Simplifying purchasing for a world-class children's hospital

Seattle Children's Hospital simplifies procurement of small, non-medical items, shifting time from labor-intensive review and approval processes of everyday items to their value-added work.

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s best children’s hospitals for 25 years in a row, Seattle Children’s Hospital prides itself on the kind of superior patient care that has given it the reputation as the best children’s hospital in the Pacific Northwest. But it takes more than great doctors, nurses and bedside manners to make a hospital earn all those accolades. Behind the scenes, Seattle Children’s professional staff is also working to ensure that the hospital runs as smoothly and efficiently as its operating rooms.

Streamlining and tracking thousands of smaller purchases

Maintaining the highest standard of patient care is central to the mission of Seattle Children’s Hospital. It serves a large geographical area that includes Washington State, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. To maintain this level of scale and service, efficiency is a must.

While most of the items that Seattle Children’s purchases go through medical or surgical distribution channels, there are many smaller items that keep the hospital running on a daily basis. Procuring these smaller, non-medical items, took a disproportionate amount of employee time to source, price check, and order. It was a labor-intensive, manual process requiring multiple approvals within departments before purchase requests even reached the procurement team, which then had to approve each one.

“I have six requesters who order an absolute ton of low-dollar and low-risk items—many under $10,” says James LeRoy, Director of Strategic Sourcing & Value Analysis at Seattle Children’s. “It would have caused my team an incredible amount of extra work to circle back and approve each transaction.” Amazon Business offered a solution for Seattle Children’s.

Streamlined process with a familiar experience

Amazon Business gives buyers at Seattle Children’s access to Amazon’s marketplace -- whether it’s waiting-room toys, flashlights or another unique need that arises, Amazon makes the sourcing and purchasing of these items much more streamlined and convenient.

“The main benefit of Amazon Business for us is the ability to shift costly, labor-intensive approval processes for these items, so users can order directly with a simpler review and approval process,” LeRoy says. “It’s saved us so much time, to the tune of 500 requests a year. Adding Amazon Business has had a significant positive impact for us.”

The simplicity of Amazon Business also saves resources with improved operational efficiency. “I love that Amazon Business eases the purchasing process for our staff so they can focus on their value-add work,” Added LeRoy. “Our procurement team loves the reporting options, plus a tracking mechanism that helps our receiving team easily locate packages in transit.”

When buyers at Seattle Children’s need additional help, Amazon Business personalized customer service offers valuable expertise.

“Amazon Business customer service has been awesome,” said LeRoy. “We have a great, solid working relationship with our Amazon Business rep. He was keenly aware of and in tune with our needs, and I really valued that.”

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