Olive Grove Charter School

Olive Grove Charter School

A California school district is replacing outdated processes to modernize sourcing. 


A regional charter school off ering a blended homeschool/onsite curriculum, Olive Grove Charter School operates five learning centers in the Santa Barbara, California, area. They engaged Amazon Business to digitize and streamline their school purchasing process, improve invoicing, and give teachers more control over the supplies they use to help students become self-motivated, lifelong learners.



A collaborative charter school looks for an innovative purchasing solution 

Olive Grove Charter School has built a unique model that utilizes the strengths of parents, certified teachers, and the community to provide a high-quality education to ~900 students from pre-Kindergarten through high school. The school’s procurement process wasn’t optimal—teachers and staff wanted a better way to order supplies, and the district office wanted an easier way to manage school purchasing and track spending.


At the time, Olive Grove’s procurement process was manual and very time-consuming. Teacher's lists were sent to the fiscal services director, who managed the entire process, including delivering orders from one learning center to another when necessary. Ambiguous requests sometimes resulted in the wrong items being ordered (“paper” could mean copy paper, graph paper, etc.). Spending oversight relied on an assortment of proof-of-purchase documentation. Time spent dealing with orders meant less time devoted to finance-related tasks.



A digitized purchasing system to replace manual, paper-based process

When making requests, teachers and staff were already utilizing Amazon Business because it provides easy access to hundreds of millions of products and a variety of benefits, including business-only pricing. However, since they weren’t able to place or manage their own orders, requests came to the fiscal services director via email, paper scrap, and post-it, or simply in passing conversation.


Additionally, items might have been shipped directly to the right learning campus or consolidated into a single order shipped to a different one. With two learning campuses about 90 minutes from each other, getting supplies in the right hands was a logistics challenge.


“We needed something easier, and we needed to save time,” said Mari Michel, fiscal services director for Olive Grove Charter Schools. “Making it easy to add new people and new learning centers in the future was important, too.”


Olive Grove partnered with Amazon Business to replace the paper-based purchasing process with Amazon Business digital purchasing workflow, creating a streamlined experience with an online buying process people already understood.

“Everyone gets what they need easily and quickly, and the digital purchasing workflow simplifies my job and saves us so much time. I can’t even imagine using a different process now.”

— Mari Michel, Fiscal Services Director, Olive Grove Charter School

A school-wide purchasing system tailored to K-12 needs at no cost

Amazon Business collaborated with the district to implement a digitized process that saves time and puts more control into the hands of each learning center. Olive Grove now consolidates more than 90% of school supplies purchasing with Amazon Business to enjoy the efficiency and time-saving. Olive Grove also chose Business Prime for its reporting tools and, on eligible orders, fast, free shipping directly to each location.


The advantages:

  • Each learning center director can submit and manage orders directly online
  • Orders reflect exactly what the teachers want— no more guesswork
  • The fiscal services director simply approves, codes orders, and sends them for payment
  • Supplies are shipped directly to the appropriate learning center
  • Orders are paid by consolidated invoice via one of two credit lines
  • Fiscal services has a clear line of sight into spending across different learning centers and departments
  • No cost to implement the business account software and easy to roll out
  • Users get business-only price savings


“I’m surprised more public and charter schools aren’t using Amazon Business,” said Michel. “It’s ten times easier. I would definitely recommend it.”



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