Introduction to Wonderhub
Where we come from
WonderHub is brought to you by the same team who successfully developed the SchoolMars platform, helping parents provide feedback to schools and helping schools market to prospective parents.
The founding team includes Daniel Perello and Carlos San-Martin (based in Valencia) and Javier Ruiz and Jonathan Page (based in London). Daniel lives a superhero’s lifestyle – Teacher by day and entrepreneur by night! WonderHub is Javier’s third Edtech startup so he is quite the serial entrepreneur. Carlos and Jonathan joined the SchoolMars founding team in 2016 and 2017, respectively and have helped with the expansion of the project internationally.
The SchoolMars Group was launched by two cousins in Valencia when they asked themselves ‘what technology has emerged which has yet to revolutionise the world of education?’
The SchoolMars review platform was launched Spain and the UK in 2015 and 2017 to help schools market themselves to prospective parents and provide another channel of feedback for parents. This put SchoolMars on the map as a company that connected the education establishments with the other communities involved – Parents and Suppliers.
As the site grew, monthly visits grew from hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands. Suppliers caught on and started telling us about their challenges in selling into schools. This was something that schools also empathised with and asked if we could help innovate a solution to.
The lay of the land
From our research and that of the Department for Education:
- Purchasing decisions in schools tend to be made centrally and are often heavily influenced by the school’s teacher community.
- These decision makers are referred to by the DfE collectively as School Business Managers although job titles vary widely. For example School Business Manager, Head of IT, Head of Department or Headteacher
- There is a lack of pertinent information for these SBMs and the market is highly fragmented
- The fragmentation and the resultant high cost of selling to schools means that there are cost savings to be made if we can bring them down
- Existing marketing methods such as events, email and direct mail have lower conversion rates as they reach saturation and new companies enter the market
- 20th century methods such as these focus purely on demand generation, there has been little to help increase the conversion rates of these leads.
- The general feel seems to be one of apathy in the face of cuts – There is less money to go around and less time to spend it, let alone evaluate the multitude of options available.
- Average loss of funding of £436 per secondary school pupil and £338 per primary schools pupil means savings must be found
The next problem
In the UK the number one issue which schools are grappling with is stretched budgets which are facing further cuts… sorry “efficiency savings”
The Department for Education has tried on previous occasions to help schools innovate their purchasing processes. Changes have been brought in with academy groups, free schools and local authorities all getting more or less control of purchasing decisions.
The publishing of the School Buying Report in January of 2016 validated our independent research which is that schools can buy more efficiently and suppliers can afford to sell for less if ‘School Buying Hubs’ are created to harness the collective purchasing power of schools.
Where we are going
Here is the WonderHub vision:
- Schools have every edtech solution at their finger tips.
- Email is used as a communication tool, not a mass marketing tool.
- Suppliers can easily reach out to every school across the UK, without the need for expensive direct sales teams
- Teachers and school leaders have their voices heard by means of case studies and reviews
- The cost of selling education technology to schools can drop, allowing suppliers to reduce the price of their solutions
- Schools see a marked increase in the availability of technology and we see a marked increase in pupils achievement
So what’s different?
The mission of WonderHub is to bring school procurement into the 21st century and help schools buy smarter.
There are almost as many different procurement processes in the UK as there are schools. Different teachers in different schools have different teaching methodologies which means different tools are best suited for different children.
Without making a system which is usable for teachers, school business managers and heads of procurement on one side then it won’t work. If it’s not economically viable for suppliers then it won’t work on the other side.
Here’s where we come in.
Rather than dictate what will and won’t work, SchoolMars will be working in partnershi with schools and suppliers to find a sweet spot where everyone wins. If suppliers can spend less time and money on selling to schools, these savings can be passed onto the schools so the everyone benefits.
How can you help?
We need and value your opinions! We are curating your reviews of education technology which other teachers and school business managers will be using to evaluate their purchasing options.
- What education technology tools do you think have been most effective?
- Do you think they were value for money?
- Given the choice, would you make the same buying recommendation again?
- What tools would you like your schools to be buying now, or in the near future?
Having spoken to headteachers and school business managers, we know how much value they place in your opinions. Other schools and teachers are making those same buying decisions now and are relying on you to give them your thoughts!
School business managers:
Talk to us about how you make your purchasing decisions. We want to help you create partnerships with your teaching staff to make you life easier.
- Tell us what products you are currently looking to purchase and we will create bespoke promotions for you, in partnership with the suppliers in that area.
- What products have you introduced to your school? How effective have these been and would you recommend them elsewhere?
Headteachers / Heads of subjects:
You are a key part of the puzzle, deciding the overall direction education within a school.
- As a school leader, how useful do you find a tool which pulls together all of the functions of supplier discovery and procurement guidance?
- How else can we help you be as efficient with your budget and time as possible?
Heads of procurement:
- Along with the above questions, at what stage would you like to be brought into the procurement process?
- Would it be helpful to have a view of all education promotions and deals in one place?