Being a decision maker for a dispatch furniture project that ultimately will be a huge investment for your city, township or municipality, you'll probably feel the pressure to put those budget dollars to good use. As you begin the search for vendors, it is important to note what services the company offers at no charge or commitment to you, the customer.
When it is time to purchase your new furniture for your 911 center, often a City or County has a purchasing department with rules to determine if such a purchase needs to go out to bid or can be bought directly. So, what exactly is a "bid"?
The word "bid" seems to be used as a generic term for a competitive purchasing process. We hear the word "bid" used in Request for Proposal or RFP or an Invitation to Bid IFB. These are two very different ways to create a competitive purchasing process.
If you are in the beginning of shopping for new dispatch console furniture in your 911 center a great first question is, how much do they cost? After all, you will need to plan a budget about a year in advance and get the most accurate pricing. If you don't budget enough, you may not be able to get all of the features and options you want. If you ask for too much you may not get the project approved.
The Latest Trends & Buying Information
Preparing to buy dispatch console furniture can be an extremely daunting project. These resources can help you with current industry trends and will help you with what you need to know before you buy.
If you're getting ready to purchase Dispatch Console Furniture, you will want to know that you are getting the best value or return on your investment (ROI). This is critical information for your your team and your taxpayers. Here is a quick guide on what to look for to make sure you are getting the most ROI for your dispatch consoles.
Purchasing dispatch furniture is not an easy task, which is probably why it only happens every 10-15 years. There are a lot of steps and parties involved, from radio vendors to flooring teams, it’s not exactly like trip to IKEA!
When you’re about to request your purchase order, it’s tempting to let your foot off the gas pedal because it feels like you’ve done all the hard stuff. Many Comm Center Managers will agree, you’re only just getting your engines started.
People often come to us when they aren’t sure how long it will take to get new dispatch furniture. Having a timeline and knowing approximate dates can help make the process smooth from beginning to end. Having a timeline can also help to eliminate the guessing game of when to start looking for furniture and/or when to start asking your county for money or possibly preparing your agency’s budget for the next fiscal year.
Another great way a timeline can eliminate the stresses of getting new dispatch furniture is to help you work backwards. Let’s say your project HAS to be completed by a certain date. With a timeline in place, you can let your purchasing department know that if they drag their feet on things like a PO, then it's possible the whole project could be delayed. Or maybe you are planning to go “live” in your new building on a specific date, this would mean that you'd need to have a signed PO by a minimum 10 weeks prior to "go live" date.
It's HALLOWEEN and probably one of my favorite holidays!! So, that got me thinking what would be spooky or maybe a bit scary for a 911 dispatch manager or supervision….? The type of scary I'm talking about is a huge decision, that will have an impact on the Comm Center, or a legacy that will be left and how this type of a decision would effect the Center for years to come (maybe even after you retire). That sounds pretty scary and intimidating to me. So what type of decision am I talking about? Just like the in those scary movies, (I only like them one time a year), the ever-elusive masked killer is running through the house with a butcher knife, it finally came to me… the decision to purchase Comm Center dispatch furniture…. dun…dun…dun!
The way we buy...well just about anything, has changed. With websites offering quick service and simple shopping like Amazon, grocery delivery services like “Click-List” and of course there is Uber, there is no wonder why we've changed. We have all changed how we shop, buy and research products. Hello instant gratification! But what about those big purchases, a new car, a home or a vacation? Well, that part hasn’t changed much and neither has shopping for dispatch furniture.
When is the right time to start thinking about getting dispatch furniture proposals? The short and simple answer to this question is, that it all depends. Every state (really every Comm center) has a unique purchasing system that usually drives the speed at which you can get new dispatch consoles. Workstations are typically replaced once every 10–15 years. If you are in charge of getting the new workstations, it might be the first and last time you buy furniture with your agency. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry; most people aren’t too experienced at buying dispatch furniture.