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Tate Galleries

Adopting a new way of procuring for a greater experience.


Tate is a network of four of the biggest art galleries in the UK – Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives in Cornwall - hosting British and international modern and contemporary art.


The galleries are run partially through Government funding while also through ticket sales and memberships. As such, the organisation has a unique set of needs and therefore a unique set of procurement requirements.


With 1,500 employees across the organisation, there are a lot of individuals from different locations, teams, and departments involved in procurement for Tate.



Identifying the need for change

With multiple sites across the country they found that every team was operating in a different way when it came to purchasing. From one team to another, they were buying goods from different suppliers, at different locations, with no collective framework or reporting in place.


Visibility became an issue as there was limited overview of what was being purchased, what was ordered versus what was delivered and what items were out of stock at any given time.


Without a clear line of reporting or a buying policy in place, this way of purchasing became difficult to manage and wasn’t giving them the level of transparency they needed to operate efficiently.


As a result, more time was spent on administrative tasks as they tried to tackle the overall purchasing process.



Creating efficiency and saving time

Tate has a very specific set of needs, and each team requires different products as a result. From working with visitors for events and talks, to working with children on school visits and the day-to-day needs such as furniture and stationery. They needed one central source that could cater to these vast requirements.


They adopted the Amazon Business solution across the organisation to streamline their procurement processes and empower their employees with an easy purchasing solution.


They were able to easily onboard different teams thanks to the familiarity of using the Amazon customer marketplace, and as a result they quickly introduced best practice policies and were able to secure a central supplier they could trust for a vast array of products.

“It’s been beneficial in letting our teams know - You don’t need to spend days and days finding a supplier for this niche item, you can simply do what you would do as a regular customer and search Amazon (Business)."

— Declan McAlister, Head of Procurement, Tate Galleries

Adopting a new way of purchasing

Through adopting Amazon Business, the organisation was able to better understand the purchasing needs of different teams, thanks to the wide selection of products available. It brought efficiency to their process – helping them source their infinite requirements in one place.


Over the past year they benefitted further with Business Prime, as they were able to guarantee that employees got the items they needed to work effectively and comfortably from home.

“It’s been great having that responsive Amazon Business experience, just like you have through the customer site, and it helped us become more dynamic in our purchasing.” 

— Declan McAlister, Head of Procurement, Tate Galleries

Due to the size of the Tate organisation, they have found integrating with the Single Sign-On (SSO) system very valuable across teams. It is an easily adopted integration that gives all buyers within the organisation secure and one-click access to Amazon Business, limiting any security risks.


Advice for other organisations looking to adopt Amazon Business?

“I’d advise to fully integrate with the solution as you can really see the benefits from it, and it makes your processes so much easier,” says Declan.


Declan goes on to say it is important to have stakeholder engagement before a new process is launched and cascaded down to the larger organisation. Having the support from the IT department will be a great enabler in ensuring you get the most out of your experience. If you are looking for ways to reduce time spent on procurement admin, consolidating it with one central source is the route to take.


The organisation has found that the benefits and practice of using Amazon Business has proved to be a very beneficial experience for all involved.