Amazon Business smart-buying tools help university

Amazon Business solutions are used by the University of Surrey to meet the tough procurement challenges found in the higher-education sector

​​​​​​Many organisations have yet to join the digital revolution, and others are doing so at a cautious pace, meaning many procurement teams are yet to enjoy the benefits of digitalisation, even though digital procurement solutions exist, and work.

Solutions such as Amazon Business, seek to modernise procurement. Save on everyday work supplies and features to simplify purchasing for businesses and institutions of all sizes – especially in the UK. Staff can configure bulk purchasing and approval workflows and generate data that provides actionable insights to make smart business buying decisions.

Many organisations have yet to join the digital revolution, and others are toe-dipping their way into the future, function by function. Among the latter group, procurement teams often miss out on digitalisation – but it needn’t be this way. Digital procurement solutions exist, and do work.

Amazon Business recently sponsored a study from Harvard Business Review that explores the supplier management challenges in organisations, and the benefits of adopting the right technologies. 

Mark Illingworth, Procurement Business Manager at the University of Surrey is well versed in the specific challenges facing the education sector concerning procurement.

“Our priorities right now are similar to most other universities: we're consolidating our supply base and trying to manage risk as well as we can. Value for money is a big part of that.”

This is one of the key reasons Illingworth and his team have found Amazon Business of real value. 

Illingworth adds: “We use an Amazon Business function called Punchout. We have it set up so that, through our finance system, we punch directly into the Amazon Business website, create a shopping basket, and then bring it back into the university’s finance system. 

“This helps us consolidate the number of suppliers, and reduce our tail spend. We can cut out a wide chunk of suppliers where we spend small amounts throughout the year.”

Amazon Business exists to help procurement professionals, like Illingworth, by assisting them to overcome day-to-day purchasing challenges, save time and money, achieve greater visibility, and benefit from an easy reconciliation process. 

With its ever-growing set of tools and business-only pricing, Amazon Business helps  organisations and universities and colleges  configure processes around approvals, allowing for bulk purchasing of everything from IT to office essentials to advance the learning mission with a seamless purchasing experience.

Illingworth adds that the University has a full analytics hub built into its Amazon Business account that he uses to determine the number of invoices or transactions that have gone through.

“We put through a sizable amount on an annual basis. We’ve embedded this into PunchOut. We anticipate a significant increase.” 

He continues: “We've removed the more-manual invoice processes, and now do these electronically, so that that will speed things up. The ordering process is now very quick, as is paying the bills very quick as well.

“Dealing with Amazon, I have fast and adaptable suppliers that help us get the goods we require quickly. This helps our staff, which helps in turn helps the students.”

“When staff get what they need and are prepared, then that makes the student’s lives and journeys a lot better.”

Learn more about Amazon Business’ 'Smart Business Buying' solutions for your business or institution. 

  • This is promoted content. Money has been received from Amazon Business
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