Digital purchasing has become the norm for how procurement is today. Yet, government agencies have been slow to modernize their systems due to lack of financial resources and personnel and the complex nature of implementing a new e-procurement system. Most still go through traditional buying modes like RFQ processes or catalogs. An outdated process can be time-consuming, make you overpay, and miss key compliance policies – such as purchasing restricted items included in Section 889. Finding a strategic e-procurement partner allows your agency to modernize the procurement process by driving purchasing efficiency. A partner like Amazon Business can help your agency adhere to your organization's purchasing policies, manage cash flow, and track planned and tail-spend purchases for year-end reporting.
While one of the procurement goals for most agencies will involve cost savings, it has become more common for departments to have mission-focused goals, such as sustainability and diversity goals. One of the advantages of using e-procurement for your purchases is that it can assist government agencies in hitting those mission-focused goals. Amazon Business acts as a supply chain and logistics platform, connecting small, local, and diverse businesses with the purchaser, and providing warehousing, transportation, delivery, and returns for most products sold.
The Amazon Business online store allows purchasers to filter and set preferences with Guided Buying, a Business Prime feature. Government purchase card administrators can set their accounts to default to these policy parameters, setting guardrails for cardholders to purchase within agency requirements and drive toward purchasing goals. Currently, buyers can pick the recommended product based upon agency preferences. This option shows up at the top of the search making it quick to locate and purchase. Furthermore, purchasers on Amazon Business website can filter for veteran-owned small businesses or even add HUBzone businesses. Buyers can also filter by location, allowing them to shop within their community. This option is often a priority for military installations and local government entities, which prefer to spend locally to support their communities.
We also satisfy the federal government requirement of getting three competing quotes, all in a single website. Agencies can make tax-exempt purchases and manage tax exemption permissions across the organization with Amazon's Tax Exemption Program. Furthermore, with our Request for Quote tool, you can request a custom quote for large quantities at your preferred price or discount. These are pre-vetted bulk suppliers who can support offers tailored to your agency's needs.
One of the challenges of not having a strategic e-procurement vendor is that it is harder to view and report on planned and tail-spend purchases. Insufficient insights have impacted spend reporting and negatively impacting set-aside goals. A 2022 Gartner report found that procurement leaders’ biggest focus for the coming years is better category management and identifying and mitigating supplier risk. They recommend that procurement leaders prioritize supply continuity and risk mitigation in addition to the ever-present focus on cost management. With reporting, leaders can identify opportunities to move tail to managed spend through analytics, reporting, and proactive recommendations, while mitigating risk.
Amazon Business provides tailored insights to help organizations make spending decisions and consolidate suppliers. Agencies, who have Business Prime, can go use our Spend Visibility to see real-time data on how much they have bought in a particular category, or how much within that specific category they have purchased from a veteran-owned small business. With that data, it's also easy to share with their respective heads of departments. This level of reporting is an opportunity for the government entity not only to get full credit for all the mission-focused purchasing they're making but also see that they are on track with their planned spend.
From savings to staying compliant and reporting, there are several benefits in finding a trusted e-procurement vendor.
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