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  • Purchasing of New Equipment

    Hello All!
    Another issue that I have just realized is the purchasing of the kits for teams. It seems like it has been talked about that there will be one central portal where all of the equipment can be purchased instead of going through different stores. Has FIRST released which vendor will be supplying it? My guess is on Andy's Mark as they supply the field equipment but for all I know, it may be a different vendor entirely. For us teams that operate out of schools, we need to purchase stuff via PO (Purchase Order) with approved vendors. Many schools only approve vendors once a year and a lot of teams need to know which vendor will be providing it, their w9 form and other identification to send to the school. If FIRST could release that information soon, it would be a big help and would be greatly appreciated among most teams. Thanks.

  • #2
    I agree with Bgb8910... We have a very outdated purchasing system for our school system. If we do not have a PO in by April 15th it has to wait until the next school year in Late Sept. This puts all 5 of my FTC teams behind a curve. Either we look to outside donors or play the waiting game for new FCS. I hope FIRST can make the "FTC store" open before the end of March or April. Thanks!

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    • #3
      I agree with both of you. This became an immediate issue for me the day the new platform was announced. It can take my district 6-8 weeks to get a vendor approved. It takes 6-8 weeks for anything ordered through my district to arrive. All vendor approvals and purchase orders filed after April 1st will not be addressed until September.

      My only other options to get new parts between now and September 15 are to raise funds through my (brand new) Booster Club or buy it myself.

      We really need vendor and purchasing information as quickly as possible.

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      • #4
        Like team 8811, team #3734 (Imperial Robotics) is also in the Dallas Independent School District. Even though our school's 501(c)(3) Foundation has a Robotics Education and Competition Fund, we still have to get new vendors like Modern Robotics, Inc. approved by the administration, before we can use donated funds to make purchases.

        Wouldn't it be great if Modern Robotics had at least a web site up, so that we could get that process going??

        Just now, when I accessed modernroboticsinc.com, I found the usual message about the April startup of the web site, but I also found that I could put my name, email address, and FTC team number on their mailing list.

        We'll see how soon messages start coming......

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AlanG View Post
          Like team 8811, team #3734 (Imperial Robotics) is also in the Dallas Independent School District. Even though our school's 501(c)(3) Foundation has a Robotics Education and Competition Fund, we still have to get new vendors like Modern Robotics, Inc. approved by the administration, before we can use donated funds to make purchases.

          Wouldn't it be great if Modern Robotics had at least a web site up, so that we could get that process going??

          Just now, when I accessed modernroboticsinc.com, I found the usual message about the April startup of the web site, but I also found that I could put my name, email address, and FTC team number on their mailing list.

          We'll see how soon messages start coming......
          Modern robotics probably won't be selling these products directly. They normally make the products for big companies like Lego, First, HiTechnic or Andy's Mark.

          I am hoping that Andy's Mark will be selling the new equipment along with the game pieces on a separate website as we have worked with them in the past and their customer service is excellent. My recomendation for teams is to get Andy's Mark approved by your school as well as FIRST incase you are a rookie team or your school has not paid for the registration fee via Purchase Order. If you are in New Jersey, like me, you will need a NJ business certificate and a W-9. To my knowledge, all other states only need a W-9. I have been keeping an eye on the FTC by Andys Mark store front but I haven't seen any new items come up. Hopefully Tom can clarify this matter for us as it is EXTREMELY time sensitive.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by brb8910 View Post
            To my knowledge, all other states only need a W-9.
            If only it were that easy in the Dallas ISD. I imagine every school district has its peculiarities and special requirements beyond the W-9.

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