Region One ESC hosts first-ever product exhibition
To raise awareness of available vendors and services, the Region One Education Service Center (Region One) hosted its first purchasing show for members of its purchasing cooperative on Nov. 1, 2023 at the Mission Event Center.
Vendors presented office supplies, paper and plastic goods, cleaning equipment and consulting services, among other products and offerings.
According to Region One ESC Purchasing Specialist Erika Leal, the event allowed cooperative members, which is comprised of 139 school systems, academic institutions and other entities, to meet with vendors and familiarize themselves with their products or services.
“In most cases, cooperative members do not have the opportunity to test every available product or learn more about services,” Leal said. “The product show gives school district administrators and other cooperative members the chance to compare products, evaluate the quality of vendors and speak to those who are offering services. That way, when members request products from awarded vendors, they have a better idea of what they are purchasing.”
The purchasing specialist said the product show is an additional form of support for purchasing cooperative members, who already benefit from a facilitated procurement process and on-hand technical support.
In addition to learning about products, the event also highlighted local vendors to participants.
“Through this event, I discovered a local vendor that can help us with our cafeteria furniture needs,” said Laura Garza, Assistant Child Nutrition Director at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD. “I didn’t know of the vendor before. I always thought we had to go out of the region for that service. I’m glad we can support our local vendors.”
Laredo ISD Child Nutrition Coordinator Genoveva Ramirez said she traveled to Mission to attend the first product show and network with vendors.
“It’s the first product show of its kind for the region, so I wanted to meet with vendors and see what they have to offer,” Ramirez said. “The most helpful thing about the Region One Purchasing Cooperative is that they provide a lot of services to members and take care of all of the procurement processes. The cooperative makes it really easy for members to tap into the services and products from vendors, and we get access to better prices.”
The Region One Purchasing Cooperative assists school systems, academic institutions, municipal and county governments and other entities in the administration of fiscally sound programs through the procurement of cost effective goods and services and compliance with all bid law requirements.
Visit www.esc1.net/ropc to learn more about the Region One Purchasing Cooperative.