District investigates group buying power
De Soto USD 232 hopes to save time and money by buying bulk diesel fuel with a group.
The Board of Education voted Sept. 7 to accept an invitation to join a fuel cooperative with the Shawnee Mission, Blue Valley, Kansas City, Kan., school districts and Johnson County Community College. The group will buy fuel from Carter Oil Co.
De Soto expects to use 84,000 gallons of diesel fuel for its 52 buses during the 2004-2005 school year. Though that's enough to buy in bulk, the other, larger groups use even more.
The bigger the bulk fuel purchase, the better the deal, said district director of operations Jack Deyoe. Although actual fuel costs are set by outside criteria beyond control of distributors, carriers may be more prone to discount their transportation costs for extra-large accounts, Deyoe said.
"We're kind of riding along on their coattails, because they're bigger than we are," Deyoe said of the other districts.
Previously, De Soto made monthly calls to different providers for fuel bids, Deyoe said. With the cooperative agreement, the group will bid annually and sign a yearlong contract instead.