Re: I found it best to...
Back in the 1970s, my late father was a school headmaster (hence the icon) in Leicester. At the time, there was a considerable debate about the merits or otherwise of comprehensive education. And there was a strange situation in the local education authorities.
The City of Leicester had its own council and education authority, which was Labour-controlled and was one of the last hold-outs to retain grammar schools (against the Labour party's national policy). The County of Leicestershire (Conservative controlled) was one of the first to introduce comprehensive schools (against their national policy). And then the two authorities (together with a third authority covering Rutland) were merged.
Before the merger, supplies for City schools were organised by a lady with a spiral-bound notebook. If a school phoned her, she could immediately tell them how much budget they had spent, and how much budget they had committed but not yet spent (and hence how much budget they had remaining). The County schools used the newer computer system at County Hall.
Custom and practice differed between schools in the two (former) authorities. County schools were in the habit of ordering supplies "little and often", whereas City schools tended to order a complete year's supply in one go. So the first time an order from a City school bubbled to the top of the queue, it cleaned out the supply chain. So for several weeks no school supplies were available at all.
The other issue was that the two (former) authorities used different units for supply orders. In particular, County schools ordered pencils by the number of individual pencils while City schools ordered by the number of boxes. Similarly, City schools ordered paper by the number of sheets, while County schools ordered paper by the number of reams. And so it didn't take very long for a City school to put an order in (failing to read the instructions carefully enough), and for the County Hall supplies people to fail to sanity-check the results. The school duly received a delivery of a hall-full of paper and one pencil.