Lakota Local Schools
A school system in Ohio delivers on the unique needs of their classroom operations.
An innovative, highly rated school district in Butler County, Ohio, Lakota Local Schools signed up for Amazon Business to revamp its purchasing process in the belief that the more efficient the back office is, the more time and money can be put back to the classroom.
Lakota Local Schools pride themselves on providing every student with an opportunity to explore their passions, offering a wide range of programs and innovative collaboration spaces to ~16,500 students. Its purchasing process mirrored the district structure—23 schools acting independently to source supplies in support of a robust learning environment.
The lack of centralization fostered a less-than-ideal workflow. Teachers and staff had to peruse several vendors to find the right items at the lowest prices. Their wish lists were then given to the school’s department head, who passed them on to the office manager to decipher, process, and order. Finance tracked spending in their accounting system, but they couldn’t identify what everyone was buying.
To make it easier for teachers and staff to get the items they needed while giving procurement a more detailed view of expenditures and spending patterns, Lakota signed up for Amazon Business.
Lakota was beginning to think about how best to approach its procurement challenge at about the same time Amazon Business was being launched. As an early adopter, Lakota was able to participate in beta testing, providing feedback on many of the products and features it would eventually implement. This helped Lakota review its process of how people would place orders, process/workflow, payment method, compliance guardrails, approvals, reporting, and other features.
The ability to integrate with an e-procurement system was also essential. Amazon Business had the flexibility to integrate with Lakota’s preferred system for approval workflow and other aspects of the procurement process that happened behind the scenes. An efficient, effective process was the goal.
“There’s always a business side to schools,” said Chris Passarge, Chief Operating Officer for Lakota Local Schools. “There is a whole operation behind the scenes that helps support what goes on in the classroom. The more efficient we can be as a back office operation, the more money can go toward the classroom.” Amazon Business also partners with OMNIA (formerly U.S. Communities), a national cooperative purchasing program used by K-12 districts to ensure they are getting competitive pricing, which is important for a district as large as Lakota.
— Veronica Gayotin, District Purchasing Manager, Lakota Local Schools
Amazon Business provides a service that integrates seamlessly with the district’s e-procurement system, creating an end-to-end workflow that is simple to use and easy to enhance with new features over time.
“Our department heads have access to Amazon Business. Our head custodians and nurses have access. No more waiting weeks to get what is needed. No more drives to the hardware store interrupting the day. They can get right on Amazon Business from their computer and be done with it,” Passarge said.