Schools’ Buying Club
New service launch and website design and development
Schools’ Buying Club (SBC) is an award-winning tendering service, created to guide schools, academies and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) through the process of procuring essential services. From cleaning and catering to HR and payroll, SBC is responsible for sourcing competitive pricing across a diverse range of service contracts for procurement professionals in the education sector.
At the start of 2019, SBC established an innovative new service called Schools’ Buying Club Online – a web-based solution which provides remote professional support, enabling educational establishments to carry out ‘self-service’ procurement in-house. As a longstanding provider of creative services to SBC, we were asked to develop a new identity for the solution, as well as design a web-based onboarding portal and platform for schools to self-manage their own tenders.
Schools’ Buying Club had previously relied upon a more consultative approach to school procurement services which involved arranging a number of face-to-face meetings with clients, as well as managing direct communication between schools and suppliers. The concept behind SBC Online was to switch to a more automated approach, creating a far more efficient and streamlined service where their clients could supply information at the click of a button and be guided seamlessly through a tendering process – ultimately saving valuable time and resources.
We started the process of achieving this by mapping out the desired onboarding and procurement processes with the client, which involved the creation of a number of online forms to capture all of the key data that SBC required to initiate the ‘pre-procurement’ stage of the onboarding process. This also included setting up a notification system, to alert both SBC and the client when the other party completed each stage of the process. Another key aspect of the system was to build a client-specific document repository – similar to Dropbox, to provide a secure platform and central file management portal where documents could be exchanged between both parties.
There was also the need for a live chat feature, to further improve the efficiency of the service by allowing any immediate client questions to be answered quickly.
As part of the project, we were also asked to consider the launch of the new service. As a result, various marketing assets were generated to promote the benefits that were initially showcased at the Academies Finance Conference which SBC was attending.
The launch of SBC Online meant that the existing Schools’ Buying Club website needed to be updated, in order to keep the visuals and the usability features consistent. From logos and brand imagery to colour palettes and presentation, we gave the SBC brand a complete overhaul, aligning it with the aesthetic of the new SBC Online design.
The end solution provided SBC with a fully responsive site, with all areas being fully editable within the content management system – providing complete in-house control for SBC administrators.
Since the original site has been redeveloped, in order to incorporate the new innovative online service, the improved usability has created a more streamlined and flexible service for SBC to introduce to new clients in the future.
“The entire Shine Creative team were absolutely amazing when it came to re-designing our website. They completely understood our vision for the site and helped us achieve everything we set out to create. Shine is our long-standing creative partner and we look forward to continuing to work together on future projects.”
Nicole Dallal, Marketing Manager