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Procurement success stories and lessons learned from the pandemic

A look back at a year unlike any other

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen suppliers and procurement teams quickly pivot priorities to maintain business continuity, support their communities, and help their organizations survive and thrive. As we pass the pandemic anniversary, let review a few accomplishments from our customer community. These examples provide lessons and tactics that organizations can employ to strengthen their procurement strategies into the next era of change.


Sourcing critical supplies to serve communities in need
Mary Center sourced critical supplies to protect their staff and deliver high quality care to those who needed it most. By shopping on Amazon Business, Mary Center was able to search and compare pricing from third-party sellers in a single online store. This ability allowed their team to make cost-effective purchasing decisions while addressing supply shortages.


“It been really challenging to get the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for our staff,” said Dara Koppelman, Chief Nursing Officer at Mary Center. “These supplies keep them safe while they’re providing care to those who are potentially sick,” she said. “When we’re able to get what we need cost-effectively, that allows us to put our resources into what matters most: providing high quality care for our patients.”


Supporting small and diverse businesses
Cisco Systems is supporting their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion commitment by seeking alternative sourcing options from small and diverse suppliers that the pandemic may have hurt. By using diversity certification filters, they can easily search for independently verified diverse suppliers, such as small-, minority-, women-, veteran-, or LGBT-owned businesses.


“Cisco purpose is to power an inclusive future for all. That means everyone.” said Denise Lombard, Director of Responsible Procurement at Cisco Systems. “By partnering with Amazon Business, we are able to provide more visibility to diverse-owned businesses, increasing their visibility, and ultimately their profits.”


Expanding and satisfying customer requests
HanesBrands used e-commerce technology to manage inventory levels, guarantee timely delivery, and meet customer expectations. The company worked with Amazon Business to fulfill a bulk sales request of non-medical masks for their customer, King County. “This turned out to be a really successful matchmaking opportunity,” said Charlie Stack, Vice President of American Casualwear and e-Commerce at HanesBrands. “We delivered 5 million masks to King County to purchase as a spot-buy through the Amazon Business store, so they could distribute throughout areas of need.”


“Amazon Business not only had the lowest price of any individual supplier offer but could also get the bulk order to us much more quickly—and indeed the order of 5 million masks started to arrive in two weeks,” said, Jared Schneider, Logistics Ordering Unit Lead at King County Emergency Operations Center. "This was a win not only to consolidate suppliers into our familiar procurement source, but was also by far the best price per unit and fastest delivery option available."


Preparing for the next era of change
The purchasing and supply chain adjustments made in the past year created procurement departments that are stronger, more agile, and more productive. Now, COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise and social gathering restrictions are loosening across the country. Looking ahead, procurement leaders must take their learnings and lead their organizations through the next era of change.

No matter your organization type, Amazon Business can help you reshape your purchasing processes and rethink not only what, but also how, your team buys.


Read “The Enterprise Procurement Playbook” to learn how to drive towards your next stage of growth and rethink what possible for your team.

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