Byon May 27, 2020
“It’s hard to believe that only five years ago we launched Amazon Business.1 Since then, we’ve blossomed into a global business serving millions of organizations in nine countries. We have the privilege of collaborating with customers in industries ranging from education, to healthcare, and sizes ranging from sole proprietors to enterprise. And while I’m incredibly honored and appreciative of our expansion, I know the measure of any success we’ve had, occurs one customer at a time.”
– Alexandre Gagnon, Vice President of Amazon Business
As the first quarter of 2020 began, I was looking forward to the five-year anniversary of Amazon Business. I saw a bright future just over the horizon and I was excited to tell our story and the indispensable role our customers had played in it. Then, the world changed. In a few short weeks, we all had to adjust to life during a pandemic.
It’s hard to see how any pandemic has a silver lining, but this one has caused me to pause and reflect. One thing I know is that Amazon Business wouldn’t be here without its customers. And in the midst of this crisis, where we’re all facing unprecedented challenges, it seems especially appropriate to highlight some of our customers’ successes and how their partnerships with us, have made us stronger together. (What follows are highlights from stories. You can find links to the entire story at the end of each section.)
A small business uses seller certifications to drive sales
Our very first customer success story is about a business called Aldevra. Rodney Marshall, a service-disabled veteran and minority entrepreneur, started Aldevra in 2009 to sell medical and food service equipment. His small business started working with us in 2016 to use seller certifications to present to organizations and enterprise-level government agencies.
As soon as Aldevra set up its page, without even trying, orders started coming in. Some of the sales came from government customers who had begun sourcing on Amazon Business. Other sales came from new, non-government customers that Aldevra might not have otherwise reached. Marshall saw great initial success stating that, “We made the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest-growing US privately owned companies. Amazon sales are an important part of that growth.”
So where is Aldevra now? As of August 2019, annual sales volume had increased 177 percent year-over-year on Amazon Business.
Learn more about Aldevra’s story.
Helping an organization that takes care of children
We now operate in nine countries including the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India. Along the way, this expansion has fortunately allowed us to work with early childhood organizations. One in particular is Busy Bee Childcare.
They are the largest provider of early childhood education services in the UK and Ireland, with 375 centers in operation, and a growing presence across the globe. We were able to help them free up more time and budget to focus on taking care of children.
Keelie Leahy, the Director of Innovation, explains that they‘ve been able to streamline purchases, reduce their carbon footprint, and, “we are protecting our nurseries’ budgets, which are very precious to them, making sure they are getting the best value for our money. And crucially, user feedback has been very positive.”
You can read the entire story here.
Meeting the demands of a global, enterprise
We continued to develop our capabilities so we could reach new customers. One such multifaceted company is ExxonMobil.
A global brand, ExxonMobil has a complex procurement department. It alone serves 80,000 internal users, in more than 40 countries, on six continents. A team that size is continually looking for new opportunities to decrease cost, reduce cycle time, and enhance the user experience.
Nassim Kefi, a Procurement Advisor at ExxonMobil, explained that it’s critical that he and his team look beyond the horizon to ensure their pipeline is full of opportunities to streamline operations, and that they proactively identify and find solutions to potential barriers. In fact, that’s what brought them to consider e-commerce solutions, and choose Amazon Business to help accelerate their procurement digital transformation.
The success of the campaign helped ExxonMobil meet its many purchasing demands. As Kefir explained, “At our scale, every percentage point counts. When you save thousands of dollars on each transaction, considering the sheer size of our procurement organization and our purchasing activities, it adds up fast.”
Read more about ExxonMobil’s success.
Rising to today’s challenge
In speaking about growth, the pandemic surrounding COVID -19 is perhaps the greatest challenge to business and economic growth many of us are likely to see. So, I’d like to close with a story about how one nonprofit is doing its part to help others in this challenging time.
Mary’s Center has been on the forefront of delivering quality healthcare and social services for those who need it most, by developing a Social Change Model. It offers medical (including dental and behavioral health), educational, and social services for the entire family, regardless of income—all under one roof.
As if providing quality healthcare and social services for tens of thousands of participants isn’t challenging enough, the COVID-19 crisis has strained Mary’s Center. They’re incurring unexpected challenges with the global disruption of medical supplies and increased expenses.
As Dara Koppelman, the Chief Nursing Officer notes, “It’s been really challenging to get the appropriate personal protective equipment for our staff…While it has been difficult to get these supplies quickly with other vendors, through Amazon Business’ COVID-19 Supplies store, we’re getting what we need quickly.” She added, "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.”
Read more about Mary’s Center’s story.
These are a few of the moments that stand out over the past five years. Doubtless, there are many other notable stories. No matter which story it is, each reminds me that the growth we’ve had wouldn’t be possible without collaboration with our unique customers—all with different missions, in different places, and of different sizes.
Read more customer success stories.
 O’Connor, Claire, “Amazon launches Amazon Business Marketplace, will close AmazonSupply” in Forbes, April 28, 2015. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2015/04/28/amazon-launches-amazon-business-marketplace-will-close-amazonsupply/#2d05e66373b2