Glendale Unified School District
How Amazon Business is helping remove barriers and improve process.
A destination school system in California, Glendale Unified School District maintained the highest educational standards even with the challenges of limited budgets, complex bureaucracy, and challenging procurement processes. Amazon Business has helped the school system take on all these barriers for improved pricing, buying, tracking, and budgeting.
With 30 schools, approximately 26,000 students, and 2,400 employees delivering public education at the highest academic standards, Glendale Unified schools are well known for the work they do. “Glendale is a destination district that has a very good reputation throughout California for our practices and overall performance,” says Gioconda Padilla, Director of Procurement and Contract Services.
Getting educational equipment and supplies to support that level of performance can be a challenge under the decentralized funding structure Glendale has used for the past five years. Many different stakeholders are involved in managing spend, including parents, community members, business members, and students.
In addition to the management of stakeholders and purchasers, every purchase Glendale makes must fall within budget and state guidelines. “Our most crucial goal is to maximize student achievement,” Padilla says, “and everything we do in procurement to reach it is service oriented: service to the students, teachers, school sites, staff, and all of our departments.”
Glendale’s involvement with the Amazon Business marketplace is helping the district meet these extremely high standards.
“The Amazon Business marketplace’s low pricing means we can buy more for the students, even when funding is limited.”
— Gioconda Padilla, Director of Procurement and Contract, Glendale Unified School District
Padilla saw right away how Amazon Business could benefit education. “Once Amazon introduced us to all of the resources available through Amazon Business and I could immediately see it was a fantastic platform offering phenomenal savings for the district, it made sense to get on board,” she says. Amazon Business has helped Glendale Unified streamline its procurement process. Padilla says Amazon Business incorporates the different elements Glendale needs, such as “the ability to establish a specific purchase order number for each school site.” “We can use credit cards, but it is cumbersome,” she says. “Using POs instead gave us better internal controls and the ability to manage every school site and department’s specific budget. It’s so much easier for accounts payable to pay bills efficiently.”
Now Glendale has a one-stop resource. “Amazon has given us access to everything we need to run our school sites from the ground up—whether it’s pencils, insects for science experiments, or water fountains,” Padilla says. And verifiable low pricing has never been a problem. “Amazon has proven in almost all cases to have the best prices,” she says. “We buy in large volumes at times for specific projects or events, and we need to track purchases and verify that everything is bought at the lowest price. The Amazon Business marketplace gives us easy access to price comparison and helps us meet this goal.”
The low pricing of the Amazon Business marketplace helps the district make limited funds go further. “Our colleagues trust us in procurement to have the internal controls in place to get the right supplies for the best value,” Padilla says. “I have seen great improvements in our purchasing process in the short time that we have been using Amazon here at Glendale. I’m pleased with the power and reach of the Amazon Business platform, and I know it will only get better.”
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