Oak Mountain State Park

An Alabama school district streamlines purchasing for 1000+ teachers and staff

Shelby County Schools uses Amazon Business to source classroom supplies, reinvesting time in sustaining an inclusive, caring learning environment for students.

Shelby County Schools, one of the highest-rated school systems in Alabama, strives to ensure every student graduates, and every graduate is prepared for life after high school. They recently partnered with Amazon Business to streamline the process of getting supplies into the classroom, giving the district a more comprehensive view of spending patters, and allowing them to reinvest time into the learning mission.

The school district’s procurement process was in need of a transformation: it was disjointed, paper-driven, and they were tied to a system that limited the number of approved requisitioners (teachers and staff outnumbered the school bookkeepers responsible for orders approximately 100:1). This process required 2,800 teachers and staff across 31 schools to funnel their requests using print-outs or emails through each school’s bookkeeper, who then had to recreate them as purchase orders and route them through finance for approval — all before actually ordering a single item. Some schools had a revolving line of credit for individual accounts, and some did not. Budget tracking capabilities were limited, and teachers were using a variety of vendors for school supplies.

“The number one benefit for my finance team is being able to find more of what we need through Amazon Business thanks to the partnership with OMNIA (formerly U.S. Communities)."
John Gwin, CFO of Shelby County Schools

By partnering with Amazon Business, Shelby County Schools instituted a comprehensive system with more than 1000 active members on a single account across the district, welcoming an improved way to operate that maximized time savings and helping with compliance. Teachers and staff are now able to place and manage their own orders, while giving finance a clear line of sight with robust analytics tools, and simplifying bidding with an integration into OMNIA Partners.

“The number one benefit for my finance team is being able to find more of what we need through Amazon Business thanks to the partnership with OMNIA (formerly U.S. Communities). The bid process is simpler, the ordering process is familiar, and budgeting is easier. That’s a huge advantage,” said John Gwin, CFO of Shelby County Schools. “We’re much better off. I’d recommend Amazon Business to any CFO.”

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