Web buying 'will save billions'

10th March 2000 at 00:00
A FORMER US education secretary claims his new e-commerce venture will save American schools $10 billion (pound;6.3bn) over the next five years on everything from erasers to buses.

Lamar Alexander, who held the top job from 1991 to 1993, has formed Simplexis.com in a bid to cut the average $125 (pound;78) cost of processing each of the 25 million purchase orders issued annually by US schools. He says the service will also reduce the time for goods to be delivered.

More than 100 school districts have signed up for a trial. Savings of 5 to 10 per cent will be produced by pooling orders to win bulk discounts.

Mr Alexander says the firm's resarch indicates that America's 91,000 public schools believed they pay too much for goods and services in a system that was too slow and paper-intensive.

Mr Alexander, president of the University of Tennessee and a former governor of that state, says the service will be free, easy to use and meet all state and district regulations.

Eileen Devonshire of the British Educational Suppliers Association, believes there is a role for a venture such as Simplexis in Britain, but doubts if significant savings would result. Some ciouncils already negotiate discounts with suppliers.

The Simplexis site is at:


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now