If you’ve ever had the job of ordering new chairs, tables, desks, cupboards etc in time for the start of a new school year then you’ll realise that it’s rarely an easy job.
What’s the problem ….?
Thousands of schools throughout the UK will be doing the same thing…all wanting their orders delivered in plenty of time so students have got chairs to sit on, tables to work at and lockers to store their gear in when schools resume in September (or August if they live in Scotland)
The problem is that manufacturing is squeezed into a relatively short space of time (usually between April and August) and it’s simply not possible to make AND deliver thousands of orders throughout the UK in the last couple of weeks in August. The problem is compounded if schools cannot take deliveries during the summer holidays. In such cases not only do their orders have to be manufactured but they also have to be stored until schools reopen and can take deliveries.
In keeping with many other industries, some manufacturers of educational furniture shut down for at least two months earlier in the year. This has had the effect of reducing production capacity even more.
The situation is grim but there are three things you can do to give your school or college a better chance of getting what you need in time for the start of the new term.
- Decide as soon as possible exactly what needs to be ordered. This often requires discussion between eg. the finance office, site manager, heads of departments etc. but it’s vital that orders are finalised as a matter of urgency. The longer you leave it the less likely you are to get an on time delivery.
- If possible, make sure that your premises are open for deliveries during part or all of the holidays, even if it’s just for a couple of weeks. This will make it easier for manufacturers to deliver before school begins.
- If possible, be flexible. This is especially important if you have left ordering till “late in the day.” In such cases, make enquiries about delivery dates for your first choice products….then consider alternatives, eg. different colours, sizes, designs. By choosing slightly different products it may mean that they arrive ready for the new term, whereas your first choice products may not have arrived until the end of September or even the beginning of October.
There’s just one other suggestion I’d make, but it’s a very important one. Never ever dispose of your existing furniture until your new stock arrives. I’ve known schools who have cleared out old tables and chairs from classrooms (so the rooms could be renovated) and then discovered there’d be a delay with their new furniture. The result…. ? No chairs for students to sit on or tables to work at.
If you are planning to order new furniture then I’d be pleased to help. My name is Martin Evans and I’m one of the directors of Central Educational Supplies Ltd. We have been supplying schools and colleges with chairs, tables, desks, storage equipment etc since 2004.
We’re always glad to give advice, make suggestions or provide quotations for your requirements. Our advice is free and without obligation. If you just want a chat about what’s available and the likely lead time then do give us a call Tel: 020 7515 1797 or an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: www.centraleducational.co.uk Do get in touch. It could mean you get your new furniture sooner than might otherwise be the case. One thing I promise. You’ll get straight answers and no “hard sell.”
Central Educational Supplies Ltd., PO Box 999, London E14 6SH