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Thriving Through Disruption: How Purchasing Agility Can Increase Revenue and Boost Resilience

Agility has surfaced as the only clear way to prepare your organization for the unpredictable while staying connected to and engaging with your supply chain.

Executives who invested in agility-building technology increased revenue in 2022 despite a variety of supply chain disruptions that wreaked havoc on many businesses, according to a recent survey conducted by Dimensional Research.


Even as we move beyond the pandemic, many causes of global supply chain disruptions remain: global conflict, changing climates, resource shortages, human error, political unrest and much more.


Although business continuity plans tend to cover the “known unknowns,” the most challenging disruptions cannot be predicted. This is why agility has surfaced as the only clear way to prepare your organization for the unpredictable while staying connected to and engaging with your supply chain.


Leaders may understand the crucial role procurement plays in their businesses’ overall financial health, as we’re already seeing tremendous investment across industry value chains to make supply chain logistics more agile. But executives should also consider how purchasing and contracting agility can boost resilience, improve their ability to respond rapidly to market changes and ultimately, lead to revenue growth.


Agility, the new business differentiator

If there’s one thing that the pandemic brought to light, it’s that not all risks can be mitigated. 


Modern supply chains are intricate, multi-layered and interdependent global networks susceptible to supply-and-demand fluctuations with many risk areas. To ensure resilience, you need pragmatic and efficient solutions that allow you to deliver when others cannot.


By preparing for the unpredictable by focusing on being a reliable supplier with quality business partners, together, you can build agility and safeguard against disruption.


With the backing of an e-procurement system, like Amazon Business, organizations can discover new insights that could help them adapt effectively to a changing supplier landscape, fostering flexibility and enhancing robustness. This facilitates heightened productivity, maintenance of superior service standards and the facilitation of revenue expansion. Companies that partner with Amazon Business have set themselves apart by prioritizing excellence and consistent service, all while maintaining a conscientious approach to cost-effective sourcing practices. Helena Ziegler, office administrator at design firm Mead & Hunt, explains, “Amazon Business has helped us in terms of scaling and creating efficiencies with our procurement process and helping us reduce the costs associated with that process. We can’t wait to have (a Business Prime feature) help us with responsible sourcing, sustainable sourcing and corporate social responsibility spending in the future.”

“We’ve increased our diversity spend approximately 25%. We also love that we have the ability to support our local vendors or other small businesses. I don’t have to go out and do the research myself. It’s all right there, provided by Amazon Business."

— Jack McCarty, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Pacifica Senior Living

Why supplier diversity Is key to resilience and growth

Supplier diversity is a powerful way to enhance service, quality and value by promoting an inclusive, proactive approach to purchasing from individuals or groups who are members of a traditionally underrepresented or underutilized group.


The landscape of commerce can present quite a challenge to minority-owned businesses with minimal resources. However, with the right solutions in place, procurement leaders can extend equitable access into their sourcing practices, creating a transformative opportunity for small, local, or diverse businesses, as well as their own organizations.


Procurement leaders have the potential to harmonize their spending practices with corporate social responsibility and intrinsic company values. This ensures that the impacts of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are felt outside the organization, helping to build capabilities, create opportunities and strengthen communities.

By establishing a DEI program and strategically sourcing from diverse suppliers, procurement organizations build resilience, broaden their supply chain and afford themselves alternative options in times of disruption while better supporting their growth plans.


However, finding and verifying diverse suppliers is not devoid of challenges. The endeavor to identify and validate diverse suppliers can be complicated. To this end, Amazon Business has designed features and tools to streamline this complex process. Amazon Business can help buyers redirect spending to support small and diverse businesses and achieve their DEI and resiliency goals. 


That’s why Amazon and Amazon Business recognize the following diversity and ownership certifications.

  • Small business
  • LGBT business enterprise
  • Minority-owned business
  • Women-owned business enterprise
  • Woman-owned small business
  • Economically disadvantaged women-owned small business
  • SBA-certified small disadvantaged business
  • SBA-certified HUBZone firm
  • SBA-certified 8(a) firm
  • Veteran-owned small business
  • Service-disabled veteran-owned small business
  • 100+ state-level diversity certifications


Jack McCarty, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Pacifica Senior Living, shares the impact of Amazon Business on the company’s diversity spend and procurement efficiencies.


“We’ve increased our diversity spend approximately 25%. We also love that we have the ability to support our local vendors or other small businesses. I don’t have to go out and do the research myself. It’s all right there, provided by Amazon Business,” McCarty says. “If I find a vendor that is the same price as a big conglomerate company, we will make the choice to buy from the smaller vendor. That’s definitely important to our organization, and we fully embrace that ability to support small and diverse suppliers.”


Ensuring compliance: How to remain compliant while building agility

In industries characterized by stringent regulations like healthcare, education and nonprofits, the pursuit of new suppliers and the swift adaptation to shifts can prove to be intricate endeavors. Striking a harmonious balance between agility and compliance is paramount. Amazon, recognizing this imperative, introduced a seller certification program


With a repertoire of over 150 distinguished diversity, ownership and quality certifications, third-party sellers can exhibit their adherence to the highest standards. These encompass credentials such as:

  • ISO 9001 — Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 13485 — Medical Devices
  • ISO 14001 — Environmental Management Systems
  • ISO 22000/HACCP — Food Quality Standards
  • ISO/TS 16949 — Quality Management Systems, Automotive
  • AS9100 — Quality Systems, Aerospace
  • AS9120 — Quality Systems, Aerospace – Distributors


Of course, you also want your team’s purchases to align with your buying policies and guidelines while avoiding unauthorized products. This is where Guided Buying (a Business Prime feature) steps in. This feature empowers users to craft diverse workflows that steward budget management, approval prerequisites and product restrictions. The realm of automated procurement unfolds, enabling swift and secure sourcing, allowing you to procure quickly and safely while remaining in control of your spend.


When you accelerate purchasing agility and savings with smart business buying, smooth workflows and competitive prices, your business survives and thrives through disruption by withstanding competitive pressures, increasing revenue and boosting resilience — the key to long-term prosperity and growth.


Looking to diversify your supplier base, ensure compliance and build agility with a vast network of supportive, quality partners? Learn more about Amazon Business’ smart business buying solutions now.



Originally published on Supply Chain Dive.

Learn more about Amazon Business’ smart business buying solutions

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