Volvo Car USA LLC (Volvo Cars) has 281 retail locations across the country, including stores in both large metropolitan areas and small rural regions. While the locations vary in size, Volvo Cars is keenly aware of the shared pressures and challenges its retailers face.
“A major focus for us is retailer profitability. We want a profitable, healthy network that will invest in the things that drive the Volvo Cars brand, particularly to execute on our electrification strategy,” says Adam Clarke, vice president of retailer network development for Volvo Cars. One way to help retailers with the bottom line, Clarke says, is by simplifying purchasing.
Volvo Cars’ procurement team, he notes, has already negotiated contracts with suppliers to keep its corporate headquarters and other facilities stocked with the supplies required to keep the business running. Now it wants to help its retailers optimize their purchasing, too. “We wanted a way for our retail locations to come together and create both scale and purchasing power,” Clarke says, “so they can have the buying power of a larger retailer group or OEM (original equipment manufacturer).”
Every dollar saved on purchasing, he notes, is one that can be added to the bottom line. In a business where overhead costs can be significant, that’s no small thing.
To facilitate this enhancement with its retailers, Volvo Cars has developed a collaboration of its own. Working with Amazon Business, it launched a streamlined purchasing program this summer, offering the ability to bring scale and savings to its retail locations. Additionally, Amazon Business enables Volvo Cars to promote corporate buying policies and empower retail employees to make informed buying decisions so they can get the items they need to drive high-quality performance.
"We wanted a way for our retail locations to come together and create both scale and purchasing power."
— Adam Clarke, Vice President of Retailer Network Development, Volvo Cars
Integrating Amazon Business into Volvo Cars’ purchasing system adds visibility into spending and consistency in purchasing. Retailers can bypass administrative steps while complying with internal buying policies, because they’re purchasing from approved suppliers. And because retailers are using a centralized source for procurement, Volvo Cars gains visibility across locations, which helps develop a consistent, nationwide experience.
Volvo Cars is also making it easy for retailers to find and buy new supplies. By utilizing shopping lists on Amazon Business, Volvo Cars enables new retailers to quickly identify and purchase the items they need to outfit their stores. These features enable them to get started with business purchasing while reducing the time spent searching for supplies. Shopping lists can also be curated to steer retailers to purchase from a preferred range of more sustainable products to encourage more responsible purchasing.
Additionally, Volvo Cars was able to identify cost savings and address unique sourcing needs. Working with Amazon Business, it was able to find a distributor that could meet the shipping and fulfillment needs of its national network while providing the right type of water bottle filling stations. “We were able to negotiate a really good price through Amazon Business on behalf of all our retailers,” says Alex Penning, senior buyer indirect procurement services at Volvo Cars. “There were a lot of specifications in that scenario that were challenging, and they were able to solve it for us right away—and show the value and power of having a relationship with Amazon Business.”
The possibilities for expansion in the program are exciting to Volvo Cars. For now, the primary goal is to continue building a stronger retail network, one where those individual locations can see that Volvo Cars is invested in their success.
Ultimately, happier, more profitable retailers make Volvo Cars a stronger company.
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