With a new school year underway, it’s a great time to revisit your food equipment procurement procedure. While the goal of K-12 Foodservice Directors is to deliver delicious and nutritious meals to students every day, without a clear bid specification you risk obtaining a piece of equipment that may not be the best fit for your school.
Pre Bid Research and Planning for School Food Service Equipment Procurement
Purchasing cooking and holding equipment can be a frustrating process for busy Foodservice Directors; however, when staff take the time to research their options and define their needs, their satisfaction with the bid process increases. The pre bid preparation process helps you develop a thorough plan and understand the needs and wants of your school and cafeteria.
Before you write your bid, fully evaluate the needs of your school’s kitchen. Make a list of what is required at minimum in terms of the product, service, space, delivery details, hookup, removal, and more.
While you are going through the pre bid preparation phase, research equipment specifications and make sure you are in compliance with USDA and state laws.
Attending trade shows and other events to perform research is extremely valuable. Viewing equipment in person, speaking with vendors, and getting hands-on experience can help foodservice directors understand their school’s needs and think openly about their options. Trade shows also allow foodservice directors to connect one-on-one with an equipment representative. This personal touch in the bid process is welcomed by both sides.
When you take the time to create a thorough bid, equipment dealers can effectively evaluate their ability to meet the bid and offer a competitive price to you.
Understanding Sales Channels
The food equipment industry sells product through an equipment dealer; the person who will give you a bid on the equipment you are wishing to purchase.
A factory sales rep is your expert who can help with detailed information on their products. When doing your research, seek out these reps to get information for comparison and for writing your bid specification.
Understanding the systems, costs, options, and research needed will help you write a strong bid to procure the food service equipment your school needs to provide healthy lunches.