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It’s no secret that school budgets are tight, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on departmental costs to make sure those budgets aren’t going to waste. Luckily, cutting design and technology costs doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are 3 tips for getting the most value out of your D&T budget.
A common area of waste we often see is when D&T departments buy more material than they need because of their supplier’s minimum order requirements. Usually, this is because suppliers only sell full 8x4 sheets of products like veneered MDF when you might only need ¼ of a sheet.
To help combat this, look for a supplier that offers partial sheets or allows you to fulfil the minimum requirement across a variety of species. For example, instead of buying 1x 8x4 sheet of oak, see if you can buy 2 x ¼ sheets of oak and 2 x ¼ sheets of ash. This will help you budget go further and help prevent waste.
Spreading your cost in this manner can also help you save on shipping costs, since buying all your wood from one supplier can reduce carriage costs.
What’s more, buying partial sheets instead of full sheets also helps with storage and saves technicians time on cutting sheets down to size. This means that technicians and pupils alike can spend more time producing and creating and less time prepping materials.
D&T departments often waste budget by overpaying for materials. This is often because they’ve been locked into servicing and materials contracts from the company that’s supplied their laser cutter. Although many schools like to streamline purchasing, laser cutter companies often charge more per unit for materials than other suppliers.
If you’ve been locked into a materials contract with your laser cutter provider, be sure to keep an eye on the contract end date. When the contract is up for renewal, shop around for quotes from other material suppliers to see if you can get your materials cheaper elsewhere.
I know school life is busy, and the last thing teachers or department heads want to do is spend hours on the phone talking to suppliers. But when it comes to buying materials, it can pay off to take your time.
Talk to your timber merchant to discuss your requirements and get quotes. Here at Timberite, for example, we take time to understand your needs, and will always try and find an appropriate solution. Whether it’s by offering different and bespoke sheet sizes, helping you choose the most suitable and cost-effective wood for your students’ projects, or offering flexible pricing, we’ll always make sure you get the most out of your budget.
Get a bit of advice in this manner can go a long way when it comes to getting more for less.
For more information about how Timberite can help you maximise your D&T budget – or to order the materials you need for your department – contact us today on 01227 765011 or via our contact us page