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How the University of Surrey achieved time and cost savings with Smart Business Buying
As with all universities, the University of Surrey must provide annual reports to show it’s providing the best value for money for its students. With budgets tightening across the whole sector amid ongoing economic uncertainty, in 2023 the organisation’s procurement team set a clear goal: to achieve time and cost savings without sacrificing the quality education they deliver year on year.
As part of its 2023 mission, the university elevated procurement to a key organisational priority, and adopted Amazon Business to:
“University requirements are extensive and can be unexpected. At the University of Surrey, we need to source materials for every area from our veterinary school to our acting school. Being able to access aﬀordable, fast and adaptable suppliers through Amazon Business helps our staﬀ to purchase the goods they need to deliver an excellent student experience in all departments,” says Mark Illingworth, Procurement Category Manager.
With Amazon Business beneﬁts like free Prime delivery and access to an all-in-one-place supplier base, the university has continued to fulﬁl its extensive range of purchasing needs from around 4,000 trusted sellers, and saved thousands in shipping costs over the last 12 months.
"Being able to access aﬀordable, fast and adaptable suppliers through Amazon Business helps our staﬀ to purchase the goods they need to deliver an excellent student experience in all departments.”
— Mark Illingworth, Procurement Category Manager, University of Surrey
Previously, the university would have to place large-scale orders up to a month in advance to ensure deliveries arrived on time for university events. With Prime next-day delivery, Amazon Business has cut this delivery time down to just 24 hours – with graduation gowns, balloons, chairs and more available last-minute, at the click of a button.
Through the Amazon Business 'Punchout' solution, staff are able to independently make purchases of up to £200, charged to the organisation through an e-invoicing system. The shift has made time-intensive manual purchasing processes a thing of the past, enabling staff to take control of sourcing the subject-specific materials they need, and freeing up the time of finance teams to focus on more strategic priorities.