collaborative customer-vendor partnership after the award.

The first three blogs in this series were intended to lead you through the often- overwhelming process that are the RFI/RFB/RFP specifications and scope. We’ve reached the “Now what?” stage.

It’s not just about putting things in your virtual cart and checking out. Once your district or company has the new equipment/technology in hand, it’s best to figure out all the ways in which you can use this procurement to enhance innovation and advance the technology (and reputation) of your operation.

  • Take advantage of the vendor’s (usually free) training immediately and often
    • On-site and hands-on training is always best
  • Partner with the vendor to create a communications/PR plan to celebrate the new!
    • Talk about the new stuff. Share with the community and customers
    • An innovative operation demonstrates forward-thinking leadership
  • Leverage the skill set of the vendor/provider and collaborate for education
    • Can this technology be demonstrated to students?
    • Could this product help with an educational/instructional goal?
      • Routing software = Geographic knowledge for students
      • New buses = Automotive technology instruction
      • Green technology = Environmental/sustainability curriculum

The bottom line: Don’t have buyer’s remorse. The industry relationships and vendor partnerships you develop after the award will further your success in the implementation process for years and countless purchases to come!

Alexandra Robinson

Alexandra Robinson is a former director of transportation and a current industry consultant and editorial advisor to School Transportation News. She moderates a panel at STN EXPO Reno on July 15 that will discuss elements of a winning RFP/RFI from the perspectives of school districts and vendors.


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Have you attended a professional development conference or training this summer?
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