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Tap into Strategic Minds of Procurement Leaders Reshaping Purchasing

Identifying cost saving opportunities and enhancing business productivity is more important than ever. Government agency, public school system and university procurement teams are working toward those goals while faced with the challenge of doing more with less. On top of that, you probably have several team members or colleagues submitting purchase orders that keep piling up on your desk. Strategic sourcing does not have to be this stressful. 

Tap into Strategic Minds of Procurement Leaders Reshaping Purchasing

Amazon Business provides public agencies with a cost saving solution that can simplify your procurement process while driving compliance with purchasing policies. By utilizing this cooperative contract, you gain access to hundreds of millions of products from hundreds of thousands of suppliers across multiple categories helping you reshape your buying process with convenience and value.  

We spoke to three leaders in procurement that are leveraging the Amazon Business cooperative contract to reshape their organization’s buying process as they make an impact on the industry.  

  • Kari Austin | CFO/Director of Finance, Mountain Brook Schools, Alabama  
  • Mary Helmick | Director of Procurement, Virginia Tech
  • Lauren Jaramillo | Procurement Supervisor, Mesa Public Schools, Arizona 

Discover how these leaders are consolidating their purchasing process, managing spend and gaining immediate access to compliant contracts through cooperative purchasing.  

Ensure Purchasing Consolidation

“Procurement leaders today are faced with the challenge of doing more with less."

- Amanda Murphy, Business Development, Education, Amazon Business

Juggling RFPs for multiple end users and putting in purchase orders can be really time consuming. You might be asking yourself right now, “how can I consolidate the RFP process?” By partnering with a competitively awarded cooperative, you may be able to bypass an RFP and through the groundbreaking Amazon Business, you can purchase everything your stakeholders need all in one place and do so immediately. 

Products range from office supplies to MRO to IT products and solutions, and you can use single sign on (SSO) or have a centralized punchout marketplace for multiple members of your agency. 

Director of Procurement Mary Helmick shared with us how she implemented Amazon Business into her strategy at Virginia Tech and how it's helped with consolidation. 

"Amazon Business brought a great solution to Virginia Tech, which implemented inside our jagger e-procurement system with a robust punchout catalog that looks just like the Amazon Platform," says Mary Helmick, Director of Procurement | Virginia Tech. "It's easy to use. Easy to get our buyers across campus into the highest-level Amazon Business account that we maintain. It gives us the ability to have insight into what is being purchased and that has been a great bonus for us."


On the other side of the country, Procurement Supervisor Lauren Jaramillo in Arizona shared how Mesa Public Schools have also consolidated their purchasing through Amazon Business. 

“We have our certified staff set up through SSO on our Amazon Business account, while our classified staff are set up by invitation,” says Lauren Jaramillo, Procurement Supervisor, Mesa Public Schools. “We had a lot of employees that were setting up individual accounts, but now this has centralized it all into the one account so we can see what activity is going on.” 

Achieve Spend Management

Procurement leaders are tasked with managing massive amounts of spend. When you have multiple team members participating in procuring products and solutions across several departments, rogue spend can be a recurring problem for the high frequency, low-cost items. Managing maverick or rogue spend is key to keeping your team within budget.  

“The biggest problem we were facing was rogue spend,” says Mary Helmick, Director of Procurement, Virginia Tech. “And not being able to capture spend that was being conducted through tens and hundreds of individual Amazon Business accounts across campus into our e-procurement system where all our other spend takes place.”  

Helmick worked to drive efficiency in their supply chain and reduce rogue spend by monitoring spending occurring off contract and off radar. Through her cooperative, Helmick accesses the Amazon Business store allowing her to set budget and supplier constraints as well as product restrictions. This helps avoid lost cost savings by ensuring minor leakage from negotiated contracts doesn’t grow into a larger problem of uncontrolled spending. 

Access Transparent, Compliant Contracts

Leveraging your cooperative’s portfolio is one way to ensure compliance because cooperative contracts are already competitively solicited and publicly awarded by a lead agency. Through the lead agency model, elite procurement teams serving as lead agencies follow the highest procurement standards so they’re in full compliance with industry regulations allowing you to feel confident and secure in the agreements. 

“We have a pretty restrictive state bid law in Alabama so we know that by using a cooperative contract for Amazon Business, we are in compliance with those laws,” says Kari Austin, CFO/Director of Finance, Mountain Brook Schools.

Through the use of Amazon Business, your organization can have filtering and restrictions in place to ensure all of your employees are purchasing organization preferred products and solutions. 

"When we selected the OMNIA Partners contract to utilize Amazon Business, it made it really easy because our legal terms and conditions aligned very well with the contract. The OMNIA Partners contract alleviated some of that challenge so it made is get to an executed agreement very easily" says Mary Helmick.

Simplify Your Purchasing Process with a Cooperative

“Using the OMNIA Partners contract was wonderful for us. It was very easy for us to get everything set up,” says Kari Austin CFO/Director of Finance at Mountain Brook Schools.

Your purchasing team has immediate access to cost-saving solutions that simplify procurement and help drive compliance with purchasing requirements. By leveraging the OMNIA Partners Amazon Business contract, you can reduce the need for multiple quotes and eliminate a lengthy RFP process.

Cooperative purchasing gives you all the tools you need to be successful, so you can spend more time on other strategic areas of business. Amazon Business is dedicated to empowering you to successfully streamline your purchasing process and bring value to your organization.

Click the video below to watch the full discussion with procurement leaders on remove barriers and simplify purchasing to enable organizational growth. 

Learn how to get started with Amazon Business through OMNIA Partners.