The goal of this work group is to improve access to ever-healthier and affordable school food items by streamlining the school food procurement process through industry/district/non-profit cooperation. The initial goal to develop a “Common Bid Template” is nearing completion.
The template has been developed in collaboration with multiple N2F work groups and other stakeholders and is currently being vetted by 100 stakeholders and USDA to secure wide spread support and adoption. The template incorporates, among other things, terms and conditions, vendor requirements, and federal, state and local procurement regulations to ensure compliance. Free to suppliers and schools, the final document will be placed online for easy access and the group will campaign for widespread usage.
GDSN & The Common Bid Template
Widespread adoption of the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) standards and protocols has already begun to transform template driven eProcurement. Combining the Data Sharing & Analytics Initiative with the “Common Bid Template” can further streamline burdensome business processes by providing access to a single GDSN database of over 50,000 items at no cost to schools and suppliers. When GDSN standards and protocols are embedded in both menu planning and eProcurement, schools have the tools to produce and update accurate long-range forecasts.
Pre- procurement on research and shopping for products becomes a more efficient web driven activity. The GDSN Supplier database can be used to “tag” approved products for a school district’s menus. The time-consuming task of publishing specifications (which are often out of date by the time they are distributed) can be eliminated and replaced with on line links. Nourish to Flourish work groups are now identifying potential The Pilots sites to further develop and test these ideas.