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Visibility and control in financial services

With multiple locations, tail spend challenges can feel inevitable for financial services organizations, but these tools can help.

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Visibility and control

for financial services

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Visibility and control

for financial services

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Streamlining procurement for distributed locations

Back when workers came into the office five days a week, a well-stocked supply closet typically answered their need for office supplies and computer accessories. But now, with hybrid and work-from-home employees added to the mix, procurement has become more cumbersome, tedious and expensive for businesses such as financial services firms.


That’s why a growing number of companies with distributed locations are turning to Amazon Business for smart business buying. With hundreds of thousands of sellers offering millions of products at business-only prices, organizations know their employees will get what they need at competitive prices, according to Bailee Moylan, customer advisor at Amazon Business.


Amazon Business enables employees to order office supplies directly, without exchanging multiple emails with procurement managers or supervisors, and to receive those orders as soon as the next day, wherever they’re working. Moylan said that the seamless process reduces the workload for office managers and drives productivity by giving workers prompt access to the products they need.


In addition, companies can require approval workflows, where orders above a certain threshold need approval before being placed, which provides greater oversight and control of spending. Businesses no longer have to be surprised by receipts for high-priced items; nor do they have to debate whether exorbitant purchases should be reimbursed.


Decentralized procurement makes employees more likely to engage in “maverick spending,” making purchases outside of established contracts and processes. That practice can undermine negotiated supplier agreements, leading to higher costs. Maverick spending also makes it difficult for businesses to maintain accurate procurement data and to leverage their full purchasing power.


Optimizing procurement operations becomes even more important for businesses with distributed locations, as  they typically spend 10% to 25% of their budgets on facilities maintenance, Moylan said.



Giving employees access to Amazon Business ensures that if they need something, they can get it quickly, and it also gives leadership more visibility and control over that spending,

— Bailee Moylan, customer advisor at Amazon Business

Simplifying procurement

The 2024 State of Procurement Report from Amazon Business highlights the challenges facing businesses with distributed locations. In the survey of procurement leaders, 47% said the complexity of systems and processes is a top challenge. Similarly, 33% had challenges accessing a wider range of sellers and products that meet their needs, while 31% said ensuring compliance with spending policies was a top challenge.


Amazon Business removes those hurdles by streamlining the purchasing process for workers outside of the procurement department. Implementation is easy because the system can be integrated with existing procurement software systems, so established vendor relationships and procurement practices can continue uninterrupted.


Using Amazon Business, companies can set budgets for each group or location and track spending against those budgets. Separate invoicing templates can be set up for different groups and locations to streamline accounting and reconciliation processes. Automated reordering provides even greater efficiency and prevents workers from running out of supplies, which can hurt morale and reduce productivity.


Businesses can also steer purchases toward nearby vendors to benefit local communities or highlight environmentally conscious vendors, helping companies track and achieve their sustainability goals, Moylan said. The centralized site makes it easier to track procurement than having employees use their corporate or personal credit cards and their personal Amazon accounts.


“A lot of financial services organizations want to showcase their sustainability efforts, and it’s easier to track those initiatives when everyone is using one system,” Moylan said. “Employees want the same procurement experience as they have at home, and Amazon Business gives them that.”


Originally published in ABA Banking Journal.

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