TechShop saves church groups $8 million, exec says
5/28/2003 News media contact: Linda Green · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn
Tenn. (UMNS) - Since launching two years ago, United Methodist
Communications' online computer store has saved the denomination more
than $8 million, an agency executive says.
TechShop, a 24-hour-a-day online store, as a service to enable United
Methodist churches and organizations to buy computer technology at below
retail prices. The biggest share of the savings has come through sales
of Microsoft products, the store's flagship product line, says Linda
Saunders, TechShop manager. In most cases, those products are offered
for 50 percent or less of retail cost, she says.
The store began
its relationship with Microsoft Corp. in September 2000 to provide
church entities a less expensive way to buy software. Since then, the
store has added other partnership agreements and now offers Apple, Dell,
Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and other computer manufacturers and products
to the denomination at reduced prices.
The United Methodist
Book of Discipline charges UMCom with developing, implementing and
maintaining the denomination's "presence on and use of the Internet, the
World Wide Web, or other computer services that can connect United
Methodist conferences, agencies and local churches with one another and
with the larger world."
Computer software and hardware can be
big-ticket items for congregations that operate on tight budgets, notes
the Rev. Larry Hollon, UMCom's top executive. For a small church, a
savings of $100 could be the difference between being connected to the
Internet or not, or being able to have a computer and basic software or
not, he says.
TechShop also has enabled church agencies and larger organizations to realize savings.
helps United Methodists around the world share stories of God's healing
love," and it enables them to obtain the necessary tools for ministry,
In its first year, TechShop saved the denomination
$4 million, and changes in the program during 2002 increased the volume
of sales, Saunders says. That indicates United Methodist churches and
organizations value the service, she says.
TechShop's success has
allowed the church to extend its ministry by providing access to
information online and by saving money that can be used in other
expressions of ministry, Hollon says.
"Not every church is yet
wired to the Internet, but thousands of congregations are, due to the
stewardship of TechShop," he says.
More information about
TechShop is available by writing to email@example.com, calling
toll-free (888) 346-3862 or visiting https://secure.umcom.org/techshop.
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