Building a new house or conducting a house remodel project is exactly like the process school boards go through when deciding on a new artificial turf field. Each component being purchased needs to be listed separately so you, the purchaser, can decide if the expense is worth it. Are you getting a good deal or are you getting taken? When you build a new house you take extra care with the budget. You are simply asking the builder what things cost. Knowing the cost of equipment gives you bargaining power and that means saving money. Take a little extra time and educate yourself.
So how does this analogy of home building relate to a new artificial turf field? First off, purchasing a new artificial turf field is something you the school board probably has zero experience doing. You are forced to listen and trust those who will be presenting proposals to you. Fancy brochures and smart looking spreadsheets are the tools used to build your trust. After trust comes the cost. You need to understand what is in the proposal.
Is Equipment Included in The Proposal?
Are you getting the Home Depot maintenance equipment which is meant for backyards? Or are you getting equipment manufactured by one entity but labeled another? Also, do you even know what the equipment does and why you need it? The worst thing you could do is buy no equipment at all because the nice salesperson sold you on, “No Maintenance Needed”. The second worst thing you could do is accept equipment without knowing the quality and origin. The third worst thing you could do is allow school districts purchasing department to use a co-op to purchase equipment.
School Boards-Three Absolute No-No’s When Purchasing An Artificial Turf Field
- Falling Into The “No Maintenance Needed” Sales Pitch for Artificial Turf
- Accepting Equipment Built Into Turf Proposal-What and Where is Equipment From and What is the Cost?
- Buying Equipment from a Co-op-Versus Multiple Quotes
Co-op you say? School districts that are associated with co-ops have a process in place that lets them buy products and services without having to get multiple quotes because the vendors have already been approved. Approved does not equate to best pricing. I have nothing against co-op’s used by school districts when it comes to volume purchases like toilet paper, pens, pencils, paper, etc. Hey, I shop at Costco and I also like a bulk deal.
School Boards Do Your Research on Artificial Turf Maintenance Equipment
School boards, when it comes to buying artificial turf maintenance equipment, spend two minutes and get multiple quotes on your own. Ask yourself, who makes the best American Made equipment? (That was a setup) The Federal Government is required to follow the Buy American Act of 1933 and so should publicly funded schools. Co-op pricing is typically higher, reduces competition/selection and makes accountability to the taxpayers go away.
From personal experience and I won’t name the school district because they handled it very well when I raised a fuss. Trust me, this was not going to end well for the district. I discovered the school district paid thousands of dollars more for artificial turf equipment because they used a co-op. The school district y previously requested quotes from vendors, I was one. However, another person in the purchasing department decided to use the one button method by using a co-op from another state. I am very confident this will never happen again with the school district and that is why I’m not naming names.
So school boards, take a moment and demand line item pricing for your artificial turf project. If you come across a fancy pants salesperson who says that artificial turf requires no maintenance, eliminate them immediately from consideration. Buy the right equipment the first time, it will outlast the life of your field. If you buy equipment from Sports Turf NW, you are getting the best American Made equipment available and we are here to support it because all we do is sell artificial turf equipment.