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Reshape Recap: Public Sector Procurement, How to Best Pass Stress Tests

Learn how public organizations are innovating in times of crisis.

During the first in-person Amazon Business Reshape event, Amazon Business Director/GM of Public Sector Mike Kernish joined panelists from Johns Hopkins University and Teach For America to discuss how public organizations are innovating in times of crisis to get much-needed supplies and address compliance requirements.

“Public sector spending has power,” Kernish said. “When agencies can easily connect with small businesses and diverse suppliers, both organizations benefit. Fortunately, this process is easier than ever.” 


In every industry, procurement presents its own set of challenges. Amazon Business’ recent data report found that 62% of government and nonprofit respondents use online and offline channels, while 33% use online procurement exclusively. During Public Sector Procurement: How the Best Pass Stress Test, the panelists discussed the benefits of moving to a digital procurement platform by:

  • Giving nonprofit and government agencies more flexibility and purchasing ease.
  • Increasing the responsibility to make their spending count.
  • Easily find small and diverse suppliers.


At the height of the pandemic, Matt Persic, Director of Procurement Operations at Johns Hopkins University, found the hospital was in short supply of PPE and struggling to access critical equipment. “Amazon Business’ COVID-19 Supply store gave hospitals like us access to thousands of vetted manufacturers and suppliers,” said Persic. “We love that we are not limited to private vendors —we have access to suppliers around the world.” 


According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Federal government entities in the US are required to reserve at least 23% of their spending each year for underrepresented and small businesses. Additionally, many states have similar stipulations for their funding.


Alejandra Sanabria, Director of Supplier Relationship & Spend Management at Teach For America, shared how moving to a digital procurement platform helped streamline the purchasing processes while assisting with the organization’s mission. “The biggest benefit for us is that we have a resource to easily find and source local vendors. Amazon Business provides a simpler user experience, and the workflow makes it easier for our organization to maintain purchasing compliance.”

Historically, it’s been hard for small businesses to get in front of government buyers and difficult for these buyers to find and purchase from small or underrepresented businesses. Amazon Business connects sellers with diversity certifications to buyers with diverse spending goals. Diversity Certifications Policies can help organizations connect with certified small, minority, woman, veteran, and LGBT-owned businesses.

Amazon Business empowers public purchasing by helping support transparency and quality control standards while delivering a familiar self-service buying experience. By partnering with Amazon Business for their procurement needs, companies have been able to work more efficiently and more intelligently, while advancing their supplier diversity initiatives with:


“When organizations can easily find small and diverse suppliers, these dollars can make a huge difference and pave a new path forward for business owners who typically have a harder time breaking through,” said Kernish. “For procurement professionals, it’s never been easier to make an impact.”

Learn how Amazon Business can accelerate your procurement operations and help address compliance requirements.

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